Around the river Limmat, Zürich, Switzerland


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Zürich Switzerland

Standing at the bank of the river Limmat with Fraumünster Church in the background.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

The oldest parts of the city of Zürich is just a couple of minutes walk from the central station. With just about a few hours to spend in Zürich, I think my favourite thing to do would be to plan some points of interest to visit and then make time for some coffee, sitting in a café by the river Limmat. On a brilliant day, the crowds gather to sit outdoors for late breakfast all through high tea. There is no lacking of culinary genius from Swiss bakeries and cafés, that makes for interesting points of conversation in terms of the influence of foods and peoples in the city’s long history.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Zürich Switzerland

A familiar view on most city rivers, ferries on rivers.

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Time in circles, Baden, Switzerland

Life // Switzerland

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Baden, Switzerland

View from the top of the Stein Castle ruin, whose foundations were laid some time before the 1100s.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

It was about a decade ago that I sat in the Singapore regional headquarters office of a Swedish owned multinational enterprise, speaking with its Managing Director. The topic was about the general managing of conflicts within the organisation, when we touched upon the concept of Time, and whether that was viewed in linearity:

$1: what happens if you disagree
$2: well you tell / you tell and eventually you do agree / because all disagreements end with an agreement if you’re lucky / or you become / enemies /
$1: do swedes generally see time as a straight line
$2: well no / i would see it as a circle / my time is a circle / i have no idea what others do / and strangely enough that the year and the day / goes in different directions /
$1: is that [understanding of time] a result of [an understanding of a certain philosophy] or
$2: i have no idea / if christmas is six oclock then april is three oclock / and summer is noon / october is nine oclock / but if you’re asking if we are on time or not / yes we are

Baden is a town with a long history. A history that you are made aware of as you walk its small, winding cobbled streets from the banks of the the river Limmat

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Cadenhead’s in Baden, Switzerland

Culīnaria // Switzerland

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Baden, Switzerland

Astrid Bach, explaining the different whiskies in specialist whiskey importer Peter Siegenthaler’s shop, Cadenhead’s in Baden, Switzerland. William Cadenhead Ltd, established in 1842 is Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, the joy of which is that one can bring home a Cadenhead’s right here from the heart of the historic town of Baden.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

In the heart of the old town of Baden, Switzerland, in a corner of Mittleren Gasse, the rich variations of bottled liquid amber reflecting in the sunlight through the glass window display caught my eye. I had in the past few days, tried to visit this shop that seemed to close minutes before I stepped by in the evenings. So I was more than delighted that on this day, I could swing open the door and step into Cadenhead’s.

It was Astrid Bach who greeted me as I stepped in through the door. I took a long sweeping look around the shop. Delighted at what I saw, I turned to her and asked, “Do you have Eiswein?”

My question was greeted with a polite perplexed look on her face. The reason for her perplexity as I found out later was that the shop that belonged to Peter Siegenthaler, the sole importer for Cadenhead Scottish distilled whiskies into Switzerland, sold “alles ausser Wein”. I looked at Astrid in brief pause, smiled and said, “I guess I’m here to buy a whiskey.” And so began an early evening adventure on the different types of Cadenhead whiskies.

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Life speeds up when you slow down

Culīnaria // Life

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, lingonsylt

At market today, fresh lingonberries to make a batch of traditional Swedish lingonberry jam or lingonsylt.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I have now watched with interest, several documentaries on individuals who have chosen to live alternative lifestyles. These documentaries feature individuals with a different type of life philosophy, where some for example choose not to own any property but rather live in a vehicle that gives them the freedom of adventure and of getting in touch with themselves whilst on the road. Others featured spoke thoughtfully on how individuals in society often did what others wanted and expected of them and not what they wanted themselves. They chose a different way of living in order to do something for themselves. These documentaries then reminded me of a paragraph in the book Walden, written by Henry David Thoreau in 1854:

“Most men even in this comparatively free country through mere ignorance and mistake are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them. Their fingers from excessive toil are too clumsy and tremble too much for that. Actually the laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day he cannot afford to sustain the manliest relations to men his labor would be depreciated in the market. He has no time to be anything but a machine. How can he remember well his ignorance which his growth requires who has so often to use

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Muscovado carrot cake


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

A small weekend indulgence both in the baking and eating, of that carrot cake.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I wanted a moist cake that for the first time in a long time, was not double chocolate. As autumn rolls around, harvests of various root vegetables are abundant, which makes it a perfect opportunity to bake something out of them. Carrot cake, with a warm mixture of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg seemed to be the perfect autumn harvest crave and I set about in my weekend indulgence of baking one.

