2012 - a challenging year:
Here's a little letter to you guys out there. I have missed updating paulsplanet.no, but I am satisfied by having the blogspot-blog instead. I am happy to say that it recently passed 26.000 pageviews, that is cool, and it seems blogging works better that way. I will, however, keep this base, and present my galleries and material here, on the proper homepage. However, this year has been a somewhat tough one, and I want to share with you how things are going.
In 2011, my traveling has been within Norway, mainly connected to visiting schools and companies with my show. You will see much of it on the blog. It is now more than two years since my return from the trip to the Faroe Islands and Iceland. This went better than I could have imagined, really. I met the most awesome people, challenged myself in amazing scenery and got a wonderful insight into a culture that exist close to my own, but nevertheless is very different. It was a gift.
The project was meant to become a documentary series on TV or in a newspaper. A production company believed in me, and lent me equipment. My sponsors were game. Media said that they were very interested in evaluating the material after the journey. I assumed that meant that it was up to me to do my part, and it would be accepted. So I did. It actually went better than I had even imagined. But they did not want it.
Due to poor sales of travel-books, my publisher even cancelled two works I was assigned to write (one was actually written, if anybody is interested).
A hundred hours on tape, with interviews, stories and all kinds of diving-, riding, kayaking, monstertruck driving- and biking scenes, was tied together as my adventure about these islands that Norwegians ought to know more about. But nobody wanted it. I spent months in the editing room. I love editing and I learnt new skills by doing so, but for what, if it is not spread out?
A challenge was to merely get by. I was pretty much broke, not getting a penny from the project. The year before had been rescued by a generous sponsor, but I had to promote my multimedia shows, which are fun to do, but they steal time from finishing the video production. Fortunately, I got some good assignments saving my spring and summer. Then it was down to the extreme limit on the mastercard again. Going to schools is really great and I love addressing teenagers, but the problem is that it does not pay very well, which is why I also need bigger companies in between.
One of these companies is Boreal Transport. I wrote about a great bus driver in my blog, and sent the link to them, for him to see it. They really liked what I wrote, we had a meeting and all got along really well, resulting in two shows for them and a very interesting plan for next year. I will tell more about that later. The amazing thing is, that my activities in 2012 are made possible by me jumping on a bus with a service-minded driver last summer. What a freaky world.
Another coincidence led to me talking with the local TV station TV8. They interviewed me (the video on my front page) and I liked their attitude. They have quite a wide transmission, reaching out to a big part of Norway, where other local TV-stations also proved interested. They are short on money, but can give me time for ads connected to my programs, which I now have to sell. Their positive attitude is very encouraging, and I have a lot of freedom in my work.
Well, it is now winter, and I would have been broke again, if it was not for a welfare committee on "Troll C", one of the oil rigs run by Statoil. They want a series of shows and it is really cool and interesting to be lifted out there and see what offshore work is about. This gives me the necessary funding to finally finalize my programs and get them on air before the next project starts in spring. It will be a good one, for sure.
So, friends and followers. I keep doing what I like the most: "traveling and telling about it". The somewhat troubled times I have been through now, with one disappointment after the other, has strengthened my belief in that it is always a way to get up and ahead. The wall in front of you have a unlocked door in it, somewhere. It is just a matter of being optimistic, true and enduring - playing with the elements, not struggling against them. I feel those doors beginning to open up now, there's a new drive in things - promising a very good 2012.
Happy next year to all of you!
Du må ikke sove:
Jeg våknet en natt av en underlig drøm,
det var som en stemme talte til mig,
fjern som en underjordisk strøm -
og jeg reiste mig op: Hvad er det du vil mig?
- Du må ikke sove! Du må ikke sove!
Du må ikke tro, at du bare har drømt!
Igår blev jeg dømt.
I natt har de reist skafottet i gården.
De henter mig klokken fem imorgen!
Hele kjelleren her er full,
og alle kaserner har kjeller ved kjeller.
Vi ligger og venter i stenkolde celler,
vi ligger og råtner i mørke hull!
Vi vet ikke selv, hvad vi ligger og venter,
og hvem der kan bli den neste, de henter.
Vi stønner, vi skriker - men kan dere høre?
Kan dere absolutt ingenting gjøre?
Ingen får se oss.
Ingen får vite, hvad der skal skje oss.
Ingen kan tro, hvad her daglig skjer!
Du mener, det kan ikke være sant,
så onde kan ikke mennesker være.
Der fins da vel skikkelig folk iblandt?
