|Rannebergen and Pripyat, or the other way around?|
I travel a lot. Or at least I try to do it as much as I can, because having spent over 25 years in the same vincinity started to take its toll already several years ago. My family moved to Mölndal, the nearest town south of Gothenburg, when I was five years old and thus I grew up in the surroundings of Gothenburg.
When I left my parents' home to live on my own, I ended up in a concrete block, where I still reside. Being a student at that time, I never found the time to make myself a proper home, but this was a place to study and to sleep. Eventually I came to greatly dislike this place, spare for in summer time, because in the summer, it's truly beautiful here with the forest, lakes and ..swamps. If you bother to walk further into the woods.
I always loved traveling and as soon as I was old enough to go on my own, I did. In the beginning I would return to my home with a sense of excitement and joy from the new impressions, because of that home is sweet home. August 2003 was the last time I sensed that feeling. Nothing happened - time just caught up with me and I realized I didn't like it here and since then I've returned to this city, from every journey, not thinking "home sweet home" but rather "not again..."
My return from Ukraine and the Zone in May this year happened during a rainy night. It was dark and cloudy. The next day, when visiting my mother, I saw the wind tear the trees just like that day in the Jupiter plant. There was no thunder but it was almost the same. Or was it just that my mind hadn't left the Zone? It felt surprisingly nice to be back. A few days later, it struck me why. I was on the bus, approaching my block on the hill, almost covered by trees and growth, and I was made aware of how it all resembled Pripyat. Whilst still in Ukraine, I published this video. One friend gave his feedback: "It looks like Angered" (Rannebergen is in the Angered region) and another one said "I thought it was Mölndal" but not until weeks later I understood what they meant.
What happened to me in the Zone?
Did anything at all happen? If so, I didn't notice it. It felt quite natural for me to be there, especially in Pripyat. There was nothing threatening about these old, decaying buildings; nothing fearsome. On the contrary, it was all very peaceful. In my travel report I've mentioned how I deliberately avoided sticking to our group. This was because that I wanted to explore and examine the Zone without any cameras clicking around me all the time. I wanted to feel it. And I did. Through each building I went through on my own, images became clearer. But always interrupted. We must move on.
And that's another reason why I must get back there. I haven't seen half of it. And every day that I return to my concrete block on this hill, I'm reminded of it.