Open letter to Turkish Airlines

This is an open letter to Turkish Airlines, a Star Alliance member, regarding how my baggage has gone from lost to stolen in 12 days. It is time they take responsibility.

I need all the support for all of YOU reading this message. Please share, comment, like, and tag Turkish Airlines.

I traveled with Turkish Airlines from Stockholm (Arlanda), Sweden to Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport), India via Istanbul (Ataturk Airport), Turkey on the 29th of October with flight TK 1794.

I checked in my bag at the Stockholm airport and was told to expect my luggage directly in Mumbai airport.

When I arrived on the 30th of October at 05.30, my baggage was lost. I was first told by the Mumbai Airport ground staff after she looked in some list that my bag was not loaded from Istanbul and will be loaded and my bag will be sent with the next flight out the next day. I also filed a PIR report at the airport and left with an empty hand luggage.

At the same time the information provided for compensation was not clear. When my baggage did not arrive as promised, I called the Turkish airlines baggage department and was told that the information provided to me was incorrect. The reality was that they could not trace my bag.

I have since called every day for updates, and on the 2nd I was sent the wrong bag. I refused it, and the search continued. Both my husband and I kept calling every day, but no new updates were given. The File Reference Number I have for this is (omitted). I have till date not been able to get in contact with any Turkish Airline staff at the Mumbai Airport, which I find deplorable. The only contact I had was the Airport ground staff.

During this time I had to purchase things to replace the items that were lost, as I didn’t have anything. I have the bills for the things that I had to buy, and I expect to be compensated in full for these purchases.

I have been told by ground personnel at Mumbai airport (not belonging to Turkish Airlines) that I would only receive 300 USD as compensation for the duration baggage was lost, but this is far from sufficient to cover the costs I’ve incurred even though I’ve limited myself to essentials. When I have been in contact with the Lost Baggage telephone support, they have said that the amount is not fixed, and instead the list of lost items will be evaluated and that compensation for an appropriate amount will be made without any upper limit, as they are responsible for the baggage when it is in their custody. I need clarity in this.

On the 8th of November I was told that there would be a bag matching my description sent from Istanbul to Mumbai on the flight TK720 that had been sent to ‘unclaimed’. I was also asked about a number of items in my bag, which I took as confirmation that the bag was mine. At first I was told that they had screened the items and therefore they knew what contents were in the bag. On further questioning it was revealed that the bag had been BROKEN INTO since it was UNCLAIMED.

I called the Airport staff and told them that I would come to the airport and collect my bag so I could make sure nothing was missing. When I arrived in the morning of the 9th of November at the airport, together with my mother and representatives from Turkish Airlines, the bag was in tatters.

The lock was broken, the wheels of the bag are not working correctly, and ALL my valuables, even the ones that had been mentioned to me on the 8th, have been stolen. Even my dresses, jeans and tops had been stolen, in addition to my jewellery (imitation), presents and other items. Please see further down in this letter for a complete list together with estimated values for replacing the items. Everything has been stolen and this is UNACCEPTABLE. The contents of the bag has been ransacked through and even the under garments were not spared.

This whole ordeal has been a HUGE pressure for me, and I feel my vacation has been destroyed. I have had to cancel various smaller trips that I had been planning to go on, due to missing presents and things I had specifically brought for those trips. This has caused additional financial and emotional loss, which I expect to be compensated for. I am very upset and disappointed with this entire situation, and it has left me emotionally drained. I am now having panic attacks and can not deal with this trauma.

This whole situation is disgusting and not something i would expect from an international airlines company.

List of items lost: All amounts are in Swedish Krona
(List omitted as this is an open letter)

I also would like to add that my bag is completely destroyed and you have to replace that as well.

This ordeal has shaken up my whole family and left me extremely miserable. I had to not only shop for my necessities during the 12 days I have been without any luggage, but now I have to buy a new bag as I have a family trip planned next week. In addition to this, I will have to purchase the items that have been stolen from me.

I solely hold Turkish Airlines responsible for this ordeal. I feel extremely unsafe now and am extremely worried for my Husbands travel plan to India and later our flight together back to Sweden.

I am looking forward to a quick resolution to my worries with concrete answers.

