Monday, June 06, 2005

Leaving Lund for the summer

In a couple of days we will be leaving Lund - via the sea!! The first test of our FLAMMAN in a four-day sail north, towards Martin's home place. We'll be hanging out in the West coast archipelago for at least a couple of weeks, and then we'll celebrate Martin's 30th (!) birthday with lots of singing and cake and cheerfulness.
Immediately aftewards we'll head off to the Stockholm area to attend a wedding and from there a cheap airliner will take us to Budapest (where maybe we'll be staying a couple of days if friends are around) and to Romania (where we also hope to meet friends along the way).
If everything goes OK, we'll be back in Lund at the end of August, just when the apartment hunt fever is at its hottest.
In the meantime we'll have (intermittent) access to email.

Hope everyone has a great summer!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Politics: No to the EU?

I am disappointed in the results of the French and Dutch vote on the EU constitution. It feels on one hand that the right-wing was able to stir fears of national identity dilution within the population (nationalism is not dead, not even in the West!) and on the other hand the left mobilized economic fears, the coming of the Polish plumber as the Antichrist (where is the workers' solidarity so much praised by socialists and communists?). In many ways, voters had no clue what the constitution stood for, they just went and opposed their respective national governments - which again says a lot about importance of the nation for the everyday life of the people (they cannot imagine themselves outside this framework).

I do not think EU is perfect, but I like to believe in the possibility of greater solidarity and in the death of parochialism. Some scholars are optimistic about the future generation of Erasmus Europeans (those who have been exposed to traveling, studying, and living outside their home country), and I hope that indeed the youngsters of today will become the European of tomorrow. But one side of me remains skeptical and sees local loyalties too strong to be defeated even by the experience of no-borders Europe.