Winter apples



Winter apples
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2014

In Sweden nature offers an unexpected luxury – winter apples. These are apples that are not ripe enough to be picked before the the cold winter season has come and night temperatures are down to just above freezing.

Since this is a natural produce where we can’t do anything to hurry up the process of growing or ripenig, what’s to do is to just wait and see.

In this case, ripe enough for picking is not the same as ripe enough to eat. On the contrary, these apples need to be treated carefully like eggs, and to be cold stored and individually wrapped in paper. Treated in this way they can keep the entire winter and at some point in time ripen to an unrivaled sweetness and flavour.

Sustainable luxury in Singapore 2014

LEADERSHIP // Singapore

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View from the Marina Boulevard paseo, Singapore.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 2014

If there was a favourite place to withdraw when in Singapore, it would for the moment be the expansive Marina Bay area overlooking the waters, marked by an urban space that lacks a crowd during office hours. The slowly undulating movements of the river water taxis navigating the bay lends a different rhythm to the adrenaline rush of the skyscrapers. This difference in bio-rhythms is a contrast in symbiotic urban city living that I find interesting.

In asking for directions to get from Raffles Place (steps away from Collyer Quay) to Marina Bay Sands (MBS), I was advised by more than one person encountered, to take a taxi. I smiled and nodded and proceeded to find my way on foot, to the Marina Boulevard paseo.

06:59 hrs in-between Tim Flannery’s pages Here on Earth


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18 Raffles Quay at 06:59 hrs weekday, Singapore.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Stepping out of the car where I was dropped off, a few steps in through the surrounding pavement and I found myself in old Telok Ayer Market. It being early in the morning, I found it rather like an empty school canteen just after the morning school bell had rung and all students had filed neatly into their classrooms. Not one table filled with anyone at all, except me.

PS Café at Ann Siang Hill,
knowledge intensive service industry
with a cherry on top

Globalized Knowledge Economy // INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS STUDIES // Singapore

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Patrik Ström, Claes G. Alvstam, Singapore

A CIBS “selfie of the day” at Amoy Street, Singapore.
Text & Photo © P Ström, JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

I recently found myself navigating a number of historical streets in and around the central business district of Singapore. If this somehow is an epigenetic memory or not, I don’t know, but I do find myself very much at home around here, it being the very place in Singapore as to where I want to bring my friends.

In Singapore together for this study visit were colleagues from the Centre for International Business Studies (CIBS) of the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Across the outdoor patio seating of Ristorante Da Valentino in Singapore, 2014

Globalized Knowledge Economy // Life

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Visiting Valentino’s in Singapore have by and by become a meeting with the Valtulina family. It is pleasant beyond description to be welcomed by familiar faces and even better having your own guests treated as if you were just a big family having waited much too long to finally see each other again.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Across the outdoor patio seating of Ristorante Da Valentino in Singapore is a small spice garden. The restaurant is the venture of the Valtulina family. A place I have over time come to regard as a little home away from home, and a place I am always happy to revisit as occasions occur.

Regarding the little garden. We had actually talked ourselves into this little gem mainly in the care of Gianpiero Valtulina, or Papa Gianni, by showing a genuine interest. And while excusing himself for “its many shortcomings”, he showed us around, showed us what were to be and complained – as all true farmers at heart – about the soil, the weather, the sun, the rain and the climate in general, with a smile.

Apple cake, Swedish west coast autumn harvest 2014

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Life // SWEDEN

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Apple cake served with vanilla cream sauce.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Thanks to generous neighbours, we once again had an abundance of apples to enjoy. Of the many recipes to choose from, cinnamon flavoured apple sauce to last throughout the winter, is a given.

Then thinking about the meal just enjoyed during my recent visit to Singapore, in the hands of the Valtulina family of Ristorante Da Valentino, where Perla Valtulina of Perla’s Pastry Boutique served up a most delicious apple tart as dolci, I decided to try my own hands at making an apple cake. Not that I can ever dream of matching hers, but lacking the possibility of having her gorgeous desserts in Singapore, this will have to do when back in Sweden.

Gödel or Godot? Differing world perspectives in a shared language and culture

Life // Singapore

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Mr. P, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

In SINGAPORE. It was the result of a serendipitous meeting along the street. My first reaction was to believe it to be due to path dependency, although I was pretty sure that was too literal a translation of that theory, that led me to after forty-five minutes, the poignant realization that we were seated at a levelled table speaking across levels.

