Finally my Spring Semester Cycle 2 has successfully kicked off after an intensive week of exams from the First Cycle, how the time went I cannot tell, only what I know is that I have landed myself in this new Semester Cycle smiling. I had two days of transition between the two Cycles and it was really tricky how to relax my mind. Some of my friends managed to try it out but still i believe there was little time to make it appear different from the usual activities within the study periods. My Summer holiday is also drawing nearer with plans to have Internship within Sweden and I believe this will be enough for me to explore this place as much as I want.
I also got an email from the University a few weeks back to attend a lecture from the European Member of Parliament Cecilia Wikström who will be visiting Chalmers University next Friday, March 28th, 2014 to present a proposal for the new legislation regarding students and researchers from countries outside the European Union. The proposal according to the message entails extended possibilities for the researchers and students to stay in Sweden after their graduation for some time and apply for jobs in Sweden and other member states, it also includes proposals for extending weekly working hours for students from countries outside European Union who would wish to work during their study periods. All these implies more time for exploring new cultures here.
The next morning after exams opened up and I felt extremely free with the routine preparations for moving to the University put on hold. The free days gave me more extra opportunity to spend time at my apartment. I decided to abandon the Idea of always taking the tram or bus for every short distances and therefore walked around the area. I realized that there are a number of places and activities within Gothenburg city that I have never explored since I moved to Sweden.
With buses, trams and bicycles dominating the city, I decided on my way to give my self a ride within the city and what surprised me here is how bicycles are really loved within Gothenburg. The people here have a very high positive attitude towards bicycles and the bicycle infrastructures as well are so wonderful and well planned. Most of the main roads within Gothenburg city including minor roads have bicycle lanes incorporated in it and even at road junctions and traffic lights, priorities are also given to cyclists. Back in my city Kampala, Uganda you hardly see bicycles in the city centre but seeing what is happening here makes me think how people within the same planet have divergent thinking aiming to arrive at a common page known as ”Development”.
Our city authority almost keep struggling on a daily basis to get rid of people who ride within the city centre while here in Gothenburg is a different story, the authority instead has a high positive view on cyclists. Almost every place within the city has public infrastructures for bicycles incorporated in the master plan. Here not only bicycle infrastructures are incorporated in the planning but also bicycle services are offered where people can hire the bicycles cheaply from the authority. The city authority alone has over 50 stations equipped with over 600 bikes in total within the city for hire while most of the individuals also have their own and I believe this is a very good example to the world in this century where renewable energy is a major topic with Internal combustion engines becoming no longer sustainable.
Most of my Swedish classmates have bicycles and some with cars too, but they tell me how they love their bikes more than their cars. The trams and trains operating alongside some buses within and outside the city use renewable energy from hydro electric power and this only doesn’t tell us how this place is focused on reducing the use of non- renewable fossils’ energy but how we should trade keenly and put our environment at the forefront. All cycling routes are picked up in most of the city maps and you can easily access it online using the computers or installed applications on smart phones.
Posts;by Owilli Ben Oyunu, Photography: Ben