While it seems that many might consider no cream cheese frosting atop a carrot cake as a loss of the culinary experience of eating that cake, my personal preference has often been to skip the frosting, else reduce the overall portion of sugar in any given recipe.

I made several small changes to the standard carrot cake recipe where I used butter instead of cooking oil, left out any kind of nuts, used fresh grated ginger, and chose to use muscovado sugar in complement to the mixture of warm spices.

Once out of the oven, I topped this dark, sweet and richly spiced cake with one of my favourite things, plain whipped cream. A quick grating of some lemon zest over the whipped cream and it was good to be enjoyed with a favourite drink on an autumn weekend.

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Weekend farmers market, Västerås


Farmers market, Västerås

This piece of public art, the ASEA stream, depicts people cycling to work. It sits by Stora Torget and is the creation of Västerås artist B G Broström. Cycling remains one of the preferred means of transport in this city.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

The move from Gothenburg to Västerås in Sweden with a brief visit to Maastricht in Netherlands prior to Västerås is surreal. It is not only that these two cities are one of the oldest in Europe dating back to 1000 AD or earlier, but their size and layout are fairly comparable. Both cities are best reached by train, and both have its city centre close to the train station that is navigable on foot, with having a bicycle making navigation a notch more efficient on their cobble paved streets. In the case of Västerås, one can literally see the undulations of the cobbled streets from the inner-city radiating outwards from the river. Reminiscent of the structures of Rome (although less fantastic), newer constructions in Västerås have been built upon older constructions, making the newer parts of the city sit on higher ground.

As weekend unfurls, the city comes to life most prominently with a weekend farmers market located at Stora Torget. The large square that hosts the market place sits in the oldest quarters at the heart of town, just alongside Svartån and a block away from the three Michelin Guide starred Västerås Domkyrka that is also one of Sweden’s episcopal see.

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Golden chantarelle in cream


Chantarelle, Kantareller

Known as skogens guld or Swedish forest yellow gold, these luscious chantarelle make an appearance come autumn in Sweden. Pan fried, braised or stewed, this makes a perfect rounding to most any autumn meal.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Farmers market open on the weekends in Västerås in the main large square of the city centre. It was there that I took the opportunity to pick up several favourite items including a bag of golden chantarelle, also known as Swedish forest yellow gold. Luscious, flavourful and absolutely velvety in texture when lightly stewed in cream, these mushrooms add a just that notch of luxury to most dinner menus.

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Philosophies of summer drives

Life // Sweden


View from sitting at the edge of one of Sweden’s many waterways.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

It seems like summer decided to begin just as the tail-end of its official months with many regions of Sweden feeling warm as toast. If not too warm, a favourite thing to do is to get in the car and do small road trips, anywhere from between two hour to three hour drives from Gothenburg that leaves quite a radius of interesting exploration.

While there’s been a culture of second-hand findings where Swedes readily barter or trade at low cost things tired of or unwanted to what they want, it has only been in the past couple of years that antique shop hopping and second-hand goods browsing has really taken off, much due to the hipster culture and greater awareness of the sourcing of ecological produce. It is just about these past years that see the those born from the 1990s and forwards step out of school and into the labour force, bringing with them their own awareness and motivations into their living interests and entrepreneurial ambitions.

It was on one of these summer drives where we decided to absolutely ignore the voice of the GPS nicely suckered onto the windshield insisting that we go where we should go that we found an interesting farmhouse set up with several barnyards for different needs. There was the family house of medium size, then there were two barns that housed a vintage shop and a café.

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Cooking lessons in a chocolate mousse pie

Culīnaria // Narratives // Singapore

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

A chocolate mousse pie laced with Irish cream measured to ‘a lot’.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

After four years of a bottle of Baileys Irish cream sitting in the liqueur cabinet – because anything Baileys is not the thing to bring home to your husband, and because women like me buy alcohol based on the design of the bottles – I decided I could as well do something with it.