Singapore narratives, from white Mercedes-Benzes

OUTLOOK // Singapore

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ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Taxi drivers. They make some of the most understated ambassadors to a country, in particular, if that country is Singapore, if only because most taxi drivers are quite loquacious individuals who love spending time in transit to get to know their passengers.

A Swedish perspective on cucumber pickling, a matter of pragmatic luxury


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“Swedish Västerås” pickling cucumber crop from our own garden, scrubbed clean.
The preservation process depends entirely on the Lactobacillus bacteria that cover the skin of a naturally grown cucumber. These are removed by the food industry while harvesting as a matter of routine, thus complicating the home-pickling process.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Existential authenticity in tourism and Ahlströms konditori from 1901, Gothenburg


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Hot chocolate, at Ahlströms konditori, Swedish west coast, Gothenburg.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

In the past week, a conversation in a restaurant at Haga, between myself and a restaurant steward, after lunch when I was looking for cookies to go with my coffee:

“Yes, can I help you? You’re looking for something?”
“Yes, do you happen to have cookies to go with the coffee?”
“Only on Fridays, sorry. But you can walk over to Jacobs. They have cookies and dessert in general. We don’t.”

Two things struck me when I first arrived in Gothenburg about the cityscape in the early 2000s. The first was how lacking in skyscrapers the city of Gothenburg was, and the second, much due to the first, you apparently needed to walk for miles to get to where you wanted.

China Goes Global 2014
Distinguishing between international and global societies, valuing many systems within one system of global trade: the case of Sweden and China in the 1700s.


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Dr. Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, speaking about 18th century trade relations between Sweden and China at the China Goes Global (CGG) 2014 conference held at the Shanghai Jiaotong University, China.
Text & Photo © E Dijk, JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

The 8th international conference of China Goes Global, organised by the Chinese Globalization Association took place for the first time this year in Shanghai, China. Co-hosted by the Institute of Chinese Enterprises Development at the Antai College of Economics and Management of the Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU) and KEDGE Business School (France), it was there that I was given the opportunity to speak some about Sweden’s trade relations with China during the 1700s.

In the process of doing some literature review for the presentation, I found myself thoroughly enjoying Robert Crowcroft’s (2012) article entitled, Globalisation and Public Language, where readers are left with a sense of seething irritation at the ubiquitous yet careless use of the word ‘globalisation’ and its concept, the contention being that both academics and politicians alike have failed to disentangle the various meanings of the word ‘globalisation’, and how can that be when not a day goes by in public discourse that the word is not used?

Swami – product development of an orange cushion cover

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Globalized Knowledge Economy // Life

Noodle soup

Noodle soup.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

$1: most theories of consciousness still put the human being at the center of it all / that[i]s my problem with them / and i don[o]t like it / it[i]s like thinking the sun revolves around the earth because you observe it to be such / the theories haven[o]t matured in the thought processes / these theories they have now are put out to make the human being feel important // what i[a]m saying is that / from a cosmic perspective the difference between humans and mold or bacteria is insignificant / it[i]s like / nothing // in fact / look at yeast / it can raise bread // <1 can the human being raise bread >1 / <2 what can humans do compared to yeast >2 / nothing / at some level / humans are not much better than a virus / destructive and eating everything in sight / and if we can do better / we[a]re not showing that we can do better / the general consciousness of humanity is going downhill // this somewhat has to do with technology / globalization / and the interconnectedness of everything / too much too fast / inequality gaps increasing between groups of people / and people feel it / they get disenfranchised

China Goes Global 2014
Zhouzhuang water village, China


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Wilted, at Zhouzhuang water village, Jiangsu, China.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

As if apologetic that all I’ve experienced this time in Shanghai in terms of weather was rain and grey skies, the weather took a turn for the chirpier on the day I was to visit Zhouzhuang, deciding to turn on sunshine at full blast. This was not so much seen as already felt in the early hours after sunrise. Standing under the concrete shelters of the hotel, I had already begun to swelter.