Mehek Wigren

Directions for 2014

2014As New Year’s resolutions seem almost made to be broken, I thought that instead of making new New Year’s resolutions this year, as I have done in the past, I am going to set a more practical direction for this year. Instead of making a list of things that I will do “some time” during next year, I have made a list of skills and habits that I will work on for one month at a time.

The way this is going to work is that I will pick one skill or habit to focus on each month, and by the end of the year, hopefully some of these habits and skills will have stuck.

I won’t stop learning the skill or practicing the habit at the end of each month however, but instead add another skill to my repertoire to work on. What sticks will stick, what doesn’t feel worthwhile will fall away. If I throughout the month feel like I don’t want to continue, that is fine too, but at least I will have learned something.

stretchingThe first habit I will be working on is stretching. My goal is to stretch for about 20 minutes in the evening before going to bed. This is something I should have started with a long time ago, especially with how hard I have been working out. Better late than never, I suppose. I was reminded of how stiff I was and how necessary it is that I stretch when I made an offhand joke to a friend of mine that I don’t need to stretch, while at the gym. I thought about it afterwards and told myself that from now on, I will be stretching more. I never did. Now however, with the turn of the new year and in deciding that I will pursue one new habit each month, I felt it was time to get started once and for all.

Another habit I really want to set, is to get a proper morning routine. Right now my mornings mostly consist of me waking up to my alarm telling me that I need to wolf down some food and get out the door, which starts my day out in a rush. Instead, I want to wake up, do something productive, eat breakfast in peace and go to work without stressing. 

Other habits that I haven’t decided in which order to do yet, as I have the two first months planned, has still to be set. If you have any suggestions for skills or habits to work on, let me know and I might incorporate it into my list and into my schedule.

  • Improving my photographyimprove-photography
  • Write two new blog posts every month
  • Cooking better food
  • Learning to write short-hand
  • Learning to play poker well
  • Shoot well with bow and arrows
  • Become better at mental mathematics
  • Learning to beat-box
  • Learning some cool magic tricks
  • Improving various IT skills
  • Learning super-spy skills (à la Jason Bourne)


So, what skills and habits are you going to work on during 2014?

How will you make this your best year yet?

Looking back on 2013

A lot has happened during 2013, and I just thought I would share a few of the highlights with you here.

The year started out pretty amazing, in India, where my wife and I had a wedding reception, as only her direct family had been able to attend our wedding in Sweden. I must say, an Indian wedding is pretty much wild! All in all, more than 700 people attended the two events that we had, and the venues were magical both times. The first event was what is called a Sangeet, where there is music, dancing and other festivities for the closest family members and friends. The second event was the proper reception where the extended family and circles of friends were invited.

Reception Venue

After returning to Sweden, life went back to it’s normal pace. However, in part due to a bad joke I had made during the trip to India, and in part due to the fact that I was actually putting on weight after quite some time of struggling with just that, I decided that I would be returning to the gym, harder than ever!

I set a bunch of fitness goals, that are on my Bucketlist and started working towards them. I told myself that this year, I would look ripped on the beach. Of course, that never happened, but I was continuously working towards that goal. By summer, I ended up looking quite fit, with a lot more muscle than I had ever had before, all while maintaining my weight. I started taking vitamin supplements, drinking protein shakes and generally trying to improve my health in every way I could. Your health is the most important thing in life. If you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to do anything as well as you could if you are. Also, on the first of October, I finally had my six pack! I still need to work hard on it to make it more visible, but I got the thumbs up from my gym partner to claim that I have one.

Apart from fitness, I have been working hard at ticking off other items on my Bucketlist, something that more and more is becoming something of an obsession. This year alone, I have ticked off 12 items from the ever growing list.

  • Taking my wife canoeing
  • Witnessing a meteor shower together with my wife
  • Learning to Juggle
  • Writing a killer CV
  • Running my first 5k race
  • Doing 20 consecutive chin-ups
  • Getting a six-pack
  • Doing 100 consecutive push ups
  • Doing 200 consecutive squats
  • Starting to properly learn Russian
  • Getting more than 500 daily visitors on my blog
  • Making $100+ through online work

Of course I have done many more things than these throughout the year, such as getting a new job, traveling to Latvia for our one year anniversary, and started training for the 60 km long Engelbrektsloppet ski race as well as the other Swedish Classic races, but this serves as a small highlight of what has happened during the year.