So, chocolate mousse pie infused with Irish cream liquor it was to be, on this Scandinavian late summer’s afternoon, noted by the meteorological station as one of Sweden’s warmest summer days this year. I already had some nice dark hazelnut chocolate cake that I could use for a pie crust for this project and some Valrhona Abinao, that I thought could add in a nice way with some tempered eggs. I managed to convince myself the refreshing lightness of this pie is but disguised, in the heavy dark chocolate of it all.

Occasionally it sometimes is that after I’ve served up a dish for a meal, the question comes, “That was not bad – what went into that?” followed by, “How did you make that?”

It’s here that I find myself halting in mid-sentence, trying to recall what went into the dish and how it came to be.

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Rhubarb harvest, Rabarberpaj, Rhubarb Pie

It’s my baby!
Rhubarb pie from our garden’s harvest 2015.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Just before spring, a neighbour called for anyone interested in taking care of some orphaned rhubarbs. So we picked up about five or six plants already dug up from her garden, and wheelbarrowed them back to our garden. Traditionally in Sweden, rhubarbs are harvested in the autumn, allowing the stems to get slightly thicker but not so thick that it becomes all fibres and impossible to make that crumble-pie.

The internet is a trusty source of information, with plenty of recipes for good rabarberpaj, even rabarberkräm which is a lovely rhubarb-porridge dessert to have with just milk over. One could go full exotic with the recipe for pie filling, adding five spice, cloves, ginger, orange zest, and bake it with a crumble of oats, crushed hazelnuts, demerara sugar etc. But I was curious about just that rhubarb pie. So I reached out for a Swedish cookbook publication I have on the shelves at home, that began its first print run in the 1930s entitled, Stora Kokboken. Page 418 of the 1963 print reads a rhubarb pie recipe from the 1940s. It is a no fuss recipe, and sounded perfect for a late night baking:

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Chasing marbles

Culīnaria // Narratives

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, tigerkaka

Swedish summer fruit cake made with layers of tigerkaka. Tigerkaka is a variation of the Marble Cake.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

As a child attending school in Singapore at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), I thought the convent was good at putting together one thing, a fundraiser event. The convent had fundraiser events at least once every year where the monies collected were allotted different purposes. In a good number of years, they were to go to the building of our very own new convent and school grounds. In other years, they were to go to the vicinity’s Catholic Church or a designated children’s charity.

A large part of the fundraiser event consisted of nuns, teachers and parents putting things out to sell to an open house public. To this end, the foyer and the school sports field would be lined with the wooden benches and tables taken from the school tuckshop / canteen. The tables were then covered over neatly with various items. It was a school fair where you could find odds and ends, from old clothes and used school books to handcrafted works of art, embroidered decorative items. My favourite items were the homebaked breads and cakes, much like the kind still available at a small neighbourhood bakery in Singapore.

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Project Atman

Life // Narratives // TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Cheryl Marie Cordeir, Trinidad Tobago 1999

Carnival! was the first thing introduced to me the minute I touched base at the airport in Trinidad back in 1999, as Singapore’s delegate to the international Miss Universe Pageant 1999.
Text & Photo © R Yong Cordeiro, JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015


The seminar ended and a colleague, Stefan, and I walked out of the room. The topic of the seminar was about Southeast-Asia (SE-Asia) and its developing context in the latest wave of globalisation.

“What did you think about the ideas from the seminar?” I asked.

“Well it was interesting. All very interesting.” Stefan said.

I knew Stefan to be of a brilliant mind, and knowledgeable on the region of SE-Asia, “But you said not much at all in feedback.” I queried.

“Yes, well there is not much to say. The entire perspective is different from how I see it. So the departure point for argumentation is different. I would not have approached the topic of SE-Asia from that point of view.” he said.

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That vintage blue dress

Mode // Narratives

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, garden 2015

In a vintage dress, brought home from Maastricht, Netherlands. Looking out across the very departure point of the Swedish East Indiaman ships in the 18th century.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

In April 1750 Olof Thorén, disciple of Carl von Linneaus and Ship’s Priest on board the Swedish East Indiaman Götha Lejon, wrote in his diary while enjoying a short stopover in Cadiz:

“Portugueze ladies are not common birds in the streets. But as far as it could be discerned when they spectature and spectande pulled up their window grills, they appeared to display a fine fair complexion and merry eyes. Those, who are seen in Cadiz do not appear to be able to count to five, are tall and brunette. I noticed there, that the Virgin Mary had correspondent air, complexion, and shape in their pictures; and judged from thence, that this was the taste of the nation with regard to beauty.”

