As some of you have noticed Tinder has created a new function which makes it possible to swipe worldwide without being a gold member paying 10€ per month.
But why do people do this? I mean even during corona, when we are so bored we’re even getting TikTok, what’s the point really of texting with someone you’re not going to sleep with?
I’ve started a bad habit. I watch Netflix, drink wine and eat chocolate every night. Tonight, I started watching a movie about the IRA called “The Foreigner”.
20 minutes into the movie Pierce Brosnan wakes up with his mistress in a bed with expensive sheets at a fancy hotel in Belfast. Forget about James Bond, NOW is the right time to call Pierce Brosnan for a date. He has never been more handsome.
If I met with him I would totally pretend to be smarter and more successful than I am. And I would put a thin dress on and not wear any underwear. Then some Sinatra maybe, red lipstick and lot of candles.
The only problem is that we would have to be at my place since all the restaurants in Kosovo are closed and I can’t cook. I like to cook on dates though, as long as I can be the audience, sit on the kitchen-sink sipping red wine around.
But the harsh reality is that I’m stuck here with no man to cook for me, no man to pour me wine and no man to light me a cigarette after he has made me happy.
Honestly here, lighting the cigarette afterwards is what they do best. If they only fucked as good as they cheat. I think most women here know that a lot of the men here cheat. But what can they do? Get divorced, buy a new house, continuing with their successful careers and fuck off to Bali on a vacation with their new Brazilian lover. Not really.
Women’s lives here are not like women’s lives in Sweden. 13% of women have a job, which one of the lowest employment rates for women in the world. Around 3% have a higher management position, 29,9% of people here think that domestic violence is a normal part of a relationship and most of the women have no money of their own, since they don’t work or inherit. Very few women in Kosovo inherit land and property, mostly it goes to the men in the family.
Then for the very group of privileged women that can actually afford to get divorced and buy an apartment of their own, they still have to forget about Bali and lovers from other countries, since they are stuck here due to Kosovo not yet having the visa liberalization. Something they have been waiting for basically since they became a country in 2008.
“I think the world is flat”
I’ve started something new today. Every time I’m going to speak about gender equality with a man in Kosovo and he says “I think that gender equality here is good” I’m going to respond “I think the earth is flat”.
Because just as little as the shape of the world has to do with opinions, the conversations about gender equality have.
The understanding between the difference between facts and opinion here is sometimes none. Especially talking about gender equality with men.
However, it’s important to remember that both education level and gender equality has nothing to do with race, but very much to do with the success of a country. And Kosovo is a country that historically and politically has had very little success, while Sweden has had a lot. Swedish men are not more feminists because they are Swedish, but because they grew up in Sweden. Still most of them are pretty clueless unfortunately.
What the hell going on in Sweden?
Talking about Sweden, one of the most frequent questions I get on social media these days is “What the hell is going on in Sweden?”
Even the news here in Kosovo showed a reportage from Sweden with people socializing, shopping, going to restaurants and hanging out on the streets as usual.
Honestly, I am just as confused as everyone else.
Lisbeth Davidsen, reporter tv3 Denmark, said on a live interview the Swedish morning show “TV4 Nyhetsmorgon” that “Looking at Sweden from Denmark feels like watching a scary movie since so many places in Sweden are still open”. The reporters from Finland and Norway agreed.
In Albania, people have been isolated in their homes for weeks, in France citizens have to fill in a form to declare the purpose of leaving their house, in Italy army trucks are transporting the dead, in New York hospital tents are being put up in Central Park, in UK police officers are placed out in neighborhoods reminding the citizens to stay at home and here in Kosovo the government has fallen. Over 1 million people are now sick and tens of thousands has died.
But in Sweden the borders are open, the kindergardens and elementary schools are open, many restaurants, bars, cafés, gyms and shops are still open. The Swedes are still going to their Friday after work with with friends in crowded bars. They even go to IKEA. They go everywhere!
The biggest crisis in Sweden right now is that the ski slopes are closing and that the old people are refusing to stay at home. Few Swedes are staying home and almost no one is wearing masks and gloves like people here are all the time.
So, while the citizens of Kosovo are mourning the fall of their government and worrying about their democracy being at risk, the citizens of Sweden are stressed they might not be able to go on their annual Easter ski trip.
And these two states of “emergencies” and light years between them is exactly how different Sweden and Kosovo are.
Experts analyzing the different approach Sweden has dealing with corona and the public’s relaxed way of living life as usual, mentions our 300-year history of efficient public administration and the high trust in government officials.
I would like to say that the biggest reason for Swedes living their lives more like usual compared with the rest of the world is our inherent feeling that we are not a part of everything else going on in the world.
First of all, we are located in a very far off place that has been completely uninteresting for most countries. We helped Hitler to transport Nazists to Norway and we also supported the Nazizt with ore. 1940 Sweden stood for 40% of the ore Germany. So forget about this map below.
But apart from the Second World War and the occupations before 1809 when Russia invaded Sweden, Sweden has not been a victim of war.