Bror, du har ennu meget å lære!
Man sa: Du skal gi ditt liv, om det kreves.
Og nu har vi gitt det - forgjeves, forgjeves!
Verden har glemt oss! Vi er bedratt!
Du må ikke sove mer i natt!
Du må ikke gå til ditt kjøpmannskap
og tenke på hvad der gir vinning og tap!
Du må ikke skylde på aker og fe
og at du har mer enn nok med det!
Du må ikke sitte trygt i ditt hjem
og si: Det er sørgelig, stakkars dem!
Du må ikke tåle så inderlig vel
den urett som ikke rammer dig selv!
Jeg roper med siste pust av min stemme:
Du har ikke lov til å gå der og glemme!
Tilgi dem ikke; de vet hvad de gjør!
De puster på hatets og ondskapens glør!
De liker å drepe, de frydes ved jammer,
de ønsker å se vår verden i flammer!
De ønsker å drukne oss alle i blod!
Tror du det ikke? Du vet det jo!
Du vet jo, at skolebarn er soldater,
som stimer med sang over torv og gater,
og opglødd av mødrenes fromme svig,
vil verge sitt land og vil gå i krig!
Du kjenner det nedrige folkebedrag
med heltemot og med tro og ære -
du vet, at en helt, det vil barnet være,
du vet, han vil vifte med sabel og flag!
Og så skal han ut i en skur av stål
og henge igjen i en piggtrådsvase
og råtne for Hitlers ariske rase!
Du vet, det er menneskets mening og mål!
Jeg skjønte det ikke. Nu er det for sent.
Min dom er rettferdig. Min straff er fortjent.
jeg trodde på fremgang, jeg trodde på fred,
på arbeid, på samhold, på kjærlighet!
Men den som ikke vil dø i en flokk
får prøve alene, på bøddelens blokk!
Jeg roper i mørket - å, kunde du høre!
Der er en eneste ting å gjøre:
Verg dig, mens du har frie hender!
Frels dine barn! Europa brenner!
Jeg skaket av frost. Jeg fikk på mig klær.
Ute var glitrende stjernevær.
Bare en ulmende stripe i øst
varslet det samme som drømmens røst:
Dagen bakenom jordens rand
steg med et skjær av blod og brand,
steg med en angst så åndeløs,
at det var som om selve stjernene frøs!
Jeg tenkte: Nu er det noget som hender. -
Vår tid er forbi - Europa brenner!
Arnulf Øverland .
Å utgi en bok ...
... skal være en kamp i motbakke og motvind, så jeg er litt forundret over at det nå tre ganger har lyktes meg, uten egentlig å møte motstand. Snarere tvert imot; det er som oftest forleggerne som spør. Hvorfor ingen forlag har gjentatt spørsmålet, er en annen sak, men det kan det jo muligens bli en endring på nå.
De første to bøkene fulgte jeg helt fram til trykkeriet. Jeg satt sammen med den gode mann Willy på Framnes Tekst og Bilde, og drakk atskillige eplemost mens vi knadde sidene sammen. At det ikke er slik man egentlig går fram, var ukjent for meg, ettersom det jo var mine to første. Denne gang er det annerledes. Gyldendal har sin måte å ordne tingene på, og alt materiale er nå overlatt til Anne, designeren. Jeg var nervøs. For å si det mildt. Litt fandenivoldsk også, kanskje, for det er faktisk godt å kunne legge ansvaret på andre skuldre. Nå viser det seg dessuten at disse skuldrene absolutt vet å løse oppgaven godt.
Det er jo slik med mine fotografier og beretninger, at det blir veldig personlige greier. Jeg føler temmelig mye for det jeg gjør, så det er en skremmende tanke at andre skal knusle med det. Noen bilder må være store, noen små - og uttrykksmåter helst på min måte. Dette ser nå ut til å gå fint, og jeg er kjempefornøyd med hva jeg har sett så langt. Noen ganske få historier og passasjer er strammet inn, som "Dirty bomb" jeg har gjengitt lenger ned i bloggen, men faktisk er jeg enig i de fleste innspillene, og overasket over hvor få endringer redaktør Mia har foreslått. Hun har gitt meg frie hender hele veien, og fra starten av stolt på at jeg skulle løse oppgaven. Det er tøft av henne, og inspirerende for meg. Nå er jeg sikker på at dette blir min bok - selv i Annes hender ...
Når noen foretar en reise...