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Finally, a strawberry harvest!

Life // Sweden

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, strawberry harvest, strawberries and cream, 2015

Enjoying strawberries, the Swedish old fashioned way.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

This year, Sweden saw one of its coldest and rainiest Junes in twenty years. Between 1920 and 1991, it has happened only once that temperatures in the month of June had not gone upwards of 25 centigrade, until now. The Västerås cucumbers know this, so they’ve refused to grow, insisting on a bedding temperature of at least 14 centigrade before showing themselves. It was a pleasant surprise however, to have found that the strawberries thought it was alright to unfold their leaves, flower and produce fruits that are now ripening heavy on the soil beds.

In traditional Swedish farmlands, strawberries as with most other fruits, were summer luxuries. Their presence at all on the outdoor tables depended much upon the proper amounts of rain and sun. As soon as the strawberries were ripened and picked, it would also be customary to go into the barnyard and get some fresh cream straight from the cows.

If there was a favourite way of enjoying freshly picked strawberries, it would be that time honoured manner in having them with cream, generously dusted over with sugar.

That, and curling under the bed covers with a good book and a hot chocolate. Best summer evening doing.

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Visiting Maastricht, the oldest city in the Netherlands

Netherlands // Travels

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Maastricht Netherlands v 3

St. John’s (left) and St. Servatius at Vrijthof Square Maastricht, Netherlands.
The St. Servatius cathedral is in complement to the Cathedral of Our Lady in Maastricht, which constitute the two main cathedrals of worship for this city. St. Servatius contains a large number of church treasury and continues till today, to draw Roman Catholic pilgrims to its ground. Beginning in the 14th century in a seven-year cycle, in collaboration with Aachen Cathedral and Kornelimünster Abbey, a Heligdomsvaart is held for pilgrims, the next being in July 2018.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

The invite card from the 10th Ph.D. and Post-Doc Seminar and Conference: Global and Cross-Cultural Organizational Research hosted by the Hofstede Chair, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), Maastricht University, read “Basilica”. Basilica was the venue for the group’s first evening meet.

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Markt Maastricht, Netherlands

Netherlands // Travels

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Maastricht Netherlands market 19

Skyline of Maastricht, St. Servaasbrug.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Something I had not expected to do much in Maastricht was shopping and marketing. But as circumstances have it, it was one of the more entertaining daily activities outside of the post-doc programme at Maastricht University that filled some hours of each day.

There are several ways to sightsee in the city. One that caught my attention was an old yellow School Bus, that toured the city streets. Bicycle rentals from hotels or hostels are also available, else the city centre of Maastricht is quite small and walking can get you to many places of interest within minutes.

A memorable place of interest where I had spent quite some hours browsing its shelves on different floors was the Domenica bookshop. The building is a 13th century Dominican church converted by Merkx+Girod Architecten into a gorgeous bookstore, whose contemporary space is sometimes used to showcase creative arts projects.

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In a corner at the Vrijthof, Maastricht

Netherlands // Travels

Urban Residences Maastricht 0

A landmark of the city of Maastricht at Vrijthof square: the old post office building that currently houses 19 gorgeously designed apartments for rent.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Close to parts of the Maastricht University at the heart of the city of Maastricht stands the old post office building in the corner of Vrijthof square. This great old building has now been done up to house a collection of 19 apartments called Urban Residences.

Besides the proximity to the University a number of numerous places of interest are in walking distance that include the Museum Aan Het Vrijthof and the beautiful as imposing Saint Servaas Basilica, that dates back from 1000, holding gold artwork from the 12th century.

Impeccable in combining function with design, Urban Residences Maastricht won the Victor de Stuersprijs in 2013 for best monumental renovation in the city.

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The chocolate room, Helsinki

Finland // Travels

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Petris Chocolate 1

Along Runeberginkatu, a candy pastel seated chocolate boutique.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

It was lunch hour, and a break in the 2015 GEM&L (Groupe d’Études Management & Langage) conference schedule. Across the road from the Aalto University School of Business located in the Töölö Campus in Helsinki where the conference was held, stands a pastel seated chocolate boutique. I’ve always found pyramids of macaron on display in confectionaries attractive. Maracon coupled with chocolate pralines and chocolate cakes in the colours of cocoa heaven proved impossible to bypass and ignore, so I stepped in.

