Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009:
Recycling (and my strange building) in Malmö

What I think:

Since I moved to Sweden, I've felt that recycling is a pretty thorough thing here. I even wrote about how it works in Helsingborg a couple of years ago (here). But it appears that recycling is not quite as thorough in Malmö as it is in Helsingborg.

Having just moved into our new place in Malmö, we naturally had a fair amount of rubbish (US/CAN: garbage) to dispose of, so off we went on our first visit to the rubbish room. It's actually in the basement, and along a long-ish corridor.

What we discovered was that, while there are the usual bins for paper, cardboard, clear and coloured (US/CAN: colored) glass, hard plastic, and general household waste, there are none for soft plastic or organic waste (left-overs, peels/skins, bones, rude cashiers, landlords, etc.). So all plastic carrier-bags/wrappers and people you don't like (including rappers) have to go in with the general household waste.

Now, I'm just wondering whether this is an all-of-Malmö thing, whether it's just my building, or whether it varies from building to building, or area to area.

I know that there are a few fellow blogging expats out there who live in Malmö, so I would be grateful to anyone who knows the answer to my query if they would leave a comment for me. Thanks.

Another thing
Something else we discovered was that we actually have a sauna in our basement! Yes, a sauna!

Sounds exotic, doesn't it? Well...

Firstly, it's right next to the rubbish room. The smell leading to the whole experience is not really conducive to what I'd call "relaxing". Think: a very different kind of aromatherapy (leaning more towards aversion therapy, for all you Psychology buffs out there).

Secondly, there's no lock on the door.
When you go through the orange door with no lock, located just next to the rubbish room, you enter what looks like some kind of weird waiting room.There are hooks (on the wall) behind the door which leads to the next area, so one assumes that this is where one might disrobe (US/CAN: take off your clothes). If I remember correctly, I think that door has at least got a lock.

In the next room, immediately to your left, you see this:I have to admit that I'd never seen one of these before, and therefore have no idea as to what it could be for. It's about toilet-height, and almost toilet-shaped, but it's obviously not a toilet. Any ideas?

My guess would have been that it's for a mop, but I didn't see one around, and I somehow can't imagine people heading down to the sauna carrying their mops. But I don't know, maybe they do that here.

After nearly seven years of living in Sweden, I'm feeling like a total newbie again. Thanks, Malmö.

So, if anyone knows what that thing is, your comment is welcome.

Let's continue our tour, shall we?

Turn around from this toilet-like thing, and directly in front of you, at the end of this little tiled hallway, there's a shower.It looks clean enough, and there's nothing particularly nasty about it, but it just somehow feels grungy. Maybe it's just the environment. This whole thing is starting to look like the set of some gruesome horror flick.

Just before you get to the shower, however, there are two doors on your right.

The first one is the toilet.
It's not very clean, nor is it disgustingly dirty either. It's just not somewhere you'd want to sit and do the crossword.

Finally, the second door on the right; the one between the toilet and the shower, which is directly across from the weird toilet-like thing, which is just inside the door from the scary "waiting room", which is just through the orange door with no lock, which is right next to the rubbish room, is the sauna.I am by no means claustrophobic, but this place immediately creeped me out.

I'm not even sure if it was the size - with the prospect of being closed in with loads of steam everywhere - or if it was the thought of several years' worth of sweaty Swedish bottoms having dripped on these benches, but this place didn't appeal to me at all.

Here's the heater thing,
where you dump ladle-fuls of water to make the steam
(as seen from the top bench):
As it stands now, I can't really see myself going down there to "enjoy" a "relaxing" sauna.

But you never know; I may well get drunk enough one evening to want to give it a go. I'll keep you posted on that.

Bottom's Up
OK, so now we've been to my little corner of Hell. Let me now take up, up - way up - to a nice little piece of Heaven (or as close as I reckon I'll ever get anyway).