I am really optimistic and looking forward to what 2014 is going to bring. What I am sure about however is that it is going to be brilliant, a lot of work and so much of fun! I look forward to sharing more with you in the year to come!

Till then, have a wonderful day!

The Last Sequence – 13-12-11

Today is a very special day from a numerological point of view. It is the last time for 90 years that a date can be written in a direct number sequence, with next time being in 2103/02/01.

As I have always found number sequences interesting and because today is such a special day, I planned something special to mark the occasion. Therefore, at 10:09 today, I did 100 push ups which has been on my bucketlist for quite some time, in order to make an interesting number sequence even more special, ending up with 13/12/11 10:09.

About three weeks ago I decided that I wanted to challenge myself a bit extra, so almost jokingly I told a friend of mine that I would do 100 push ups on the 11th December, which was about three weeks away at the time. As of saying that, my personal record was only 60 push ups, so in the last few weeks I have really tried to push my own limits.

All in all, I am extremely proud of this, even though this is definitely not going to be my max for long! I’ve caught a push up bug!

Swedish Classic – The Beginnings

ESK_banner1I have decided together with a good friend of mine to complete one of the toughest series of endurance races available in Sweden, called A Swedish Classic (webpage in Swedish). It consists of four separate races that you have to complete within a 12 month span, in order for you to be able to say that you have completed a Swedish Classic. So far the Swedish Classic diploma has been awarded to 23’486 men and 4’959 women since it started in 1972.

Update: As we were too late to book ours slots for Vasaloppet 2014, we will start the Swedish Classic with the Vätternrundan race and complete Vasaloppet in 2015 instead. A positive thing about this is that we will get more time to prepare for the various different races, but it is too bad that we won’t be able to complete the whole thing during 2014.

Update 2: We were lucky enough to get tickets for an earlier race called Engelbrektsloppet, which also is a part of the Swedish Classic race, which means that we will be able to complete the Swedish Classic in 2014! This is so exciting! On another note, I have needed to buy new gear for almost all of these races, such as new skis and a racing bike for the 300 km long Vätternrundan!

The Swedish Classic races are:


logotype.vasaloppetThe race that we will be starting with is the ‘Vasaloppet’ cross country ski race, which is 90 km long. It is the oldest, the longest, and the biggest (in terms of participants, normally with over 15’000 people in the main race and an additional 60’000 in related races the same week) cross-country ski race in the world and has been a Swedish traditional race since 1922. The race is held in memory of the Swedish king Gustav Vasa, who fled towards Norway in 1521 on skis. Read more about Gustav Vasa here. The race annually has millions of people in Sweden as well as around the world hooked to the TV or radio and is one of the biggest sporting events of the year in Sweden. Read more about Vasaloppet on Wikipedia. Vasaloppet is held annually on the first Sunday of Mars.


VätternrundanVätternrundan is the world’s longest recreational bicycle race, 300 km or 186.4 miles long, circling the second largest lake in Sweden. The race isn’t officially a competition, but instead everybody receives an RF transponder so that they can find out their own race time. In 2011, 27’973 cyclists passed the finish line in the 30 hours that the race is going on for. During the race you can stop at any of the nine stop locations to receive water, food and a free massage and once you have completed the race you are awarded a medal, a diploma and a warm meal.  Read more about Vätternrundan on Wikipedia. Vätternrundan is held during the weekend before midsummer, ever since 1966.


VansbrosimningenThe Vansbrosimningen is a 3 km long race has been going on since 1950, with participants swimming with the current for around 2000 meters and then up against the current in an adjoining river. For the race in 2014, there are already 3643 people who have signed up as of the time that I’m writing this article. Read more about Vansbrosimningen on the official website (in Swedish).


LidingoloppetIn 2014 Lidingöloppet celebrates it’s 50th anniversary, which makes it an even more special event. The race is a 30 km long cross country running event. During 2013 there were 43’500 participants in the race, making it the largest cross country running event in the world. Read more about Lidingöloppet on Wikipedia. Lidingöloppet is held annually on the last Saturday in September.