China Goes Global 2014
Visit to ZTE Corporation, Shanghai


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ZTE Corporation, Shanghai, China.
Text & Photo © C Lattemann, JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Founded in 1985, ZTE Corporation is China’s first dual listed company. Listed on both the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges, ZTE is a giant of a corporation hidden in plain view with its revenue in 2013 hitting a cool 12 billion USD. And it is growing rapidly yet. The telecommunications equipment and systems company that plays a principal role in supporting China’s massive constructions of 4G networks, surpasses the more renowned Europe based Siemens, Ericsson and Philips in patented innovations, reporting a sustained triple digit profit growth in its nine month forecast in 2014.

China Goes Global 2014
Warm rain and gelato in Shanghai


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Along Panyu Lu, Shanghai, with Esther Dijk, from Canada.
Text & Photo © M Salman, CM Cordeiro 2014

It’s been a few days of royal tropical downpours in Shanghai, the warm kind of rain that leaves little room to deny a hot chocolate and a scoop, or three, of ice-cream.

After initially checking into the wrong hotel, and lamenting the fact that I will need to forgo both the hot chocolate, and one particular ice-cream parlour near that hotel that I had become somewhat addicted to when last in Shanghai, I was delirious happy as a butterfly on nectar, to have found this outlet just three minutes around the corner and out the door of where I am currently staying.

August crayfish 2014

Culīnaria // SWEDEN

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Crayfish. Often consumed, under the “soft August moonlight” (Swahn 2004:248), is popular in Sweden during the late summer months.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

From saving Middle Ages monks from starving too much during the long period of Easter Lent, and in 1522, being prescribed as a remedy for cholera, to later being seen as disgusting to eat because they were thought to be scavenger creatures that fed particularly on human corpses, the humble crayfish has seen its ups and downs in terms of reputation:

Swedish west coast Harbour Festival, Donsö 2014


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“What do you mean this is not antique?”
Donsö hamnfest 2014

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

So autonomous are the archipelago islanders that closest neighbours, living in the same summer house, agreed to visit the harbour festival each at their own time and convenience, coming back to discuss, “So, what did you think about the harbour festival? Did you like it?”

Most noticeable this year was the lack of an urgent and pushy crowd, witnessed only a few years ago at this annual hamnfest. The change in general behaviour could perhaps be attributed to several factors, though two that come across as most likely are, that the festival this year seemed catered much more to children’s summer activities with a mini-Libseberg of sorts going on, and the other being the establishing of online communities of trade that the islanders had initiated, rendering trading in goods and services between themselves an everyday affair where the harbour festival provided a bolstering physical meeting point.

Blåbärskräm | blueberry cream


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Blåbärskräm or cream of blueberry.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

“Wow, this is fantastic! What was it you said that goes into making this blueberry sauce?”

“Pieces of chess – chessmen – as how you lay them on a chessboard. It is not one ingredient or another, but a combination of factors that includes time, over two decades.”

It was blueberry cheesecake topped with a luscious, syrupy blueberry filling, softly oozing down the sides of the cake as it was placed in front of me at a café in Singapore, that had me at hello darling – what are you, and where have you been my entire life? I was fourteen. It was the first time I was having a baked cheesecake topped with blueberry filling. It looked good.

But even then I realised that I needed to take that blueberry filling home with me somehow. By ‘home’ it was meant, anywhere in the world that I was. If there were blueberries to be found, then there was this to become swiftly of them. I knew at first sight, I needed the recipe to this mouthful of creamy deep blue-purple heaven that wasn’t one bit infused with any sort of chocolate. Yes, what insight into my own culinary visions.

Uttervik waves, Swedish westcoast archipelago

Life // SWEDEN

At the Swedish west coast archipelago, Styrsö.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

“It seems like the more I read, the less I understand of things and how they work.” was the exasperated comment.

He looked up from the daily broadsheet, his expression curious and silent.

“For example, if people knew about Gravesian theory, would they then choose to not intervene without first understanding the larger circumstance of society, how it worked in that context, and with that, the consequences to follow, following certain actions? Would they not know? They should know, no?”

He smiled then and nodded, “Things, go in waves. So I’m a little more optimistic than you are in that sense.”