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Bicycling through Helsinki

Finland // Travels

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, HELtours, Helsinki Bike Tours a

At Kasarmitori with Jari, our touring Helsinki by bicycle guide.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I took one last look at the map before stepping out of the door. Kasarmitori Square. Right. I wasn’t sure if I was going to find the place, but thought to try, because that was the meeting point where I read a bike tour of the city of Helsinki would begin. The tours leave in a group of maximum eight persons twice a day, at ten in the morning and at two in the afternoon. I made no prior online bookings at the company’s website, but noted that their bicycles were single geared of Finnish make, and in an identifiable cobalt blue. Easy! All I had to do was to make it to their office, locating it by spotting a row of conspicuous looking chirpy blue bicycles parked just outside.

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Sun deck afternoon


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, sun deck 2015b

On the sun deck, Styrsö.
Just one of those lovely Nordic days to spend outdoors, under the sun.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

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Swedish west coast, visit in spring

Life // Singapore // Sweden

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Styrsö v2015h

A visit from Singapore to the Swedish west coast, spring 2015.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Some pictures to share of a study visit from a university in Singapore to the Swedish west coast.

Part of the narrative and evening’s conversation revolved around the historic trade relations between Sweden and China, and how Singapore en route continues till today, to be an important trade partner for Sweden.

The historical voyages of the Swedish East India Company (1731-1813) more often than not started from this very spot where we now stood in the garden. Known as Vargö Håla, water was taken on board the ships from the surrounding fresh water wells, and good sailing winds were awaited in the waters between the islands right here, that through a peculiarity of the Gulf Stream was kept ice free even in the winters.

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Separating the perennials from non-perennials

Life // Sweden

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, home garden 2015a

Working with Lovage (known in Swedish as libbsticka). Lovage is a perennial herb with anti-inflammation properties, used in Sweden since the Medieval times by monks in apothecary concoctions. It also makes an excellent flavour enhancer to soups and stews, if not just tossed fresh into salads.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

It’s finally starting to get warmer outdoors. Spring will officially turn into summer in two weeks, so there is a lot to be done by nature in order to make that materialize in a convincing manner.

Outside of research in academia, I spend my time reading literature of various interests, these days interspersed with planting out some vegetables and flowers, that now seem grown up enough to have their feet plunked down in proper soil, from the plant nursery in which we have kept them the past few months.

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Beet among the Basil


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, home vegetable garden 2015

< s t r e e e e t c h >
< y a w n >
G’mornin’ sunshine!

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

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May 3rd, 2015

Time like Dalí


Spacetime Facade2015

Architecture as spacetime fabric.
PhotoAlto, Johnér Bildbyrå AB.

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

He was Managing Director of a large construction company. Everything of his followed a tight schedule, yet he wore no wristwatch. I asked him why.

– Ten years ago, I went to the Middle East to meet a client. The meeting was scheduled at twelve noon. By one o’clock, still no client. But I had to negotiate this deal, so I waited. I was going to fly home the next day, so there was no choice. I waited. The client walked into the office at six in the evening. I was very angry, and asked how come so unreliable in meeting time? But the client, he was very happy. He told me he was on his way here when he met a friend he had not seen in very many years, just like that on the street! They decided to have lunch and spend the afternoon together, talking. They were just done talking, so now he’s here. After that story, I took off my wristwatch and threw it away. Never used it again.

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Eastbound train, Sweden


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro trainSweden 900

Landscape, eastbound from the west coast of Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

With a population of about 9.7 million inhabitants spread over its vast land mass, Sweden has one of the lowest population densities on the globe.

– Have you taken the train north?
– No, actually not.
– You should. You’ll like that. But you might get sick of all the trees.
– Trees?
– Just trees. Sweden is a vast country. Not very friendly terrain sometimes. People are found mostly in the south.
– Just trees. You’re right. I think I’ll like that. To take a train up north.

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April 24th, 2015

Life’s small luxuries


Simply Sweet chocolates, Newburyport, Massachusetts.

A box of Simply Sweet chocolates from Newburyport Massachusetts, a gift from a visiting guest, from Newburyport Massachusetts.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

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April 19th, 2015

The Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg III


The Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg III, Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

The Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg III, at Eriksberg, awaiting her European Tour 2015.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

It is one of those days with low dark clouds, heavy with water, framed against azure skies. At dockside, the rigging of the Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg III stood sturdy against the winds. The jests and laughter of the crew onboard that were working towards preparing the Ship for her European Tour 2015, sounded a contrasting more upbeat tone compared to the darkened, more sombre oak of the Ship.

