Back in Europe

Some things have changed. I got a new visitor record last month,before I thought the bars of my earlier visitor records in February and March seemed to be tall,but now even they look quite small (at least in amount of data). I will write mostly in English from now.

I have been in Sweden a few weeks more than I had planned. I wrote my last blogpost (in Swedish) in the apartment in Shanghai,1st of July,same evening as I came home from the interrogation,at that time still not sure about how long time I could be in Shanghai. They had taken my passport and said I would get it back after the weekend if no problems occurred. I went to the Fudan security department on Monday the 4th of July,just after I have had my writing exam and the speaking exam. The man from the National security bureau (the one that said it was he who found my blog and later explained that he had some kind of security responsibility (should be regarded in a Chinese meaning) for all foreign students in Shanghai) came after a few minutes,I tried to keep a good atmosphere,talked about pingpong,Jan-Ove Waldner and such,when we felt there were enough with nice talk he immediately become more strict and explained to me that they “needed” three working days to handle my passport.

I had started to pack my stuff already before the police came on July the 1st,,my roommate asked me everyday what I thought about our Japan trip,I answered that I will not book anything before I get my passport back and could see with my own eyes if they had changed my visa or something. I asked the man from the Security bureau at least two times if there would be any problems for me to go to Japan,come back to Shanghai and finally leave to Sweden as planned. He said there would not be any problems. He said my passport could be finished on the Wednesday and asked me which time I had my final exam on that day,I did not remember and we agreed that they could call me on the Thursday,when I know for sure that I were free. Anyway,they did not call me on the Thursday. In the afternoon I went to the Fudan security department,one of the workers there called once again to the man from the Security Bureau,he referred to me as “the Swedish student”,then I was told to come back the next day,the 8th at 10 in the forenoon.

I went there,once more I talked to one of the police mens about pingpong,Jan-Ove Waldner and weather. Of some reason they wanted one of my teachers to be present this time,the office teacher that were there during the whole day 1st of July seemed not be able to come and suddenly one of my other teachers showed up. I can just guess she was more scared than I were. They explained the situation for her,then told me what I had made “wrong”,for example putting the note that I got after the interrogation public on internet was “not OK” (不行)in China. I asked if it wasn’t my freedom to that. They also gave me a few more reasons,and I guess I will discuss those more later,because I think they are quite weak,possible not enough to justify the cancellation of the VISA (ok,I know it’s China,but anyway). The man responsible for the foreign students brought up my passport from his back pocket,I don’t remember what he said,I were more focused to see inside the passport,I understood that his word didn’t mean that much at that point,just what was inside the passport.

Cancelled residence permit.

A new visa with “To leave China before 10th of July” on it,meant I had to leave in 2 days.

He gave me a few alternatives of flight to choose,and recommended me to go with Air China on the next morning. I chose that one. My teacher asked me if I didn’t need time to prepare my things,and I answered like it was,it’s already done,I’m not sure,but that might have made them slightly surprised. She called to someone at Fudan and asked if they could finish my certificate same day,and that were no problems.

Certificate of my studies at Fudan university in Shanghai.

I went home,got my flight ticked delivered (I had to pay it myself,5556 RMB),then I went to Fudan and in the office were I got my certificate,I met one of the teachers I had the first semester in Fudan,and it was a bit special to suddenly meet a person I had met so many times and suddenly could talk with him much more fluently than earlier. Then I went home again and my last evening in Shanghai I spent in Wanda Plaza of Wujiaochang doing an interview with a Chinese magazine.

Next day I went to the Hongqiao airport in Shanghai,left for Beijing and slept during most of the flight,and in Beijing I went directly to the gate,relieved that there were no problems that far. There had been Swedish journalist that had contacted me already before I got my passport back and I had in some way understood that it could some kind of reaction,and if that one occurred “too early” it’s possible my “crime” suddenly would grow and the Chinese authorities could change their minds and keep me in China I feared at most. I managed to reach the internet outside the gate and wrote some tweets and on facebook. When I had passed the last ticket control I felt free. I took a picture of one of the “Exit” signs,thought it was funny in someway –“The Exit of China”. I boarded the airplane,I had a window seat but on it were already a man,he asked me if I wanted it but I said no,it was ok. We started talking,he was Danish,so first we talked Swedish/Danish,but later we smoothly switched to English. He had worked a lot in China and we talked about it for a while. When the airplane then left the ground I was once more relieved,now I was definitely free. Anyway,then he asked me about why I was in China and such,and if I planned to return…“Well,I don’t know…Actually I’ve just been expelled…” and I had hard to not start laughing and he started laughing and he laughed until I had told him my story in a short version a few minutes later. It was so nice to meet someone with such distance to it. I really liked that guy,he had a lot of knowledge and very interesting opinions,and he could even discuss political things in Sweden,I mean my knowledge about the politics in Denmark were kind of embarrassing bad. We talked almost the whole flight.

