Friday, July 24, 2009

A fantastic journey - now what?

Dear readers,

Västerbottens Folkblad did something a lot of other medias did not - care about this political action. Do have a look at the article in VT (in Swedish). SR Västerbotten has also been in touch with me, they want to make an interview and we'll see what happens after that.

Yesterday was a day of rest, and the travel back was days of thinking. As I'm doing military service now, starting on Monday, I won't be keen on starting some sort of big follow-up-action as a result of having made this journey. Also: why should I? There is already a great living forum to take part in if you want to change the way EU and it's democracy works. It's called the Pirate party, and I'm a member of it. If you want to know more, do look up Piratpartiet Sweden or Pirate party International. We want to transform the union of EU into a more transparent and open cooperation between countries.

The other thing you can do, if wanting a difference, is to talk to people. Communicate. Tell others about what you think about the European Union and listen closely to what others say. Always feel free to use my journey as an example of how far it really is to the European parliament in Brussels. Spread the word that something needs to change. This has been my way of underlining the importancy of dealing with this issue. Maybe by telling others that some fool did 2612 kilometers on inlines just because he so much wanted to see a difference in the way EU works, you can make them listen more closely to what you tell them. Use this action in any way you like, it is all good to me and you have my full trust.

Media, in the end, has most of the time been ignoring what I've been doing. If nothing else, this shows how the present managers of society are trying to hold on to yesterdays world - by ignoring this global movement that thrives for the governments to respects basic human rights. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." Free knowledge, shared culture and protected private life - the three main parts of the Pirate party - is all incorporated in this one article. Even though, I can't help saying this, myself I would very much like to change "protected private life" to "open society" or "öppet samhälle". I have to leave now. I will put in some more pictures later, but until then, do think about what I am trying to say. Because this is very, very important.

The pictures posted are of the pirates of Aachen, who are going for the local elections this autumn by the way, a pair of free feet and a after all very satistfied and happy Johan.

Last, I would make a special thank you to everybody who has made an economical donation to me via paypal. I got about 500 swedish crowns from ordinary people who donated - and then we are not counting my friend Micke who has helped me with this blog and my parent who has also made a contribution. Thank you so very much!

To sum up for all this... thank you for listening.

/Johan Lundström

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On my way home

Dear supporters and friends,

I'm in Roskilde now, where I'm staying over at the apartment of Jon Jessen (again =) ). The train left early yesterday and took me here in the evening. Today the night train is waiting for me in Stockholm. Of course, I had to pay like 300 kronor extra to get a booked bed on that train but from experience, I know that it's worth paying extra money for a bed. This in, should be mentioned, despite the fact that I have payed 160 euro for a Interrail card. But I am leaving Copenhagen at around 14.20.

I tried all the way yesterday to write something down, something very important to say. But the pen didn't work and too much thoughts was running through my head. Life is really depending on what speed you have travelling through it. For a month now landscapes has slowly come and gone away again, and my mind has been able to process all the incoming information. On the train, it just passes by so fast, all this distance that I've taken a month to cover.

It has not been an easy journey. Most problems I've had during the day just to almost forget them during the evening when I've posted my blogposts. It started with the shoulder problems. I can tell you, it was really unnice. Then my toe nails started hurting because of the bad asfalt. That ment sometimes going through extreme pain just to make some more kilometers. I've had massive blisters on my feet and hands, and I also think the bones of my largest toes are slightly damaged because they have hurt all the way after the bad asfalt started in the north of Sweden. I haven't been able to feel anything at the tip of my toes, due to this. Which perhaps is not very good. It is starting to return to normal now though - I think! =)

Fact is, sometimes I've had to tell myself that "tomorrow will be a day of rest" just to manage to keep on going. I've set my eyes on the piece of road furthest away from me, gone there and set my eyes on the next piece of road. Going towards Brussels costed me sweat, blood and tears. Honestly, sometimes I've wanted nothing else than to write a full blog post with swearing words describing how shitty I sometimes have felt during my inlining trip. It's been a very long trip. A very tiring trip. A very inspiring and interesting trip. A massive adventure that I look back at with a mixture of hate and love.