As these races are all endurance races, we have both been training conditioning a lot, in addition to strength training during the summer. The summer’s training culminated in a short 5 km race on the 14th of September, where I due to stomach issues only was able to complete the race with a time of 29:56. Still, for my first ever race, it felt good to have finished in under 30 minutes.

I’m really excited to having committed to this project, so now I can’t wait for the snow to come so that I can start training skiing in anticipation of Vasaloppet. Of course I will keep you all update on the progress and the results of the races. Wish me luck!

The summer of 2013 – Updates

I realize that I haven’t been writing for a very long time. There are several reasons for this, but I promise that I will write a few posts about what has been happening lately. I also know that I haven’t been writing any personal blog posts in almost a year, so I think that it’s time that they come back too.


One of the biggest things that have happened lately is that I have gotten a new job that I’m really excited about. I was unemployed for a few months during the summer, but I think that I used my time quite well.

For example, I had a lot of time to go to the gym, which really has started to show results; I have finally started to be able to see my six-pack abs! At the moment they can’t be seen all the time, so I still have some ways to go to improve that, but at least they’re there!

I filled my summer quite well with other activities as well, some of which I am planning to share with you here on the blog in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned!

I am quite excited to having started writing again, so expect a few new blog posts soon!

Korean Hangul in 20 minutes

If you have never tried to learn another script, anything that you see in a different script looks mysterious, strange and difficult to understand. There are many different kinds of scripts in the world, but few as simple as the Korean Hangul.

Creating Hangul

If you’ve seen the writing systems that look like strange scribbles from the far eastern countries, you probably also come across the Korean writing system known as Hangul. Hangul is actually a proper alphabet that was created rather than developed over time. The story goes that a Korean king named Sejong the Great wanted to promote literacy in Korea, especially among his own soldiers, and thought that the Chinese writing system (called hanzi in Chinese, hanja in Korean) was too complicated and didn’t properly correlate to the way Korean was spoken. He set up a competition for linguists to create a writing system specially designed for Korean, which was to be as simple as possible so that anyone could learn it. There were many scripts that were developed in this competition, and the Hangul we see now was elected the winner of the competition.

Well, if the idea was to make a simple writing system, why does it look so complicated, you may ask. Well it really isn’t complicated at all. You just haven’t tried to learn it yet, and as you know, anything you haven’t tried to learn could either be extremely complicated or very easy to learn. In this case, you just don’t know how easy it is just yet.

Hangul is Easy

I believe that anyone can learn to read and write Hangul in less than an hour, no matter what excuses you may come up with, that you just don’t have a mind for languages, that you are too old, or anything else. I also firmly believe that most people can learn it in 20 minutes or less. How cool wouldn’t it be if you could learn a completely new writing system in as much time as it takes to watch an episode of The Simpsons? Continue reading Korean Hangul in 20 minutes

How to Tie a Tie – Exotic Style

In my previous post about classic tie knots I showed you how to tie the four classical tie knots. In this post we will go well beyond the basics and focus on a few really cool looking tie knots that can best be described as exotic and definitely will draw attention.

Exotic tie knots that draw attention!

Never heard of a tie knot drawing attention before? Well, now you’re going to learn several that do. I have found these knots in various places on the internet and just like with the classic knots, I haven’t invented them myself, but they are nevertheless very cool.

The Eldredge Knot

We start off with my new favourite knot; The Eldredge knot. It looks pretty amazing, don’t you think?

eldredge-knot Continue reading How to Tie a Tie – Exotic Style

How to Tie a Tie – The Classics

There are basically four tie knots that can be classified as the classics, namely the Four in Hand, Half Windsor, Full Windsor and the Shell Knot. I will describe how to tie them individually in this post as well, but feel free to copy the following diagram to your computer, print it and put it up on your wall or memorize it if you like.


1. Four in Hand

The easiest one of the classics is the Four in Hand knot, doesn’t take much time at all to learn. It looks alright and is a handy one to know. The negative thing about the Four in Hand knot is that it is asymmetrical, which gives you a slanting line at the top.


