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Author: Vivien Nyström

Born in 1979 in her hometown of Kiangan, Ifugao in the Philippines, Vi has moved homes too many times. Since 2020 before Austria's first lockdown during the pandemic, she moved to Sweden. She is still in Sweden today.

My niece, Lilly Blueberry

Very few knew of you.

Din mamma är filippinsk, ursprungligen som jag. Din pappa är svensk. Du har en halvbror på pappas sida. Du har en underbar syster på vår sida.

You had been in mommy’s belly for about three months when you showed up in my dreams. This was between August to September of 2022. It was a time when I was not speaking to your mom, you know.

The first time or dream was seeing your mom in a denim jumper dress. I was surprised to see her and I could tell she was shy to approach. I could see the little bump that was you. No conversation happened that I can recall from that dream.

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Chiefy, you are forever in my heart

Run free and cross the rainbow bridge, my sweet Chiefy baby!

Our beloved Chiefy passed away today, the 27th of December 2023, at RBG1 in Ratchaburi, Thailand. I got the news from Rinse on the drive home this afternoon from our cottage in Härnösand. Rinse is also still in Manila and had to relay instructions to the boys left behind at home in Ratchaburi.

Chiefy was buried at past midnight by Junjun, Janjan and Neil under a spot between an atis and a guava tree there in Ratchaburi, organized by Rinse and with the help of ma’am Janssen. A photo of his final resting place will be added later (most likely after Rinse is back and pays a visit to the place).

I will start the long story by saying that Chiefy lived with me from the day I took him home in April 2016 (Bangbon, Bangkok) until I left for Manila in March 2017. I went back to Bangkok to see him once more before I left for Austria in May 2017. I flew back from Vienna to Bangkok in September 2017 hoping to take Chiefy with me to Austria this time, but he got denied at the last step – AQS (airport animal quarantine station)…

From then on until his passing, he had been living with my always helpful and kind-hearted friends Rinse Galupo and Guilbert Fincalero and their family and staff (past and present) at RBG1 & RBG2 in Ratchaburi, Thailand (Filipinos who have been teaching and doing business in Thailand for almost two decades now). How I met them is another story for later.

Six years of Chiefy’s life, 2017-2023, he spent with them. They housed him, fed him, bathed him, took him to the vet when needed, they cared for him all those years… And then sadly, they had to bury him today.

I am truly truly truly grateful and thankful to Rinse, Guilbert and everyone who became part of Chiefy’s life after I left Thailand. Thank you so very much, guys!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

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Three Years You Have Been Missed

Today marks three years since mama Lucky made her last purr.

We decided to name her Lucky after the catman and I decided to keep her. I still remember that late afternoon when we picked her up from the backyard and were about to give her her first bath as a welcoming gesture. It’s like telling her, “you’re not welcome to sleep inside the house unless you’re clean and smelling nice!” She did not like to get wet at all, so it was a bit of a challenge to get her cleaned up.

Lucky baby, we had been so lucky to have you and your naughty, funny furry babies. We love and miss you forever, sweet furry you, the first of our traveling cats. And the same with baby Dancer. We trust that you have found each other and are having fun tickling and biting each other everyday. No more pains, no tumors, no wounds, no more vets. xoxo

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My First “Bakluckan”

Backluckan Drive-in-Loppis or simply bakluckan is the name they call the flea market or car boot sale over at Norrskedika here in Östhammar. “Bakluckan” is a Swedish word that literally means the tailgate of a truck or the boot or the trunk of a car.

It was introduced in 1996 by a Swedish man who has been to flea markets in the UK and decided to start a similar thing in Sweden. The word Bakluckan is a trademark registered and protected at the Swedish patent and registration office and is therefore a special term used exclusively for this particulary flea market in Norrskedika. More details in Swedish can be found here. See English translation in the bottom.

Anyway, yesterday evening when we checked the weather forecast for this morning, it said it was likely to be sunny. And boy it is!

We – hubby Mattias, stepson Wille, niece Shauna, my sister Winah and our friends ate Gemma, Joy, Marcy & her hubby & toddler Zoe all head out to the popular bakluckan over at Norrskedika as early as 9 o’clock. Below are my precious finds.

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Once Upon a Time in Vallentuna and Onwards

Year 2018 – Austria-Sweden transition for me.

It was towards the end of May 2018 when I got an offer for a job in Vallentuna. The flight from Austria to Sweden, plus accommodation were provided, the pay sounded okay and I was up for a new adventure. I was to try it out for two weeks to see how it goes, and then we make a decision about staying on. I did end up staying.

On June 1, 2018, full of anticipation, I remember getting a lift to the train station with my luggage but I can not recall whether it was in Linz or in Amstetten (Upper Austria). Anyway, ‘Sweden, here I come!’, I thought.

It was a very hot summer that year. As soon as the plane landed at Arlanda Airport, I looked out and noticed how dry the surroundings looked. Back in Austria, it was still green and pretty with the colorful summer blooms and leftovers from spring.

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On Thursdays, it’s game night with colleagues for the hubby (Mattias).

So on Thursdays, me no work because…

On Thursdays, it’s my turn to pick up our niece Shauna from school and supervise her cross the street over to the Kulturskola for dance class.

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Static Hair

My niece Shauna’s funny experience with static hair. At the time, we were standing at a bus stop in Uppsala waiting for her mom.

Met a TTC Cat Look-Alike Furball

April 23, 2022

I met this furball on the way home from a “mukbang” lunch at my friend Sofia’s house. It was soooooo cute I so wanted to take it home. I was not able to check whether it’s a he or a she.


Do you look like Lucky or Cotton?
The Traveling Cats

The Traveling Cats