Wenn einer eine Reise macht,
Dann kann er viel erleben,
Vor Glück ihm das Herze lacht,
Denn ihm wird viel gegeben.
Erkennt sein Wesen in den Andern,
Auch wie er selbst auf sie reagiert,
Seine Blicke müssen endlos Wandern,
Und der Verstand viel Neues erfährt.
Kein Traum und kein Gedanke kann,
Fremden Geruch, fremde Farbe spüren,
Was nicht selbst erlebt irgendwann,
Kann auch nicht zu Träumen verführen.
Auch wenn die Reise beschwerlich war,
Angefüllt mit allerlei Gefahren,
Am Ende war es reinstes Erleben gar,
Und man hat sich selbst erfahren.
Drum reise Mensch, der Phantasie begabt,
So lang es dir erlaubt dein ganzes Leben,
Wenn ihr später Reisen nicht mehr habt
Wird euch alles in Träumen zurückgeben.
tusen takk til; Jürgen Kurlvink
(Croatia summer 2006)
(redaktør Mia bad meg pent om å droppe denne i boken)
De fleste som kjenner meg bør mene at jeg jamt over er en snill gutt. Jeg blir stort sett bare sur på supermakter og fotgjengere i sykkelbanen, men gjør lite utav det. Unntaket som bekrefter denne regelen inntreffer i Kornatene Nasjonalpark.
Det har vært flotte padledager i vakker natur og jeg har lagt til i en liten bukt med to små familiedrevne restauranter. Branca er en nydelig kvinne på bortimot femti, hun driver det ene “konoba’en” og lar meg sove på terrassen. Selv om det oppblåsbare underlaget har punktert er betongunderlag ikke noe problem, for jeg har normalt et godt sovehjerte.
Femti meter unna, utenfor restauranten i den andre enden av bukta, ligger tre-fire lystseilere fortøyd. Inni den ene har seks tyske unge menn drevet en larmende fest, inntil de ved midnattstid beslutter seg for å fortsette moroa på dekk. Jeg kan vinke farvel til nattesøvnen, ettersom de dritings idiotene høres over store deler av øya.
Minutter med skråling blir til to timer med gauling. Når disse omsider er over, etter uendelige da capo’er av låta “Que sera”, er adrenalininnholdet i mine ellers så sindige blodårer oppe på bestenotering.
Det går opp for meg at hevn i grunn en naturlig reaksjonsform når man er utsatt for slik respektløshet. Det kan heller ikke være sunt for kroppen når slike mengder adrenalin hoper seg opp i systemet. Med eget helbred i tankene, bestemmer jeg meg for å gi denne giften utløp, ved tydelig å markere min misnøye.
En mulighet å ta igjen på ville være å entre deres båt syngende på ”jeg gikk en tur i skogen” av full hals, men da ville jeg også plage de uskyldige nabobåtene, som forgjeves har forsøkt å bringe bråkmakerne til ro. Den fremgangsmåten kan også ende med at jeg får en skur tomflasker i bakhodet, så situasjonen krever en mer subtil straffereaksjon. En som ikke er til å misforstå – og heller ikke kan spores. Oppskriften følger:
En plastpose er utgangspunktet. Jeg bretter kantene til den danner en skål, gjør mitt fornødne i den og pisser og rører rundt inntil konsistensen er medgjørlig. Ikke for tykk, ikke for tynn. Posen snurper jeg sammen og knytter den som en hundepose, med innholdet samlet i et hjørne og mest mulig av luften klemt ut. Overskytende plast klipper jeg av for å unngå avslørende rasling, og står med noe som likner en kakesprøyte i hånden, ikke fylt med pisket kremfløte, men med en guffe som egner seg bedre på en seilbåt full av søppelhoder enn på en fødselsdagskake.
Den dypeste REM-søvnen inntreffer mellom fire og fem om morgenen, og særlig dypt sover man vel etter rause inntak av alkohol. Jeg venter til beste timing, og tar så kakesprøyten i en hånd og svømmeføttene i den andre og lister hen til steintrappen uten for Brancas restaurant. Jeg er kliss naken, ettersom våte underbukser til tørk i morgen vil avsløre meg som gjerningsmann. Den største bekymringen spinner om vannets temperatur, så jeg stiller meg spørsmålet om jeg ville gjort dette med en rose dersom det var kjærlighet det gjaldt. Det er jo klart, dermed faller den unnskyldningen bort.