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Cherry blossoms 2015


Cherry blossoms

Spring in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Cherry blossoms
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April 17th, 2015

Fishball noodles


Fishball noodles

Fishball noodles.
Photo by Johner Bildbyra AB, at

Text © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

She saw that I had a camera in hand, and that I didn’t dress right. I had on a laser cut wool coat in light sand, with a broad collar. “You are disturbing us with your camera!” the elderly lady voiced loudly in my direction as I walked past. She was wearing a patchwork cotton jacket in the style of a samfu, her hair that was silvered with time, was kept in a short bob that fell just to her earlobes. She had a black pin to one side of her head, keeping her hair from her face. I guessed her age to be around seventy, although she looked much younger. She was sitting by the market roadside hawker whose one specialty was in selling boiled pig offal soup. At her remark, I put down the camera and looked at her, and she waved at me to join her at her table. I said I was headed towards the central square, looking for a bookstore. “But that you can do later. Why are you rushing? I see all you young people, always rushing somewhere. Come! Sit here! Only a few minutes!”

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Tea house and temple, Chengdu


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Served in the tea house, across the road from the Manjushri Monastery, Chengdu.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

The grounds of the Zhaojue Temple and the Manjushri Monastery are vast. In both temple grounds, one could easily make a small pilgrimage, pit stopping at the numerous separate buildings housing separate halls for different prayer or contemplation purposes.

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Calligraphy of Chengdu


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At Tianfu Square, the Sichuan Science and Technology Museum.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

As I walk along the street, my arms laden with books, a woman with a child in tow stop me to ask for directions, “Do you know how to get to Tianfu Square?” she said in Mandarin, without hint of any regional accent. “Yes, you go straight and then take a left up ahead. Just follow this road.” I replied. As soon as I turned my attention from her to continue walking back to the hotel, the realization hit me that I, having spent less than a week in Chengdu city, China, was giving directions to a native of the land. I smiled and hoped that Tianfu Square was really where she was headed. I might have heard wrong.

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Chengdu research base for giant pandas


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The Chengdu research base for giant panda breeding.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I met some of the most colourful characters in black and white, at the Chengdu panda research base in China.

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Swan Lake, Chengdu


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Swan Lake, at the Chengdu research base for giant panda breeding.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

The landscape of Chengdu, China, are said to have inspired poets from as far back as the Tang dynasty.

At Swan Lake, located within the compounds of the Chengdu panda research base, visitors will find more than pandas to sit and contemplate their hours. Some very hungry koi, a couple of black swans, and ducks, send ripples through the otherwise perfectly still cane coloured water reservoir.

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Life // Mode

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro April 2015

Easter vogue.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

On my mind, the Metonic cycle or Enneadecaeteris, from the Greek astronomer Meton of Athens (5C BC), who observed that a period of 19 years is almost exactly equal to 235 synodic months and, rounded to full days, counts 6,940 days. His calculations are used in most arithmetical lunisolar calendars to calculate the year, and to track the movable feast of Easter of the Julian calendar.

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Tesseract living


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Tesseract living in gross/material form.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

“So what is it like after six o’clock in the evenings here?” Marshall asked Jim, taking a deep drag on his cigarette. He had resolved to quit smoking eighty years ago in his early thirties, but kept at it when he realized he was more alive than most others he met at the various intersections of spacetime.

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Life // Vídeo

The universe exists within the frequency of a heartbeat. Before the ‘big bang’, crossing point zero, after the ‘big bang’. That in that billion years heartbeat, we exist, because of what time allows, is the anomaly. Another heartbeat, another time, another existence, all different from each other, never to be repeated. The power of creativity, of creation itself, lies in this one heartbeat. That too many of humankind do not realise that they too move within this one heartbeat during this one span of time with all other things that currently are, is to miss out on this anomaly. The anomaly that is, life.

