Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sharing a household with superior beings

Dear Marc, aren’t you surprised, when at this age you learn new things about yourself? Isn’t it wonderful that after all these years, there is still undiscovered territory within?
I’ve come to know myself better. Not because of showering in the holy wells here in India. Not because I now do yoga everyday. No, the revelry of the inner me has come to the outer me by way of sound.

”Greeaaahehahh!”. That’s the sound of my primal self. Want to know how your primal self sounds? It’s easy! It’s free! Just let a 4 inch roach run over your bare foot as you go to the bathroom.

I tried to refocus and use all my positive thinking to cope with my unreasonable disgust.
”It’s a superior life form. It hasn’t changed since before the dinosaurs.” I said to myself. ”Pay respect to this other shape of universal life” I continued. It worked somewhat.

But ”Greeaaahehahh!” worked much better. One shrill shriek, intense shiver and then it was over. The roach, in turn, disappeared into I don’t know where, which was a discomforting thought as I lay down to sleep on the floor.

In retrospect, the thing that disturbed me the most was the roach’s nonchalant breech of our mutual agreement never to meet. Like two old grumpy men forced to share an apartment, I thought we would just allow the other one to exist, without really having to face each other.

I would let the roach have his space, because after all, he was there first, both on the planet and in our shared bathroom. But since I both knock and turn on the light to give him time to disappear, I think it would be reasonable for him to do so. Roaches usually have some respect for people, since we often kill them in the most undignified way. Would you like to be smashed to death by a shoe?

My camera just broke down, otherwise I’d let you see a similar roach we just found next to the sink. They are superior beings. We’re just around to drop pieces of cookies for them. They don’t know how to make cookies. But they like them.

Love from India, where everything thrives. -e

The LP effect

Dear Marc, how does it feel when people mimic your designs? How does it feel to have the power to make something that immediately affects other people and the business upswing of say, ballerina slippers?

I’m wondering this as we travel in the company of our Lonely Planet guidebook. I wonder about how much a mentioning in the guide is worth in dollars. 2 years after a first mentioning, a simple cafe can be the most successful restaurant in town. Little fishing villages turn into sprawling resorts.

The other day I was browsing some leaflets on local sightseeing spots. One region was marketing itself with the proud headline ”The land of decent beaches”, due to a Lonely Planet remark about the decent beaches of the area. What’s the next tagline we’ll see traveling? ”A nation of average scuba”? ”A country of mediocre cuisine”?

I’m thinking this might be comforting to think about for you too. Doesn’t it takes some stress off your shoulders? Why aim to be the best, to create the most fantastic collection, when you can walk around selling ”A collection of decent clothes”.

In closing, just sharing some more Indian pics with you.

Love from


Every girl should have a yellow srawberry dress.

Every girl should have a white and gold shirt and pants set in linen.

And every girl should be so lucky to have the kind of dad Vanja does.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

That's the feeling I'm after

Dear Marc, yesterday I went to town to shop. I returned with something for everyone in the family. I felt like I was the mother of the Ingalls family. For me this is a great feeling, since Little House has such a big place in my heart (is this where I should write something about how I love it despite the racism towards the native Americans? Or Norwegians, with Nelly being such a Scandibitch?)

I mean, the feeling of buying 4 dresses for my daughter, one outfit for my son and a shirt for their dad and bringing it all home to our little cabin in the jungle, it was so great.

But even better was the look on Vanja's face as she tried her first dress on. She just couldn't believe anything could be that pretty. I've told her she'll get a new dress every Tuesday we're here.

Joel is now dressing like an Indian prince, a look he seems very content with.

And as I look at Vanja in her new dress, I keep thinking "that's the feeling I'm after!" as I browse your looks and others. Perhaps it's a feeling most easily felt at age 4. Perhaps at my own ripe age, I'll have to settle for the contentment of giving that feeling to others. Is that how you feel, Mr Jacobs?

You give us this feeling:

Thankyou, Mr J!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

No sun please, we're Swedish

Dear Marc, I know I’m not the palest person in India. The reason I know this is because we got stuck in an elephant parade the other day, and in the human flood that swept by us, I saw an albino man. Him aside, I might well take the price for least pigmented body this side of England. I inherited my pasty white skin tone from dad. We call his legs the family treasure, since they’re two perfect pillars of marble.

I didn’t bring a bikini from home. It was on my long ”I’ll just buy one in India”-list. I didn’t think about the fact that most Indian women go swimming in their sarees. Especially at the place we’re at now, where the beach is considered a holy place, shared by Indian pilgrims and a varied assortment of western New Agers.

