Sunday, April 17, 2011

From Sweden to Amsterdam

Escaping from the sleepy and boring town of Lund, in South Sweden for the much warmer cities of Netherlands is always a very nice experience. There are many reasons to escape to Netherlands from Sweden. First, the beers in Sweden cost about 5 euro each and had a maximum of 3.5 per cent alcohol. In Netherlands, beers cost just 2 euro and are much tastier.
There are two low cost movies that had been hugely popular in the two countries that I find very useful in understanding the national psychology: first, the Antonia’s Line, a 1995 film from a feminist director explores the story of how a single mother and her daughter escaped from the noisy overpopulated towns of Netherlands to the slow life of potatoes growing village. They explore their life through the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Although a simple village life, it is not without events. Lesbian love, rapes, murders, or all what makes the life interesting, happens in that film.
Second, Fucking Amal produced in 1998, was seen by almost 10 per cent of the Swedish population. It represents the coming of age of two teen girls living in a boring town of 10,000 habitants. The two girls are in love with each-other, one of them attempt to suicide because of that love and the apocalypse came when both girls announce their relationship to their school friends. The film is as much boring as Amal. What surprises me, is how the film became so popular and why the Swedes liked it so much. When someone sees a film, he or she identifies him/herself with the main character, so one might say: tell me what movie you like and I can understand you.
This may explain how attractive is to fly from Sweden to Netherlands. The main question is how to make the travel easier and cheaper. In last December, I have tried a flight from Ryan Air from Goteborg to Dusseldorf, but the travel didn’t result in a good experience. I had to travel first by train from Lund to Goteborg, (cost 300 SEK), and from Goteborg train station to Airport, (cost 60 SEK). Ryan air ticked cost so few, in my case just 50 euro, but the place that I landed in Germany and that was advertised as Dusseldorf, instead was a tiny airport in the middle of nowhere 80 km away from real Dusseldorf. My last destination was Groningen, in north Netherlands. In short, I didn’t find Ryan Air a very useful way to reach Netherlands. The cost of reaching the tiny airports was higher than the savings from the cheap ticket and the tricky rules on luggage limits were not really welcoming. Furthermore, the infrastructure linking Netherlands with Weeze Airport was almost inexistent. A bus line from Arnhem needed booking in advance. At all, Weeze did not seem a practical way to reach Groningen.
The second time, this April, I tried again to reach Netherlands, and this time I used KLM flight from Copenhagen. It was much easier and the costs were lower than the Ryan Air offer. The stewardesses in KLM smiles, in Ryan Air they seems more like harsh train conductors. And I found much enjoyable the Coca Cola offered for free on the sky instead of the 2 euro that cost on Ryan Air. Booked in advance the ticked cost just 100 euro.
Now, another opportunity is appearing to reach Netherlands for the third time: it involves an offer by Deutsche Bahn for night travel that could cost just 39 euro from Copenhagen to Bremen and from Bremen to Groningen, a bus ticket cost just another 20. The travel time is at least 12 hours, but almost as much long is to travel by plane.
Lund, 17 April

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