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April 4th, 2015

I dream of cityscape


IMG_1628a 598

Waterfront living.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

“Darling, I’m so glad I got you over the phone! Are you in between airports now? No matter. Listen, I just got off meeting with the realtor and putting down some last signatures. I’ve bought our new apartment now in the city! I’m so excited! It’s a high-floor unit as you mentioned you liked to have it, in fact, it’s the 50th storey. It’s centrally located, all amenities are nearby and it’s just 100m to the waterfront, the poolside is fantastic! They have two tennis courts, a gym, a jacuzzi and a zen garden… And it’s got plenty of eateries nearby, there’s French, Italian, Japanese and even an Irish pub and restaurant round the corner! You could go completely local too, as you prefer! On the inside, it’s got floor to ceiling windows darling – just as you like it! Here, I’m sending you a picture over the phone now, so you can see the view from our living room!”

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April 4th, 2015



Floral T2he concert was about to begin. The crowd, dressed in black tie, stood chatting animatedly in an adjacent hall where the pre-concert mingle was held. I stepped away from the hall where family and friends were standing to roam the corridors of the building, once an old fortress now turned into a theater and concert hall. There was still time before the concert began – my niece would be on stage that evening – and I thought to return to the area of the elevator, where in order to arrive at the mingle hall, we were all instructed to turn right. I now wanted to see where left led.

It was not a long walk from where most of the crowd was, but I noted that the sounds of the crowd went distinctly quieter as I continued on my steps towards the elevator. Upon reaching the area, I turned left, and was led into the left wing of the building. I went down a smaller corridor with walls just as sturdy and slate grey as the right wing, but here, a hint of green had come over them. I stretched out my hand and ran my fingertips along the stonewalls as I walked just to see if it was moss or an algae that grew on the insides of this fortress.

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Cinnamon knots

Swedish kanelbullar.
Text & Photo © Björn Tesch/, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

In a rise of blood pressure that set off alarm bells as if heard from the outside-in of her head, the mother, seated in the living room, rushed over to the daughter, seated near the door of the child’s bedroom. Reaching the child, the mother quickly grabbed the box of matches from the pair of chubby hands that tried, so curiously, to first access one matchstick and then light it against the side of the matchbox. A miracle of a fire, from a piece of stick that occupied the mind of the child no end.

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The monsoon kingdoms: a languid afternoon read


Swedish west coast

Across the globe from the monsoon kingdoms, the Swedish west coast.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

2015. History was not a subject of particular interest to her. But the thick book, bound in green, fell into her hands, with its pages opening to the chapter entitled The Coming of the Europeans. This was his book. She sat and proceeded to read. She smiled when she encountered a paragraph that described the city in which she was raised, Singapore, in the 1500s, compared to the great emporium of Malacca, Java and the Spice Islands, as known for ‘nothing much’. Malacca in the Far East was the flourishing main trading port where every year, between eighteen to twenty ships were laden with numerally Sumatran pepper bound for China.

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Misty mountains


February sunset. Swedish west coast.

Sunset, Swedish west coast.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

In conversation, a Master Yogi (MY) and his Student (S)

S: Master, I have come to you today in query of an Enlightenment Pathology.
MY: You are troubled, Student? Perhaps it is that you cannot cessate your Mind?
S: I have to admit, I have no control whatsoever over my Mind. Do I attribute that you my Teacher?
MY: The Students who come to me as Sheep. Do I ever enquire after the Great Zen why it is that my Students are all Sheep and what unfortunate luck I have? What is your pathology query?

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In celebration of 40 on Valentine’s Day


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, ValentinesDay2015

In celebration of 40 on Valentine’s Day.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I was seated in a tutorial session of a module in Philosophy 101. I had not a clue what the tutor was trying to explain about the Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism, where it came to that one should practice not thinking anything as part of the ten grounds towards Enlightenment. I remember asking, how it is that one could think nothing? At age 9, I asked my parents what Time was. At age 10, they branded me “little Margaret Thatcher”. Would the very act of thinking not nullify nothingness? And according to what was discussed in tutorial, it is through thinking nothing that one comes into the essence of knowing. Every evening for the entire module on Buddhism, I went home and tried to practice not thinking anything. Every evening, I failed.

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Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

In Pronovias.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Most forms of meaning-making grounded in empirical endeavors have yet to place postmodernism in their perspective. Truths based on empiricism in whatever of its hundred guises remain not only context-dependent, but intersubjective, constructive and aperspectival [1]. With this comes the grounding realisation that what is seen remains, what was seen.