Here is how you tie the Four in Hand:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  3. Pass the wide end horizontally over the narrow end again.
  4. Take the wide end up and through the loop around your neck.
  5. Take the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar.

2. Half Windsor

The second one of the classics that everybody should know is the Half Windsor. It looks fantastic, it’s symmetrical and it suits almost all occasions. This is your go-to knot most of the time. The Half Windsor works very well for ties made of thick fabric.


Here is how you tie the Half Windsor:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  3. Pull the wide end up.
  4. Take the wide end back down through the loop.
  5. Move the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  6. Take the wide end up through the loop.
  7. Pull the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar.

3. Full Windsor

The third classic knot is the Full Windsor. It looks great, it’s symmetrical and it suits almost all occasions and looks more business style than the Half Windsor knot. This is the one to use when you go to the office or if you have a thin fabric tie.


Here is how you tie the Full Windsor:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Take the wide end back through the loop around your neck.
  3. Take the wide end over the narrow end in the same direction you crossed it at step 1.
  4. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  5. Take the wide end up…
  6. And back through the loop in the same direction as step 4.
  7. Fold the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  8. Bring the wide end up through the loop once more, like you did in step 2.
  9. Pull the wide end through the knot.

4. Shell Knot

The last of the classics is the Shell Knot, also known as the Shellby Knot and Pratt Knot. It’s easy to make, it’s symmetrical and doesn’t feel as imposing as the Windsor knots. This knot can be used almost at any time. In size it’s roughly between the Four in Hand and Half Windsor knots.


Here is how you tie the Shell Knot:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end under the narrow end, while the tie hangs inside out around your neck.
  2. Pull the wide end up over the narrow end.
  3. Take the wide end down through the loop and tighten the knot.
  4. Move the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  5. Pull the wide end back up through the  loop.
  6. Pull the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar.

These are the classic tie knots that everybody should know. There are several ways of tying the Half and Full Windsor knots, so if you’re interested, feel free to roam the web in search of more.

I hope you have learned a lot! However, there are still a lot of other styles of tie knots, if you are interested. In the next post I will teach you how to make even fancier and more exotic knots! Check it out here!

Learn to Relax

Learning to relax is something very important. Almost as important as drinking enough water. Many of us don’t take time to relax enough, and when we set out to relax, we often just sit in a sofa in front of the TV or in a chair in front of the computer. I know that I do. This doesn’t allow the body to fully relax, so it’s good to sometimes just take a break and really relax for real. This problem also ties into being able to fall asleep. Because we don’t allow our minds and bodies to be relaxed before we sleep, we often make it harder for ourselves when the time comes to go to bed.

How to fall asleep is quite an interesting topic to discuss. For some people it’s quite difficult to manage to fall asleep, for some people it’s quite easy and for some people who are suffering from different forms of sleeping disorders, it’s near impossible.

At times in my life I have had huge problems with falling asleep. My brain just keeps churning things over, making it impossible to shut out the chatter from inside my own head. It was during the time that I had the most problems with these things that I read quite a lot about relaxation techniques, ways of making yourself falling asleep etc, and eventually I developed two techniques that work really well for me. One to relax my body completely, or at least as completely as it’s possible to relax oneself, and the other to blank out my mind and relax my mind. And from that relaxed state of mind, I found that it was much easier to fall asleep.

My body relaxation technique might look like some other techniques that you’ve seen somewhere else and since as far as I know it hasn’t been patented, you can feel free to claim it as your own as well. If you’ve seen or used a technique similar to this, write a comment and tell me your experience with it, that would be really cool.

 Relaxed Body

For the first technique, you can either sit in a comfortable chair or lay down on a bench, bed, or on the floor. Keep your arms by the side of your body, be comfortable, and make sure you’re not going to get too cold or too warm for the next half an hour or so.

Close your eyes, and breathe through your nose. Take deep long breaths and just get used to breathing this way for about ten seconds or so. Once you have gotten used to the rhythm, breathe in, and as you breathe out, give a huge sigh and just relax your muscles as much as possible, just let everything go. Try to sink into the floor or mattress as much as possible. Become a puddle of goo.