Sweden is definitely a war country
So being geographically far away from war and conflicts and not being affected by tornadoes and earthquakes is definitely one factor.
But another crucial factor when it comes to Swede’s relaxed approach to corona is our political neutrality, which can also be described as a bubble protecting us from what’s going on in the rest of the world.
In 200 years, Sweden has not been in a war. We are a peacekeeping county helping other countries to solve conflicts through diplomacy and aid.
Bullshit, but unfortunately yet a big part of how we see ourselves. Through this well-polished welfare bubble representing neutrality and peace, while the bubble is actually made of our profits from selling weapons to other countries in war with each other. Sweden is definitely a war country.
A quick overview of Sweden’s weapon export:
- 2014 Sweden was the 3rd largest exporter weapon per capita after Russia and Israel.
- 2019 Sweden exported weapons for 16,3 billion SEK (1,5 billion euro)
- 2019 the Swedish weapon industry is 4 times as large as the beginning of 2000.
- A 3rd of the weapons Sweden exported 2019 went to non-democracies
- Sweden has during the last 25 years been one of the world’s top ten weapon exporters.
- Some countries we have sold to; Iran, Irak, Colombia, USA, UK, France, Germany, Brunei, Singapore, Turkey, Algeria, Qatar, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Thailand, Oman, Indonesia, Burma, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, India, etc.
The list of countries Sweden has sold weapons to is almost as long as the list of the democratic governments that the US has brought down in history.
Sweden’s contribution to the wars in Burma and East Timor
We have helped the military regime in Burma in their civil war and we have helped the Indonesians in their occupation and ethnic cleansing in East Timor. Similar story as the Serbian war in Kosovo, only that more people died (100.000), the international community ignored for over two decades it and it’s further away – so who in the west cares?
Sweden’s involvement in the war in Yemen
We have helped Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in their war on Yemen, with ships, cannons and the radar systems Erieye and Globaleye which according to a press release from Saab is for terrorism, smuggling and illegal fishing.
They are not using the radars to look for illegal fishing boats, but in their war in Yemen. Yemen, one of the most severe human catastrophes of modern time where 100.000 have been killed and millions are starving.
Most Swedes know of this, but we scroll by these articles read about the latest news about the Wahlgren Family (the Swedish Kardashians).
The people active in trying to change Sweden’s politics of weapon export can all be fitted into the summer house in Karlskoga, in which Alfred Nobel and King Oscar II were eating caviar and goose liver, after studying some of Bofors first cannons, bullets and grenades September 18, 1895.
Yes, the “Swedish” Nobel Peace Prize was created by the inheritance of Alfred Nobel – the man who invented the dynamite and turned the Swedish weapon factory Bofors into a world-leading industry.
Sweden’s contribution to the war in Iraq
Another example is the Iraq war. Few countries were as against the war as Sweden. Thousands of people protested on the streets.
But at the same time in London, a delegation from Swedish BAE Systems Bofors and American Raytheon Missile Systems go and watch a musical, Phantom of The Opera, to have a little bit of fun, before creating a weapon together that’s going to kill a lot of Iraqis.
M982 Excalibur is an extended range artillery projectile was developed under immense pressure by Sweden and the US during the beginning of the war in Iraq. It became one of the most important weapons used during the Iraq war due to its precision – a Swedish contribution that even won prices for its huge success.
And now some might wonder, what about Kosovo? Were Swedish weapons used by the Serbs killing Albanians?
They were in Bosnia, that’s well known. Muslim government soldiers have in interviews described their fear of the Bofors cannons. It was in Bosnia “The Bofors Death” became an expression.
And based on the fact that Yugoslavia was the 3rd biggest buyer of Swedish weapons 1989, according to the Swedish government, it wouldn’t surprise me. Yet I don’t want to speculate. Instead, I’ve contacted several experts that might know. I’m interested to find out.
So whether we like it or not, the Swedish weapon industry has largely contributed to the “neutral” welfare society we are today – protected and unaffected by the conflicts, crises and other shit storms in the world.
And that’s why the Swedes hoard toilet paper and taco sauce from the shops, while people in Kosovo buy masks and gloves. That’s why Swedes worry about not being able to go on ski vacations or have sex, while people in Kosovo have been isolated in their homes for almost a month now. And that’s why Swedes don’t wear masks when they go to the supermarkets or have drinks at the restaurants during the weekends.
Because they live in a bubble protecting them – A bubble largely created by a successful weapon industry and a government that for decades have not only allowing it to thrive, but helping it to thrive – with our tax money.
Depressing, upsetting, immoral, I know.
If life was only a black and white movie where I could drink the finest Malbec while making love to Pierce Brosnan on the kitchen table, without any knowledge or interest in how fucked up the world is.
He could be 007, probably shooting Swedish bullets like everyone else, while I could just be pretty and enjoying the orgasms I’m only dreaming about in Kosovo.
And hopefully, but highly unlikely, the Swedish bubble will someday burst.
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