But despite all my efforts, I did not reach the European parliament in Brussels. And I'm telling you: for the inhabitans of the European Union to actually reach their democracy, they need to spend just as much energy as I have. The effort they have to put in to understand what is going on in Brussels, it is just as great as the effort I had to put in trying to reach it myself. All these drops of sweat I've spent, common people also need to spend reading books explaining the European Union to them.

It's far too far to Brussels. And now it is proven.

Saying that, I've done my very best in my attempt to reach the European Parliament and Brussels. All the comments, e-mails and text-messages I've recieved has really inspired and helped me to not give up. The people I met, both in this blog and on the road, have been the main reason for how this trip could be possible. I have seen so much enthusiasm and joy in peoples eyes when I've told them what I am doing. I have seen that what I was doing was actually giving those people energy - and positive energy creates positive energy. You have all supported me in an amazing way and should feel very proud of the fact that we together came very far in our attempt to reach Brussels. If I've been the engine of this vehicle, the people I've come in contact in various ways have been the fuel. The shell of the vehicle? My inlines, of course! =)

I'll be writing some more when returning home. I do not know still where this political action and blog will end up. I do not know what way to guide our common enthusiasm next. I have to think, and that I will have time for on my 20 hours heading for Skellefteå. But until then: Don't just let this pass your world, don't just forget about this great journey you made possible. Keep that flame burning that I've seen from you. I will do the same.

All the very best and thousands of "thank you".

/Johan Lundstrom

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In Brussels

I am here. In Brussels.

Last night I was given free food after have a hard time finding a place to put my tent and somewhere to eat. I`m so happy there are good souls in this world.

I didn`t reach the European Parliament. I missed the guided tour, the only way of getting inside the building, with half an hour. Tomorrow they are closed due to vacations.

So, it was after all too far to Brussels.

I will write more when I`m at a more familiar computer, but today I met up with the Beligian Pirate party and they are also giving me a place to stay.

Pictures: Of tenting, not coming into to EU-parliament and of me and Sait in Aachen. Also one on the EU-parliament building and one on my tent last night. Then there`s one on the entrance to the parliment with pirate flag...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In Aachen


As usual I went the completely wrong way today and did some extra km. But after some time I found a good road that took me all the way to Aachen where the local pirates was waiting for me.

Started skating quite late though, after 2 hours of breakfast eating every piece of food available in Steffen´s fridge more or less, ehe. But all good, he seemed okay with it. Still though, having slept at so many peoples houses, it's awesome every time that people show me this hospitality.

Oh well, around 75 km today and tomorrow I will go somewhere halfways to Brussels. If somebody can help me with accommodation, please send an e-mail to me. The belgian Pirate party does not reply when I e-mail them, and that's a shame. I will try again.

Was supplied with two great pizzas today by the Pirates and had a nice time both meeting up with the local pirates and talking to Sait, the guy whose house I'm crashing at. And this will be my last meeting with the Piratenpartei for this time.

Short one now, I want to sleep.


/Johan Lundström

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In Mönchengladbach


Still alive, and thats pretty amazing after today. As I can't use my crappy map (it has only got the big highways on it) I rely on my compass. Today that didn't go very well. Even though I had a great, energizing breakfast in my tummy.

Started the day with going 12 km extra, as that was the distance I was driven yesterday from Essen centre to Will's house. Then I just skated on the whole day, initially through some really steep slopes. For the first time, I went on a serpentine road (is that what it's called, the road that is winding up the steep slopes as it is too steep to make a straight road?) and then I had some really good downslopes waiting. And the police stopped me as well, as I skated on the road like all the bikers was supposed to do. I should have known, inlines is a toy and for security reasons should always be used on walking paths. Because that is much safer. And a bike on a road is much less likely to be run over by a car than a inline-skater. Right.

Anyway, tonight I had a really nice night after a long day trying to find the right way. A delicious dinner, not BBQ this time though =) On the picture, you see the pirates I met today and my lovely host in Mönchengladbach to the far left.

Tomorrow the pirates in Aachen will meet up with me and they will be the last members of the Piratenpartei I will meet on this trip I think because after that I head towards Brussels.

