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Scandinavian Spotlight: Learn Spanish (or Cantonese) from a Norwegian

Some months ago, I found a note about language classes in Cantonese from a lady with a Scandinavian name. I thought that was curious and decided this was something I should look into, so I sent her a message. There is a very special energy vibe in the messages from Cecilie Gamst Berg. Born in Norway, she has spent 30 years of her life in China and Hong Kong. “I am a Cantonese Fundamentalist, that means I want full world domination for Cantonese, while allowing the other languages to live, too.”

In 2018 she moved to Mallorca together with her dog Koldbrann. She was tired of the ugliness of Hong Kong and wanted to be closer to nature. Cecile loves islands and hates snow, so the choice was an easy one. Her dog Koldbrann is now happy walking the streets of Palma instead of China. They found a little place to call home in the Terreno part of Palma, close to the nature of Bellver forest and close to the sea.

“There are many similarities between Hong Kong and Mallorca. Both are situated on the edge of a large entity with a bloody history. Both are obsessed with property buying. And on the buses of both islands, people always sit on the aisle seat, so you must climb over them! However, windows in Hong Kong open outward so you can have a windowsill with plants inside the house.”

In Hong Kong she taught Cantonese, Mandarin, Norwegian and English as well as working as a columnist and feature writer/photographer for South China Morning Post. She also hosted a radio program on RTHK, called Naked Cantonese. Apart from that, she made teaching videos and documentaries on YouTube.

In 2002 she went to Sichuan province as a volunteer English teacher, and there discovered Sichuan food, and according to Cecilie it is the most delicious food on earth. “Back in Hong Kong I started cooking it and was soon cooking for up to 22 people on my roof terrace. I still cook Sichuan food for guests. All the ingredients are available here in Mallorca! If they had not been, I could not live here,” Cecilie says.

“I have also written a Spanish textbook in cartoons this last year. The book is called Learn Spanish without really trying. https://bit.ly/3zwyO1F is the link for the book and we are looking into starting classes in Majorca. I am quite proud of that book, because I can hardly string a sentence together in Spanish. It is in a way a continuation of the 600 page Cantonese course I wrote in Hong Kong, breaking with the tradition that textbooks should be boring.

My advertising slogan for Cantonese was “Learn Cantonese the Natural Way – from a Norwegian.” In ordinary textbooks, the foreigners “learning” the language always seem to speak it perfectly from the first page. But in my book, which really should be called Plonkers Abroad, the foreigners make lots of mistakes at first, slowly learning to speak simple and then increasingly sophisticated Spanish.

It is a fun book to use and the characters in it make up their own memory aids, like calling zanahorias “zany whores” and imagining “coffee with lechers.” Anything to make it easier to remember. I want to write another book, but where will I find the time?

A friend, an English chef/caterer, asked me to be co-editor of an online magazine, MallorCAN Relish. https://www.mallorcan-relish.com/ Free of course. Our company motto is ‘search the quirk’! We now showcase restaurants and small companies fighting to stay alive during this manmade disaster. Things are looking up now of course, but people, including me, are still struggling. But at least I’m not in Hong Kong anymore.”

BlushPalma’s new nail tech – I’m a creative soul

We are happy to announce that Ottilia Sitkey has started as a nail tech at BlushPalma – hair and beauty lounge in Santa Catalina.Ottilia is from Stockholm where she worked with nails and beauty and in the hospitality bussiness. Ottilia is available to take bookings, and you can book online on blushpalma.com or on her instagram GalleryEdge. She is an amazing nail technician with almost 20 years of experience and she specialises in acrylic nails but does all kinds of materials. All from the Swedish brand REQ. The variety is large and whether you have natural nails, acrylics/gel or gel polish Ottilia will take good care of you and your hands.

“I’m a creative soul and I love to make people pretty,” Ottilia says.

She aims for natural nails and long lasting results as well as the personal encounters.
If you want high quality products/treatmenrs in a very pleasant beauty lounge you can find her at Calle Fabrica 20 at Blush Palma.

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