Jan 25, 2020

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 10 Comments

Letter from Sweden: HUMANITY IN A FOREIGN LAND (Part 2) ( Thư Thụy Điển: TÌNH NGƯỜI NƠI ĐẤT KHÁCH (Bài 2))

I prudently entered the security checkpoint with carry-on luggage and lots of personal stuff. Having learnt from experiences in the previous trip when I got stopped for many times, I could easily pass the check this time. I was proceeding to terminal 2F but didn’t know which boarding gate to access (cause it wasn’t noted on my ticket). I asked a female security guard and got her friendly smile. “Do you have pen?” I’d learnt by heart this sentence in English but at that time, I still felt confused until she asked the question again, did I understand and take it out from my bag. She noted number “F55” on my ticket. She might think I had to struggle to listen to English language so she took it down for sure.

I was having breads

Following her note, I could found the signboard just within 20 minutes. But here I could not find the wifi network, thus having got to ask a French young man who sat next to me for help. After filling in my name, email, gender and age, the wifi got connected with my device. I got a text from Mat Tu right when I opened the message box: “I cannot pick you up because my professor just calls me back to submit a dissertation which is slated for presentation on January 12, 2020. But other person will come to get you.” Well, I’m done! The last lifebuoy of mine had gone! I might have to sleep on a bench in the park! Nonetheless, “do not consider things as failure”! I wandered around to find something to eat since there is no VIP lounge here. As the repetition of “karmic blow”, I could not find out proper food and had to come back to the bakery store and ordered: one sandwich, one cake, one Coke and one apple. I could easily communicate with the seller as the French often make their sentence short. They do not say “Would you like..” or “Do you want..” but “What?” while pointing at the food. I just needed point at the food I wanted. The female staff looked at me and smiled. Did my costume look strange?

Didn’t feel comfortable having meal in this crowded store, I came back to the boarding gate after asking the French young man to take a photo for memory.

I was standing in the long queue when that French young man talked to me: “You should go stand in the priority pass, not in this economy class queue”. I turned my head and found the board “SkyPriority”. I changed the queue and got in the plane before other passengers. I acknowledge the contribution of Mat Tat Kiem to make my air travel comfortable and convenient!

I could see Paris by night with sparkling rays of neon lights interweaving like a jewel net in the world of devas

Splendorous Stockholm with golden lights at night

The plane took off and again, I could see Paris by night with sparkling rays of neon lights interweaving like a jewel net in the world of devas. However, unlike the last flight, the business class in this connected flight is narrow and uncomfortable. I sat next to a Swedish woman and we didn’t talk to each other. No more support from Mr. Phill while Mat Tu did not come, I was oppressed by gloom, tiredness as it was 23:45 but I was all alone with my luggage. After over 20 hours on flight and 3 hours of stopover, suddenly I got a fever. Luckily, I found and took a tablet of Decolgen, thus my fever soon relieved as the plane landed. The resplendent Stockholm by night didn’t attract my attention. I quickly got out the plane and headed to the luggage conveyor belt. It’s in the middle of night and the airport was empty. The suitcase seemed heavier than ever. Without Phill, I got to find the path by myself. Neither Mat Tu nor her friend came. Oh my..

In front and behind, not a person was in sight

Peach blossom still smiled in the wind last winter

Bedroom

I was going along a narrow path with an arrow showing the way when suddenly I met a girl taking a small board: “Thinley-Nguyen Thanh”. Gladly, I reached to her and introduced myself: “I am Thinley – Nguyen Thanh”. She cheerful welcomed me and took me to a car ridden by her boyfriend. I was told that there was a group of students who connect with the owners of apartments for rent. Such apartments, however, are very selective about clients. If the later client leaves bad comments about the previous one, then the previous client will forever be removed from the renting list.  On the other hand, this group provides airport pick-up service at a little higher price than the market’s. Thanks to this, I could get to my place at 12:00. The apartment includes three rooms, two toilets, wooden floor, electric heater, air conditioner, cooker, wardrobes and other necessities. It really is in a favourable position in this costly city!

 

A street corner in the capital of Sweden

 

I’d experienced a hard night for time zone difference as well as lonely feeling in this strange, small populated city. There’s a silence surrounding me; dried grey trees without leaves, cars parking along the street with thin layers of snow on their top. Frankly speaking, I did not want to travel this time for reasons I’d told you already. But still I go because the result may not positive but the spirit of Bodhicitta that counts. Understand that but I still felt numbed for staying away from homeland.

 

 

Many rental apartments in this area

next morning, I got an email from Phill: “Have you got up? My nephew has found your address. He drives a black Peugeot and is waiting for you in the street!” Oh, I’ve never dreamt of this amazing situation! As I stepped out of the door, I found a cool guy waiting for me. After exchanging some greetings, we got in the car. Since then, all my knowledge of English was used in our conversation. Luckily, this guy didn’t speak English much and just asked or answered in short sentence. Therefore I could handle the conversation. If he talked as much and well as Mat Khue Minh, surely I would die!