Exit of China.

When I arrived to Arlanda my parents were there,and @Anurlaiqar,@Krillzor and a one more friend,except them there were also a journalist from the Sveriges Radio news program Dagens Eko,and he immediately wanted an interview,the Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå had called my mother so many times and asked her if I had landed yet,so she had asked for their number and said that I could call them when I arrived,so after finished the interview with Dagens Eko,I called them. When I had finished those interviews,me,my parents and my friends went a a restaurant to eat,and just when we had finished and me and my parents started to go back to Gotland several of the major Swedish newspapers called me,Dagens Nyheter,Aftonbladet,Expressen,Upsala Nya Tidning. Aftonbladet even sent a photographer to Nynäshamn,from where we went by boat to Gotland,to take pictures of me.

The day after,when I woke up at Gotland and opened my computer,I had several hundreds of messages on facebook,twitter and on my blogs,and I had to learn some new chinese words like 勇敢 (brave) and 英雄 (hero) and many people wrote that I was famous now. It’s a bit hard to get a good understanding of such words,I mean,China is huge,and the number of followers on twitter still don’t exceeds 3000. Anyway,it was a bit unusual situation for me,I kind of realized that it was impossible or at least quite time consuming to answer everything,but I hope I at least answered to all journalists. I also got some criticism,which I think is very important to consider,and I think I spent relatively much time on discussing with persons that not agreed with my actions,because that makes me think and learn more about the situation,and usually when just ignoring or prohibit criticism it ends up quite in a quite bad scenario (nihao CCP). I will write more about this later.

It was the last day of an annual big meeting for Swedish politicians,journalists,lobbyists and authority people in Visby,an event I really like,so I went down to the spot were most of the people were. I made several more interviews before I went home again.

Last speech of "Almedalsveckan"with speech of the leader of "the Sweden democrats".

Interview with "Östnytt",local news program.

Interview with Sveriges Radio

The coming days I spent a lot of time in front of the computer,trying to answer as many messages as possible and read some articles about me,quite amusing. I was also asked to write an article about China and my own experiences in the local newspaper ”Gotlänningen”,which you can read here (Swedish) (or a translation by @RebeccaAllenLamptey here.

I stayed at Gotland for one week,before I took a flight to Sundsvall where my brother lives. He let me follow him to his work at Hudiksvalls Tidning,a local newspaper in the city of Hudiksvall,he works as a photographer. In Sundsvall I was twice more participating in Sveriges Radio,once live broadcast,a bit exciting,even if it was just for a few minutes. I also made an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

Just after the live broadcast in Sveriges Radio

After about one week,I left Sundsvall and went to my old hometown of Uppsala,were I have studied in university for 4 years,my old roommate Tim still lives in same apartment,and acutally,my own bed is still in it,so I could just simply sleep in my own bed again!

After three days in Uppsala,I realized that my roommate from Shanghai were about to come in just two days,one day earlier then I had calculated,so I had to go to Gotland same evening to get some stuff,and then on the morning he arrived to Arlanda airport,I also went there from Gotland and met him on the airport. Then we went to Uppsala and saw around in the city. The next three days we spent in Stockholm. We bought “Interrail tickets” that are valid for 22 days,which means that we can go by train almost for free all over Europe. And we have a not so strict plan for our trip,we have had a few cities we wanted/want to visit,this far we have been to Berlin,Prague,Vienna,Bratislava,Budapest,Salzburg (for two hours) and right now Venice.

Venice will be the turning point for the trip,now we will start to go up north again and finally come back to Sweden around the 20th of august. The 1st of September it is planned that I will start my thesis work with an introduction in Stockholm,and after that I will go one month to Taiwan,then back to Sweden for three month and finally return two months to Taiwan to finish the thesis.

It will be interesting to see what will happen during and after this semester. I hope it can top my experiences in China,which I eventually can regard of the most interesting in my life this far,at least top 5.

  • Marcellus

    I find your blog interesting to read. I have been in China a couple of times,but mostly stay in Hong Kong. As you may know,the difference between mainland China and Hong Kong is huge. With regard to China I alway remember three things:don’t get involved in (internal) politics (or related issues),don’t write or talk about it in the media and pornography. That’s China 2011 and I do see it’s getting any better,so your experience gives a good insight on how China is. It is a hostile environment when you want to talk in public about things like freedom or human rights. China is for the Chinese and they don’t like foreign intervention or ideas,at least not the ones who run the country. Good luck! Marcel