We have a rooftop terrace! OK, so we actually live on the ground floor, but this terrace is open for all residents to enjoy.

Sweden doesn't really have many of what one would call skyscrapers... I think the nearest thing is probably something called the Turning Torso, an odd-looking building which is apparently the tallest building in Scandinavia.

So this little rooftop paradise above the seventh floor (UK: sixth floor) is a pretty good ways up for this part of the world. And its size could make for some promising parties (although I'm not actually promising any parties).

It's kind of a C-shaped terrace...

Here's a view from one of the corners at the end
(facing the bit where the stairs are):

Here's a view from the other corner of the end bit
(facing where I was standing in the previous photo - you with me?):

And finally, here's a view from the other side, facing the end:
In the photo above, you can just about make out the water on the left (the Öresund or "The Sound" - it's a strait, in geographical terms), behind that building. You can actually see it better from up here, but I didn't take a shot from that angle.
But what's that odd building towards the right?

Yes, it's the aforementioned Turning Torso!

So there's loads of space up on the terrace, some tables that look like they're used for barbecues, and a decent view. Very good party potential. Maybe if I introduce myself to all of my neighbours, one of them might invite me to a party sometime! Or I suppose I could try to get a life and make some friends in Malmö.

What do you think?

Personally, I think that there should be more consistency with recycling in this country. Malmö should recycle all plastics and organic waste as well, so that they can make that fantastic bio-gas to run the buses, like they do in Helsingborg. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it.

That's what I think.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would guess some kind of half assed (pun intended) bargain basement bidet, no?
Glad to hear the gigs are going well. Wore my CSI shirt in NY so it's now an international phenomenon. Sure to be the next latest craze to sweep the nation. Getting together with Johnny this weekend or next to compare notes about our adventures of last two months, me in NY, him in HBG n Ireland. If you find yourself in the nabe give a shout.

8:18 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am soooo glad we don't have a room for that stuff. I would NEVER recycle if we did. We have all the containers mentioned plus a clothing container(didn't see that on the list but I could have missed it). We have a shoot outside our door for food scraps and the occasional Mormon.

That sauna looks scary although I wish we had a full bathroom downstairs. I mean, it would be great when you have company or if you are redoing the bathroom or your sambo is taking too long in the bathroom and you really need to go.

12:17 pm  
Blogger kierUK said...

I don't actualyl think its just Malmö that doesn't do the food scraps thing...my building in Helsingborg also doesn't do it! I thought I was just being really naughty and very ignorant at first...but when I asked, i was told there was no difernt bin for this...!
Mark, I think I may just invite myself for a party on your roof even if you don't advertise one....cant turn down a brit with beer and food!

1:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that toilet looking thing is for people to "wash up" after doing their toilet business, i think. such an equipment or something similar, is pretty common in muslim countries, if i'm not wrong.

6:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would they have a bidet in such an open space?? Kind of like putting a toilet in a clear glass cubicle...
fun times!

7:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's for washing your feet in Mark.

4:10 pm  
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8:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having lived in Malmö for ehhh, two years? I can tell you that there's no extra recycling bins. What you have in your building is pretty much what you get in every other building... minus the funky looking sauna. We have a sauna too though which we haven't visited as well as a tanning room, gym and so on but now you're making me think I should go on an excursion to finally see those areas. We've visited the grilling are plenty thou!

10:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lived in Malmo for a while. I liked the malmohus castle, triangle, I enjoyed the diversity of a little beach, but near city.

I liked elysse (not sure if that is spelled correct) for good fondue.

The place I was in had quite a few recycle bins. But not all places may be the same.

7:22 am  
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Blogger DeeDK said...

The half-toilet is in fact, a bidet, and yes, what a wierd and public spot for it ...
I watched a documentary on the building of the "Turning Torso"; quite fascinating and kind of cool you have such a great view. Kudos on the patio/picnic spot; now get up there and throw a bar-B!!

9:28 am  

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