A street corner in Sweden

Another strange thing was that, like the French guy in the airport, this guy neither  wanted to take photo with me nor let me take photo of him alone. I gave up my intention, just felt grateful for the kindness of Phill and him. I phoned Mat Tu and was informed that in Sweden, people don’t like let other take picture of them. This time, I have felt the humanity in a foreign land, totally different from my negative feeling in the trip to Europe last year. At least Sweden has something to remember, something to love! If you’d like to keep up with my tour in Stockholm, please wait to read part 3.

May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

Om Mani Padme Hum!

A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van Mountain, January 11, 2020

Thinley- Nguyen Thanh


Version Vietnamese: Thư Thụy Điển: TÌNH NGƯỜI NƠI ĐẤT KHÁCH (Bài 2)


RELATED ARTICLES:

Letter from Sweden: FRIENDSHIP ON THE FLIGHT (Part 1)

Letter from Sweden: HUMANITY IN A FOREIGN LAND (Part 2) ( Thư Thụy Điển: TÌNH NGƯỜI NƠI ĐẤT KHÁCH (Bài 2))

Letter from Sweden: WHAT I SAW IN EUROPEAN CORNER (Part 3) ( Thư Thụy Điển: THẤY GÌ Ở GÓC PHỐ TRỜI ÂU? (Bài 3))

Letter from Sweden: FIKA AT A GLANCE (part 4) ( Thư Thụy Điển: MỘT THOÁNG FIKA ( Bài 4))

Letter from Sweden: IF IT’S FATE, WE WILL MEET EVEN IF WE ARE SEPARATED BY A THOUSAND MILES. IF IT’S NOT FATE, WE WILL NEVER ENCOUNTER EACH OTHER EVEN IF WE’RE FACE-TO-FACE (Part 5) (Thư Thụy Điển: CÓ DUYÊN NGÀN DẶM GẶP NHAU, VÔ DUYÊN TRƯỚC MẶT TƯỜNG RÀO CÁCH NGĂN (Bài 5))

Letter from Sweden: MANY WORDS, ONE HEART. (Part 6) (Thư Thụy Điển: NHIỀU DÒNG CHỮ, MỘT TẤM LÒNG (Bài 6))

Letter from Sweden: ON RETURNING DAY (Part 7) (Thư Thụy Điển: NGÀY TRỞ VỀ (Bài 7))

 

 

  1. paul yawney says:
    Dear holy Guru,it is quite an adventure to go to another country. A few years ago I went on my first flight to another country. it was a good trip as there were some kind people who kept from getting lost and getting to the right gates etc. . Glad to see your adventure was good. I look forward to the next article. Om Mani Padme Hum.   Tantra Himataru
  2. Tantra Amitara says:
    Dear guru

    I bow my head before your lotus feet. I am thankful for this article.

    I am very happy as you have very comfortable journey than previous time. Sometimes We all get connected by a moment due to previous life. Budha had said” One moment can change a day, a day can change a life and a life can change the whole world”.may guru consciousness spread over all the world. All are our brothers and sisters.

    May guru blessings illuminate all over the world. May guru and his concert live long for well being of all.

    May all sensient being attain enlightenment.

    Om mani padme hum

  3. tantra mahavita says:
    Dear Saint Guru … I duck my head before your lotus feet … I’m happy that your trip was comfortable. Buddha said a moment can change a day, a day can change a life and a life can change the whole world. Our Guru Consciousness can spread throughout the whole world. We are all brothers. May the blessings of the Guru illuminate the whole world. May the Guru live happily for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings attain Enlightenment. Om Mani Padme Hum
  4. Tantraupatissa says:
    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article. By reading this article I came to know the culture or behaviour of Swedish people regarding photographs etc. Your Boddhichita mind made this trip comfortable though you have to face some difficulties.

    May Guru and his consort live long for sake of other beings.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

  5. Totte Nordahl says:

    Good morning dear Guru

    It burdens my heart to read about your first experience of Sweden. That small thing about the photo is significant. Swedish people are a sceptical breede. There are so many stories about people who stand at the same bus stop every morning never talks to eachother.

    To be compassionet and kind towards people in Sweden is wonderful and rewarding because they do not expect a smile, a helping hand or a kind word.

    I will continue reading about Gurus journey.

    I wish Guru a wonderful day and evening.

    Tantra Mitraga

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  6. Totte Nordahl says:

    Thank you

    I will, and I am trying to “steal” a moment each morning at work before first fika.

    /T

  7. Tantra Mashinaga says:
    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for this article. I enjoy your writing. It makes me feel like I am there with you. I look forward to your next article about Sweden.

    May guru live a long and happy life

    May all beings be free of suffering and attain happiness

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    Tantra Mashinaga Mark Hamilton

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