Sandvikshamnen, Styrsö


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

On top of a granite boulder that has been softly rounded by the Scandinavian Ice Sheet during the last ice age, ca. 11,000 BC at Sandvikshamnen, a guest harbour found at the Swedish west coast archipelago, Styrsö.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

The landscape of the Swedish west coast noticeably lacks sandy beaches. In place of sandy beaches are granite rocks, shaped by thousands of years of mostly cold winds and rains. These rocks have been around for quite awhile and have been smoothened round by the moving glacial ice sheets of the last ice age to render soft looking mounds, set against the horizon of the North sea. But appearances can be deceiving as the granite composites are anything but soft; comfortable only in as much as you can make on them yourself with brought cushions and fluffy beach towels.

Sailing schools with wind in their sails


Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Styrsö

A touch of Spain along the Swedish west coast: scarf, from Barri Gòtic in Barcelona 2011.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

For the first time in more than a decade, I stayed home during the summer, as in, remaining in Sweden during the warmest part of the year.

These evenings, we are often greeted by the monotonous rumble of high powered pleasure crafts going up and down the western archipelago, of people seeking yet another hip place to spend the night (where there seems to be as many rock festivals lined up along the Swedish west coast as you can anchor), alternatively, an absolutely silent and secluded natural harbour, where you will be lulled to sleep by the soft evening breeze to wake up to the curious pecking of some sea fowls finishing off your evening meal carelessly forgotten out in the open.

Dichotomy in language: the nought of ‘love’

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Vídeo

Most of the world’s philosophers and religions have spoken in some form or other, about love. But language is characteristically evolving as a process of communication and relativistic as a tool of communication, which leaves it sometimes grossly inadequate in expressing our thoughts and understandings of the workings of the world. How would people for example, describe a state of (perceived) psychosis of one that is not in psychosis but of an alternate reality, inaccessible by others who are themselves limited by their own senses? And to what extent is that alternate reality, alternate? Would it not just – be – in a world of 96% unknown from biology to quantum science [1,2,3,4]?

Some of the most influential and renowned minds have tried to use the inherited apparatus of language, to explain their perspectives, of their understanding of life, of how things are. But due to the nature of language that is sometimes slow to evolve in order to iterate depth of insight, they have had their thoughts literarised because there are few more efficient means to communicate thought than through language. Subsequently words become signifiers for what is, and what is, is also relative to each individual’s expression circumscribed by culture. With time in language, conflation leads to confusion where in the literary canon, ‘love’ has come to accrue other meanings, in connotation with other concepts ranging from ‘god’ to ‘nature’.

‘Love’ percolating through the vocabularies of the world, the word, its concept and meaning, fracture.

Many people would most of all attribute love as something grounded in human emotions, that is most often seen in a dichotomous distinction from ‘hate’.

Polenta banana walnut bread


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Polenta banana walnut bread.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

My current baking muse project is the banana walnut bread, where I’m trying variations of this recipe:

100g butter
100g brown sugar
2 eggs
450g bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g flour
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
150g walnuts (chopped)
4 tbsp plain yoghurt

Food market at Järntorget, Gothenburg

Culīnaria // Italy // SWEDEN

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No overcast sky would discourage the long queue for this warm lunch
served at the most popular stall at this food market.

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

I love marketing. And what better way to market than to chance upon these tented food stalls at Järntorget in Gothenburg during lunch hour?

Despite the overcast sky that threatened a tropical rainstorm, it was a decision to head towards Järntorget for lunch that landed this serendipitous find of a food market, courtesy of Tentazioni of London.

Marriage as legal construct and social policies on cohabitation: a Singapore – Sweden perspective

OUTLOOK // Singapore // SWEDEN

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In the highly globalised city of Singapore, strong conservative social traditions continue to prevail when it comes to cohabitation and partnership. Here, as an example of old meets new, East meets West, the ornate roof tops of Singapore’s oldest Taoist temple, the Yueh Hai Ching Temple meet the modern glass walls of skyscrapers in Philip Street in Singapore’s Central Business District.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

“Being married is so great, it’s so fantastic, it would be such an achievement to be married.”

That line came from a young woman who sat in a café that served French baguettes and kaffe latte to brunch not just two weeks ago, in Sweden. She grew up in Asia. She was highly qualified in academic credentials and currently has an ascending career in finance. But she’s in her late twenties and it was the general vibe from all back home in Asia, that it was about time she settled down and got married. Her parents were willing to engage a matchmaker to arrange a marriage if that was what it took to get her ‘settled down’ and feeling accomplished as a woman.

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