It's late, too late, now.



Friday, July 17, 2009

In Essen

Halloj alles!

So, after having a nice time in Münster meeting up with the German Piratenpartei there I went on skating for Essen. I was prepared for a long day, seeing as I would do at least 90 km that day. I found my way quite easily at the start, but somewhere halfways I had to turn away from the road I was travelling to find a new one. I planned to, at least. It was hard, erh... Spent at least an hour driving around different roads trying to find the right way, sigh. It's not easy to be a long distance biker or skater in Germany, as the road signs for bikers only say the names of small villages that are close. There are no signs saying "Essen 60 km" pointing out my way. Well well, with my compass I managed to find my way at last and bought me some really dark bread for lunch. Was feeling quite tired then, the weather was good but it was really hot outside. And here in Germany I can't really stop for a lunchtime swim.

Oh, and before arriving in Essen I found a new type of feet problem (I thought I had been through them all!). This time I got rashes of the side of the foot. But oh well, it'll be alright once I start doing shorter distances like I'm doing today.

I spent the evening accompanied by the Piratenpartei in Essen at the house of the host of the night, Will. He and his wife had made a really nice BBQ with stakes, bratwurst, sallad and other stuff. I'm starting to get spoilt with all this nice food =) ... And breakfast today was great as well, but I think I will have to rest for a while before I go skating! But last evening was another great night of socializing with my fellow pirates and discussing the matters we all care so much about. I realize now that the differences between the Pirate party's in the different countries are quite small, and that to me really proves that we are a global grass root movement joining up behind this phenomena called "Pirate party". We all share the same goals, we all share the same dissappointment of how our democracy bit by bit is getting deconstructed. We share the same view on knowledge and culture politics. This shows that our party has not picked some parts from different places, thus putting together a good platform. It shows that what we are talking about is information politics for the knowledge society. And that from this spawns our views on knowledge, culture and democracy. It's all very tight sown together, and you can't take one piece out without taking another out. You can't say you are positive to integricy but not to free file sharing. You can't say you want an open and free democracy but not want to change the patent system. It's all one question, really. And that is what I've realized now, and it is what most other parties just can't see because they don't understand these questions like the Pirate Party does.

Well, let's leave that for now. I'd like to thank Will for all his hospitality, I've had a really good time here at his house. He is truly a warm-hearted man who has treated me so good - and as I use to say, this is what helps me going on. Seeing the world I'm not bothered about, what I want is meeting the world.

So, today I'm going somewhere halfways to Aachen. The pirates here said Düsseldorf, but it seems to me it's quite close to here and too far to Aachen from that town. So I'm looking for a place to stay that is halfways between Aachen and Essen - if you can help I'm very grateful for it! Mönchengladbach seems like a good place, can anyone find pirates there?

Pictures: So it's me and Bastian of Münster on one picture (the one where I have my skating stuff), me and Will on another and then two pictures of yesterdays BBQ.

Okay, well, I'm off soon, goodbye!

/Johan Lundström

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In Münster


After a really nice porridge breakfast I left Osnabrück and Matthias with family feeling great. As they warned me, there were quite a bit of mountains to get over but I somehow managed that as well. The biking road was, unfortunately, not always that good as it was just a small village road, so to speak. Still, I had a good lunch just 13 km from Münster and took it quite easy after that, arriving at 5 pm in Münster.

There the Münster pirates met up with me and we spent a great night together, having a BBQ just by the riverside. What great food, and what great guys! Now I just wish them all the best trying to get a seat in the local "parliament". Bed and breakfast was also sorted out by the Piratenpartei and a very nice student called Bastian - danke schön!

So moving on, I'll be going to Oberhausen today I think, and that's why I need to get going now, it's getting late. Oh and by the way, I saw Micke (my blog-helper and manager) has arranged a Donate button. Well, I seem to be running a little bit short of money - I'll sort it out somehow, but if you feel like contributing by helping me economically that would be highly appreciated. But feel free, and don't ever feel like you have to.

So, I'll see you guys, thanks for all the support you're giving me!

(and in one of the pictures you will see Matthias of Osnabrück)

/Johan Lundström