Vannet er slett ikke kaldt, men fullt av morild, så jeg må for all del ikke bli ferska, ettersom anonymt tilbaketog er umulig så lenge svømmeføttene mest likner to fakler. Lydløst svømmer jeg på ryggen mot seilbåten. Badestigen er trukket opp, men det nytter ikke å snu nå, så jeg lirker av svømmeføttene, plasserer dem pent til venstre på badeplattformen, og heiser meg opp med grep om en fastmontert stang. Det overrasker meg hvor lite støy jeg avgir, og jeg er så gira at det ikke gjør meg det minste å bite av et hjørne av min “dirty bomb”, slik at den er armert og skriveklar.
Setene på slike båter er brune, kanskje i truet treverk fra flatehogst i Indonesia. I lys av Karlsvogna og Store Bjørn er det derfor litt vrient å sjekke håndskriften, men jeg utøver den flid jeg er god for, og staver med digre bokstaver “QUE SERA” før sprøyta går tom.
En siste rest skviser jeg ned på gulvet ved roret, og så smyger jeg ned i vannet igjen, tar på meg svømmeføttene og glir avsted som en selvlysende torpedo. En riktig deilig svømmetur – jeg blir ikke engang våt i håret.
Går det an å sove så godt på betong? Jeg våkner ikke før fjolsene på den andre sien av bukta virrer omkring på dekk med såpe og skurebøtter. Branca kommer ut og undrer seg over aktiviteten på seilbåten, og jeg spør om hun sov godt om natten. Det har hun naturligvis ikke gjort. Jeg innvier henne i nattens ugjerning, og et glimt av vantro går over i et latteranfall som jeg må kneble mens jeg trekker henne innenfor.
Hun lover å lage frokost til meg, og ringer datteren på fastlandet for å fortelle historien, som jeg må bekrefte. Litt senere sitter jeg og gumler påspanderte pannekaker med marmelade, mens en taus seilbåt glir ut fra bukta. Det blir nok en herlig, fredsommelig dag i Kornatene Nasjonalpark.
A letter to Bernadettes mother in Australia
It started out with a double booking. I have never been to good at calendars, dates, clocks and minutes, so, as this seemingly charming, good natured austrailan couple in a very polite way requested a number of nights on my couch, I - out of curiosity and a rare case of good heartedness or pity - felt obliged to accept them for two nights. Only after having done so, I remembered that I had also a Scottish woman coming my way, and dived into my formerly mentioned calendar to find out when she would show up. My fears were justified as I found a one night overlap in these two travel parties. To begin with, I should only accept one, as I have one bed and one couch. Accepting a couple, I would have to give up my bed and take the sofa myself. Same thing happens when a sweet single girl surf my place – I am that much of a gentleman, in spite of my barbaric forefathers.
So, now having a couple heading for my bed and a outspoken (I know from our letters) middle aged Scot woman soon landing on my couch, I easily made out that my floor was awaiting me. Bernadette and Leo arrived. I was not disappointed, and was just getting to know them and explaining the house rules (no smoking on the balcony and no fucking in the shower, as it is to be inaugurated by me, in August) as the phone rang and my old friend "Trym" from the forest was near. I had not completely forgotten our appointment, but refreshed my own memory and asked him in a casual voice if he planned to stay the night, as he was flying out to Kazakhstan in the early morning. Sure he was, and I was instantly relieved that he arrived on that day and not the next, when the Jen from Scotland were due. This meant I’d hit the floor two nights, but I’ve lived through worse. Better than having a guest down there.
I was hungry, and wanted my new friends to get to know my old friends and vice verca, so I bought shrimps. A box of them. Shrimps are social when they live and also very socializing when they are eaten. Getting hands sticky makes for fun situations and informal atmosphere. But as a box is way more than four can eat, and the aussies had brought four bottles of wine, I post a message in the CS-community that there will be shrimps on my balcony 1,5 hours later. Then I call a CS’er living up my street, but he is busy with his family, and "Yin", a Chinese girl that lives in Oslo and seemed to be good natured the only time had met her. She was in a noisy environment, on the far side of Oslo, but I understood she would like to come.
“-How do I get there?” She asked in not so clear Norwegian, with a dialect from the west coast making her failing grammar even more foggy.
“-Bus 31 to Tonsenhagen, from down town,” I answered.
“-Yes, I am on it.”
“-No, no, you go to downtown and you find the bus there,” I patiently explained.
“-No,” she said in a loud voice to overdo the traffic behind her. “That is the bus I take from work on this side of town. It goes all through, and end up in Tonsenhagen. I AM NOW IN THE BUS.”
