Age of Steam – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.
Thought for the day….” Pull the string and it will go wherever you wish. Push the string, and it will go nowhere at all”.
“Success finds a way, failure finds an excuse”
Many people outside of Scandinavia have an idea that Sweden is modern, clean and efficient, with a well-developed social system. Once you spend a little time there, and start to read the newspapers and watch TV, then you soon realize that Sweden is far from that image. Immigration is a problem (there were riots again recently in the suburbs of the Swedish capital, Stockholm), with discrimination against immigrants increasing. Swedes tolerate foreigners, but they do not accept them. That is one reason that many immigrants are confined to certain areas of the larger cities. You can see people sleeping on the streets, and even in the very centre of the Swedish capital, there are large numbers of beggars on the streets. The number of people going through the rubbish bins in the cities shows that things are getting much worse. The newspapers reveal stories of people sleeping in hospital corridors due to shortages of beds, waiting lists for operations and pensioners not receiving sufficient money for a good standard of living. As for technology, Sweden is far behind some countries. Some shops will not even accept credit cards, and the Swedes still demand paper forms and photocopies for almost everything official. As for cleanliness, tourists are now surprised to see just how dirty parts of Sweden are. The city centre in Stockholm is dirty, with rubbish, graffiti and general grime. Public works seem to have been cut back far too much, and you keep noticing areas of decay and neglect. Whereas Sweden might once have been something of a model to the rest of the world, it has changed, and it has changed a lot. Some things have remained good, like maternity and paternity leave and benefits, but overall, Sweden has slipped a long way. Stories of Swedish trains halted due to snow and ice, recent bus strikes and increased bankruptcies also show things things have gone wrong in Sweden. It is no longer a model society.
New made to look old for the photo today. The photo is of a preserved steam train at Uppsala, Sweden on one of its weekend runs. The original photo was taken in RAW, then converted to black & white, then changed to sepia. Quite an impressive piece of machinery and nothing in the photo gives a clue that it was taken in 2013 instead of 1930.
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