was born in Västerås and has lived here during almost all her life. Those four years, when she was abroad, were filled with homesickness.

What is it, that makes Västerås so outstanding?
You can hear quite a lot of complaining about the people, who live here, but I don't agree. I like the people here. It isn't so hectic, you can take it easy and everything is at a near distance, even if Västerås is quite a large city. It takes no time at all to go wherever you need to.
I have lived "all over the city", that is in many different places and I have liked it, but I really do like it best downtown, in the centre, where I live now. I couldn't ever leave Västerås again, I don't think there is a better place. I am "at home" here, moving would be like going to a foreign country.....
A good thing is, that there have been a few new activities during recent years, look at the Arosfestival, the "October Festivity" and the "Spring Frenzy". This is important, it is necessary to arrange things like this, to make people come out of their lairs.

What is the very berst of all of this?
The closeness to everything.

What is not so good here?
Many public facilities are too expensive, take the swimming baths as an example. I would like to go swimming with my children, a couple of times a week, but that is impossible. I have got three children, if we were to go alltogether it would cost a hundred crowns every time.

What is the worst about Västerås?
All the new buildings. Take away the Scraper, the tax authorities' new buildings, the new railwaystation... I do miss the old places, which gave some atmosphere to the city. I am thinking about the old sports centre for instance. I think it must be possible to repair instead of rebuild, like the railway station last year. Instead of showing off with all those new buildings one could finance cheaper activities for the inhabitants, like the swimming I mentioned.

There is a "change of identity" going on in Västerås, from "the cucumber city" to "the city on lake Mälaren". What do you think about that?
Cucumber city or Mälar city does not really matter. The cucumbers will survive anyhow in popular speech.

You have children of your own, is Västerås a good place for children?
Well, I don't really know what it looks like in other places, but here in Västerås it was better when I was a child. There are less arrangements for children in their leisure time nowadays, mainly downtown. There used to be youth centres everywhere, today there are just a couple of them. But they need to be at walking distance, so that the youngsters don't have to take buses to get there. If it were as in days gone by, it would not be necessary to arrange things like "Parents in the streets". But I think this is not only ocurring in Västerås.
A good thing is that schools and nurseries are at walking distance from everywhere.
And I do hope that they won't let anything happen to Folkets Park! There really are lots of things that could be used for the benefit of our children. The buildings are standing there already. And one could run the place with the help of unemployed people, like they do with other places. Everyone from all over the city would be able to meet there on the same conditions. That would be fun.

What means of transportation do you use?
I go by bike and by car. But I dislike traffic in the centre, it was wrong to reopen Stora Gatan - Vasagatan for everybody. In the centre you should be able to cross the street without watching out, not even the buses should be allowed there. It is possible to move their routes during the Arosfestival. My garage is underneath my house, which is very convenient, but I wouldn't mind walking some blocks.

What do you do in your leisure time
I don't have any. My leisure time is the childrens', it is all about soccer and dancing among other things. It is nice, that Västerås is good at sports. Here you can find everything that the children want to do. And it is my experience that there are a lot of good trainers for the youngsters as well.
If I find some time for myself, I usually go to the pub.

What is your opinion about the pubs?
There are almost a few too many today. This was better too, when I was younger, but maybe this is something one always thinks. What I mean is that there were not so many places where you had to pay for the entrance, you could just go in for some chatting...

Västerås and tourism - what would you show a visitor?
I take it that we talk about summertime. Then I would take them out to Elba and all the other places in and around the Lake Mälaren. Probably we would make a day-trip with a boat as well. And I would show them the centre, Kyrkbacken is a must. I would like to live there... And I like to take a stroll along the river Svartån, on my own, that is nice.

A summary?
In spite of all my criticism I like living in Västerås very much and I can't imagine moving either.

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last update: 19.10.1998 by