This is where it becomes a bit more difficult and the real relaxation will start. The idea of the relaxation technique is to relax body-part by body-part one by one, starting from the head. I like to start from the face, but you might as well do it from your feet and go upwards. I like to start from the top, because you have loads of muscles in your face, and to me, the head, neck and shoulders are the most important to relax, to be able to continue relaxing the rest of the body.

Start by allowing your face muscles relax. Let them sink back, your eyebrows relax and your cheeks get loose. Open your lips ever so slightly and relax your tongue. It might feel like it’s going to block your throat, but you are breathing through your nose, so don’t worry. Continue focusing on relaxing one muscle group at the time in your face, then your neck, shoulders and arms, etc. Really focus on relaxing and letting go of any tension you have.

Keep it to one muscle per breath or slower if you can. The more times that you use this technique, the more muscles you will find to relax. If you want, have a look at a drawing of the human physiology and imagine going through all those muscles when you’re relaxing. Just keep going through the whole of your body until you’ve reached your legs and feet. Once you have, just go through your body one more time and make sure that you’re completely relaxed.

The first time you try this technique, you might not get further than a couple of muscles in your face before you lose focus. Don’t worry about it, but just keep trying. You’ll get it eventually.

Mind Relaxation

For the mind-relaxation technique, I needed to add a couple of triggers to make it work properly for myself. My mind is very active, and thus will always want to think of two or three other things at the same time, even if I try to tone it down. This can be quite disturbing when trying to focus on this technique, because the purpose of it is to empty out your mind, slow yourself down into a relaxed state of mind and ultimately either just relax or get a chance to peacefully fall asleep.

Visualize a huge clock in front of you. The clock only has one arm, the seconds arm. The other arms of the clock are irrelevant, so you leave them out or visualize them as you like. Just firmly burn the image of the clock into your mind and let the seconds tick away. Make the image clearer, the white of the clock face whiter, bigger and brighter. Shut everything else out but the face of the clock.

Once you have a firm image of the clock face and the seconds arm in your mind, match the speed of the arm’s ticking to your own heartbeat and just watch it tick on as you feel your heart beating. Keep letting it tick, and make the image stick in your mind.

As you get used to the rhythm, you start to will the arm to tick slower, as you observe it, obstruct it in your mind, and at the same time you keep matching it to the pace of your heartbeat. Keep willing it to move slower and slower, feeling your heart beat slower and slower as you will the clock to tick slower. Keep going and keep focusing on the clock, the ticking of the arm and your own heartbeat.

At first you will find that a lot of distractions will try to obstruct you from fully visualizing the clock, from matching the ticking of the arm to the beating of your heart and from willing it to slow down. As the distractions keep coming in, acknowledge them and let them go. It’s much more difficult to getting rid of an image or thought if you don’t acknowledge that it’s there, but as soon as you have, focus even harder on the clock. Make it brighter, bigger and more tangible in your mind. Keep it going and you’ll soon be able to summon that clock at any given time.

Energy Booster

I also have another technique, to boost my energy, that I had almost forgotten about. I just remembered it when I was discussing this article with a friend of mine, so I thought it could be cool to add it in here as well. As I said, I had almost forgotten about it because I haven’t been using it for years. I don’t know why or when I really stopped using it, but it’s well worth a mention.

Basically what I do is that when I’m in a relaxed state, I focus my energy on the inside of my eyelids or just above my eyes, and breathe through my nose. I inhale carefully, but exhale with a bit of force. Not so much as if I was blowing my nose, but almost as if I was blowing up a very light balloon. I keep the focus and try to visualize energy and adrenaline pumping through my body. With every breath I keep this going and visualize that I have a torrent of energy that goes from the top of my head, down my back and up through my chest. I keep feeding this torrent with more and more energy, starting to move my body ever so slightly, rolling my shoulders, and let the energy flow through me.

Then I open my eyes and go about my business, feeling much more energized than before.


You can also combine all three of these techniques, once you have gotten used to them. First, relax your body, then your mind and as you decide to come to, or if you’ve set an alarm for a certain period of time, use the energy-boost technique just to get a little extra kick.

If you decide to try any of these techniques out, please tell me how your experience with them was, comment if there is anything that you’re wondering about and share it if it has been beneficial to you.