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Warm buttered toast

Culīnaria // Narratives

Semlor i hetvägg

Semla or hetvägg as it was called in ancient times served in a bath of warm milk is an old Swedish treat that goes back at least to the 1700s. Maybe much further back than that since it is made from the ancient basic ingredients of almonds, sweetener, milk and wheat.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015


With chin resting on his open palm, and elbow resting on the dining table, he sat and contemplated his options. Suddenly, he bounced right off his chair, and headed straight for the household refrigerator. He tip-toed to reach the freezer handle, grabbed it, gave it a decided pull and brought out a tray of ice-cubes. Freeing one ice-cube, he then placed it carefully on top of the buttered toast served warm to him for breakfast just a few minutes before.

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To the child


Illustration by John Bauer, 1913

Illustration by John Bauer. Still, Tuvstarr sits and gazes down into the water, 1913, watercolor
Text © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

To the child that was born to least suspect
For everything promised it and all itself expects
The unfunnification of life begins with a tint of misgiving
A twinge of a tint of a misplaced shilling
To be shown all candy to be told they are there
Confirmed for its having without any care
The unfunnification of life begins with the realization
That these are just things in phantomisation
And when the child steps into this phantom world seeing
That everything it once thought it knew believing
Was not to be seen nor touched nor found askew
It will know. The unfunnification of life is just so.
A phantom of expectations that come and go.
To the child that was born that now suspects
The unfunnification of life was its founding aspect

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February 1st, 2015

Daifuku | a small Japanese dessert


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, view from Sentosa 2015

View from Sentosa.
Text © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Clarissa sat at the table with five other persons, to a Japanese lunch. She noted the interest of a friend to the family, a suitor, in the family daughter. The suitor had for some years ago, gone on a parent approved date (in Asian tradition of chaperoning) with the daughter. It had been some years in-between, but the suitor felt as if nothing had changed between he and the daughter of the family. So time was of no barrier. He felt they could carry on the conversation from where they had left off some more than a decade ago. He was about to leave the bright city lights of his home country for a new one. The new country being nothing short of a paradise island located in the crystal blue oceans of the Caribbean. He was to be there for at least a year, and most everything of his essentials were contracted to be looked after by the company that was sending him on this expatriate assignment.

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Carnation | dianthus caryophyllus


Ava Gardner by Arnold Newman 1949

Ava Gardner by Arnold Newman 1949.
Text © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

It was a wedding. A cousin’s. It happened that Ava had clean forgotten to turn off the gas stove. Ava and her husband were both already in the car on their way to church, but realising this, she turned to her husband to ask him to turn the car around. It would take just a few minutes to get the task done. But Ava’s husband was not in the mood. She could register his rising irritation by the second, “How could you be so careless?” he bellowed, “It’s just like you isn’t it, Ava! Careless and forgetful!”

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Goya geosemiotics in Singapore

Art&Design // Travels

IMG_0312a 598

The geosemiotics of Singapore. Towering plastic sculptures in the city’s heartland. Freud, Goya – or both? I would beg to differ on the perspective that Singaporeans have no sense of humour.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

They walked as a pair in complete synchrony in rhythm and sway. Finding a seat in the train, they sat comfortably, next to each other. After contemplating the signs hovering above the bright coloured plastic seats of the train for all of three seconds, the older of the two decided to take the seat marked for the disabled. She was after all in the elderly range in the context where she now found herself. The pair gestured animatedly as they talked while they sat for their journey. The younger of the two had at all times in hand a mobile phone where utmost attention was paid. If there was any sort of hierarchy between the pair, it was not much noticeable except that the older seemed to speak much more than the younger. And when the younger was too engrossed with the phone, the older of the two would peer over the younger’s shoulder, inquiring in expression of what it was that made the small screen so interesting to the younger. The younger did not seem to mind this intrusion of space, a normalized behaviour that had by now become an expectation.

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Sweet sticky cupcakes

Culīnaria // Narratives

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2015, pulot hitam

Red bean, black glutinous rice pudding (bubur pulut hitam) with coconut cream (santan). This pudding was made with one part black glutinous rice and one part red beans. The beans were boiled, sweetened and mashed into a paste before they were added into the rice pudding.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

The granddaughter, now in her early twenties, watched her grandmother prepare the batter of a mixture of white glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of yeast etcetera, for a sweet and sticky Asian cupcake. It was humid outdoors and this was something to look forward to with light tea, in the cool of the patio on the rattan settee outdoors, overlooking the small but tidy garden.

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