There was only one bikini to choose from so I had to buy that very one. It was yellow and there was no way to tell the bottom’s front from back. Ill-fitting may be the word I’m looking for here.

But at least now I had a bikini and could go swimming in the ocean to escape the heat. I tried it on in the night and had a laugh. The same night, I also decided to quit breast feeding for a million little reasons.

In the morning, I looked like a very pale, brunette Pammy Andersson. To tone down my unbelievable sex appeal, I wore glasses to the beach. Indian men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses. I know this for a fact since I recently read an agony aunt piece in a local paper about a girl who wanted eye surgery out of fear that glasses would ruin her chances of ever getting married.

The ocean was warm and lovely and bowled me over with salt water waves. I tumbled and fell and enjoyed rolling in the waves until I noticed that the world was all soft around the edges. The Arabian sea had stolen my glasses.

I stumbled up on the beach, with enormous breasts, marble legs and an incredible shrinking yellow bikini. My only solace was that since I was blind, I didn’t have to meet the appalled stares from the Indian pilgrims of the holy beach.

I need to invest in a new bikini and a new pair of glasses. Have any seasonal suggestions from your collection Mr Jacobs?

‘Til you tell me what to wear, you’ll find me swimming in a saree too.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Baby cakes

Dear Marc, here are some greetings from India, where the air is rich with the aromas of cardamom, jasmine, cinnamon, curry and cloves. And poop.

We left two weeks ago, and I love it. Anders loves it too, and Vanja likes it now that we've left Mumbai behind. She went around like a walking insult, holding her nose to keep the scents out. I was embarrassed and feeling protective of her at the same time, a very confusing mix of emotions.

Joel has had the most trouble adjusting to the tropical paradise. He loves the cold.

In India, he prefers to eat sand.

In the afternoons, he likes to exercise for an hour or two by mom wrestling.

When it gets too hot, we think about the land we left behind. We travel from extreme cold to extreme heat. From extreme wool to extreme silk, we wear only natural fibers.

Must go, will write more soon.
Extreme love

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cats go out at night

Dear Marc, did you ever consider emptying your apartment, renovating a house and going to India at the same time?

If you do, chances are you will want to take a time out with your friends. You will want to dress up and get drunk. Who knows, perhaps you will be so eager to se your friends and go all out that you will put on those shiny, tight black pants you would never have bought yourself. But then you couldn’t resist them when a friend gave them to you.

You’ll comb your hair and let rhinestone hairpins sparkle against the surface of your tresses, smooth and dark like molasses. You’ll say “tonight’s the night!” and put on that leopard jacket. Then you’ll add a small amount of “Ce soir ou jamais” to your slender figure before you stick your pretty feet in those high heeled ankle boots that look so good. And then you’ll hit the street to meet up with your friends and you’ll be so happy.

And if you’re a girl, people might look on you in this outfit as if you’re a working girl of the kind that works hard for the money. So hard for the money. But that’s current fashion so you don’t care, you just hurry to meet up with your friends but funny thing is that when you get to the restaurant, late, they’re not there.

And you call them up, one after the other, but they don’t answer. So you leave angry messages on their voice mails instead. And then you return home on the subway, sad and upset, until you realize that you wanted to go out so bad, you went out one day too early.

That’s what happened to me the other day. All dressed up and no place to go. So I went home and did the only reasonable thing: I organized the “might come in handy”-drawers. Have never looked so great cleaning before. The cleaning was so dull, I needed all the cheering up I could get.

Must go to bed, leaving for India tomorrow. Have you ever been there? Tell me the must sees!


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Relax, don't do it!

Dear Marc, are you the competitive type? You probably are, or you wouldn't be in the place you're in.

I always said I wasn't competitive. That I didn't have it in me. Winning or losing - it doesn't matter to me - really it doesn't. But lately, laying on the bench at my massage therapist's place, I've come in close contact with my competitive spirit.

As the therapist kneads me and rolls me around with her strong, Finnish hands, I hear a small voice in my head. It's a nervous, wired voice, belonging to a small, intensive man.

In fact, my inner competitive spirit looks and sounds just like Martin Short.

Martin says "Am I relaxing in the right way?" before he changes his tune to "damn, I'm good at relaxing". Then finally, he gets a little manic and shoots off a string of thoughts: "I wonder if other people relax better than I do? Do they relax in a different way? Am I not really the most relaxed person she's put her hands on? !"

So this is my question for the day:
Would you like to meet up some time for a relaxation face-off?
Winner takes all. I'll be limp as a jellyfish, you won't stand a chance.
Cause I'm a super natural at relaxing. Martin tells me so.