So, of all the buses, trams, subways, schedules and directions in Oslo, she is on the exact right combination already.
“-OK, so just keep seated, and you’ll get here. The second last stop.”
She being a woman, did not manage even that, so leaving at the last stop, she calls me to ask how to find us, and must backtrack a bit – but sure enough, soon call on the door. In the meanwhile, "Harry", an Iranean CS’er with a Norwegian dialect from the inner parts of my country, had also given notice. He knew the way from another shrimp party last month, and came a bit later, bringing a bottle of wine. As he was doing that, the Norwegian bearhunter and lumberjack Trym had been out buying a present for the Kazakh girl he had been dating on the web and would see for the first time the following day. He also bought some alcohol in addition to the generous amounts of beer he carried in when he first arrived.
Bernadette was at this time very puzzled about the modest size of the shrimps and showed me a photo of a shrimp the size of a lobster she ate in Indonesia. I know Europeans and Asians have some differences in size, but was not aware that it reversed when it comes to shrimps. I assured her they were edible in spite of the eggs some of them were carrying, and she thawed them with hot water. Things were going well. The Chinese was sorry that she could only stay for two hours, as she had a date that she had already broken twice before, but she seemed to get along just fine with the lumberjack. Trym is not tall for being a Norwegian, so he is automatically drawn to women of asian stature. The Iranean was not too happy about not having a womans full attention, but worked hard on what I thought was making a playlist on iTunes in my PC. As the night went, he go more and more into Dance/Trance music, and I had to turn down the volume everytime I passed by.
A parallel communication had been going on for a while, as two Uruguayan/Peruvian girls had read my posting. One had a date, but the other one wanted to come. I gave her the 31-to-Tonsenhagen-command, but she – being a she – could not quite find her way from the stop. That was most understandable, as the stop was on the wrong side of town. It was now getting late, but I told her to adjust her general direction of movement exactly 180 degrees, and head East-NorthEast instead. Much time passed, we ate and thawed more shrimps, I turned down the volume a few times, tried to invite my only young neighbor, but did not find her home, and finally got a call from the Peruvian. She was standing at the stop in the right direction, but as she preferred speaking Spanish on the phone I did not bother explaining her that sha as the Chinese had gone one stop to far, so I told her to stay put. The Chinese had by then repeatedly insisted that it was time for her to leave, to get to her date. No one was holding her back (except maybe for Harry and the bearhunter), so I did not worry, but went up a shortcut behind my house to find the Peruvian visitor. It was almost eleven by then, and the Chinese had given up her date, trying to blame me for the shrimp party being to nice and cursing her date for not having recharged his mobile phone. Harry had been lingering over my PC every time he could not catch someone’s attention, and I found out he had installed Winamp and directed all files to be played by that instead of iTunes, saying Winamp does things iTunes can not. He is working with IT, but I showed him how iTunes does exactly the same radiothing he was promoting winamp for. I got a bit strict with him, and sent him back out on the balcony, where the aussies were the best conversationists ever and the mood were fine, in spite of temperature dropping. They could not stop mentioning how it could not stop being light. The Chinese held a warm and patriotic speech about Norway rivaling her own country in magnificence, and forgot to check the time again.
The last leaves before midnight. It was passed midnight. She was going to work early, and had to pass by her home. I could ride her to the subway, she sitting on my seat. It would hurt, but it would work. I put my shoes on, when Trym said it is better she came with him the next morning, as he was driving to the Kasakh plane at 6 AM. How he could sober up in that time remains a mistery, but after all, he is a lumberjack and did kill a bear, so I asked no questions. The girl agreed with the plan, but both looked very tired and I told them to hit the couch, which were not in use at the moment as all of us were still on the balcony. The Peruvian had instinctively cuddled up in my Chilean poncho and the aussies seemed to have an unquenchable thirst for details from my trips. Harry kept turning up the music, five feet from the not sleeping lumberjack, and my conscience about the latter was rotten. After all, this Norwegian had never heard of couchsurfing, and was now doing it, sharing a couch with an Asian. Good thing they were both not tall.
Leo, for his part, apparently knows just as little about the customs in Tryms hideaway village in Norway, as Trym – who by the way recently was the mayor of his county – knows about couchsharing with remote cultures. This became very apparent as Leos chin drops to his cheast in amazement. He only got control of the facial muscles to tell in a voice full of wonder, that Trym was walking around in his undies. The Peruvian had to be explained very thoroughly what “undies” means, but one look into the livingroom would facilitate immediate knowledge on the subject, as my not skinny friend from the forest where trying to rearrange his quilt next to Yin, the young Chinese.
Looking at the experienced aussies, I dared suggest that the soon cardriving lumberjack and hard working girl by his feet might be a lot better off getting five hours sleep away from the music, light and noise, and they most generously gave up the bed. Harry was worried what would happen in the bedroom, but I again set him straight, telling that Trym was to see a Kasakh the very next afternoon (with a possible adjustment for timezones), and that the Chinese was worried about not looking fresh at work at nine. Besides, not everybody thinks like an Iranean growing up in Norwegian countryside. I have to take some self criticism on this last statement, as I a while later tried to sneak into the bedroom to pick up a jacket there. I was sliding the door open very carefully, not to wake up the poor souls that finally had found rest, but – much to my amazement found not them as if God never introduced sin. Not an undie in sight, and certainly not a very practical position to sleep. I closed the door. At least, this would help the driver sobering up in time, and help the formerly miserable girl forget she walked out on a date four hours earlier.
At this point in the story, I might be mixing up the elements on the timeline, but at one point Harry picks up on a comment I make on the last CS’er I had staying. She was a modest girl from inner Mongolia in China. That is the equivalent of Alice Springs in Austraila when it comes to remoteness.
Harry burst out; “I know her. She is strange!”
For the first time this evening, we actually agreed on something. My part of the story was that she had showed up here with no form of symbolic gift to the native (me), expecting to dig in on my provisions without contributing. Now that is not what couchsurfing is about, but if she had been open about being completely broke and in trouble, I would naturally have helped her. What I did when she asked for food, was to pull out pasta, onion, tomatoes, spices, vegetables and whatever I had a the time. It was not much available, but it was not bad either. I told her I was very busy, but she was most welcome to make a big dinner for both of us. I showed her how to fill water in the kettle, put in a bit of good Danish sea salt, and suggested she would stirfry the ingredients for a pastasauce. The result was horrible, as this girl that according to her profile loved Italian food, had never cooked pasta before. She believed it was supposed to taste like noodles. Noodles are washy, in a soup. Spaghetti is supposed to be chewable, not drinkable. Never mind, I have had worse, and I was working all night, saying by to her the second morning, before I went to bed myself.
“-She mailed me,” Harry continued, “saying she was very hungry and needed help.“ One can say a lot of things about Harry, but he has a kind heart and he will do what he can to come a needing women to the rescue. He did. He took her to Big Burger, buying her a meal.
“-I am actually staying with someone here,” she told him; “but I do not get much to eat.“
By then, we all cracked up and had a drink. Harry helped himself to my liquors, bringing out some Aquavit. I was grateful, I should have thought about it myself. Sweedish crackerbread was brought out and the Norwegian cheese Yung had included in her love speach about Norway, was passed around. It seemed that my guests were not suffering quite as bad as the Inner Mongolian, but as stories rolled out and candles flickered in the light summer night, Bernadette and the Peruvian took a timeout on the couch, so Leo and I were left chatting and rounding up the evening outside.
It was not terribly late, but as this is Norway, the sun was again approaching the horizon and Leo got a complete kick out of the fact that the night would not get any darker than it had already been. He filmed me, making a statement of amazement. Trym left, after offering us some of the small white pills he must have been chewing all night (probably the reason why he needed loud house music). I said I got my vitamins elsewhere. Then we picked up the pillows and prepared a little nest for Leo on the floor.
Giving up my bed is not hard. Giving up my sofa is also something I have to live with for a night – or two like now – but giving up even the pillows on my floor … that is more than I had expected. As things were, it was probably the best that could happen, as I would not for the life of me risk that Trym would miss his plane, so I decided to continue the evening solo until I carefully slid open the door to my bedroom to give off the considerate warning whisper that it was time for Kazakhstan. Why was I surprised that they were not sleeping?
Once a lumberjack, always a lumberjack.
I wonder what Jen will be like. She has landed. She is on her way.
Lenge leve krengetoget!
… som alle vet, må man entre et lokaltog siste biten til Arendal. Hvis man nå tar tog, hvilket jeg gjorde. Til Arendal. Det gikk helt fint. Lokaltoget stod og venta og alle smilte. Etter noen timer gjekk soga slik at jeg skulle attende same vegen … Ingen grunn til at en reisefant som jeg skulle kunne fucke opp det, kan du si – jeg hadde jo fått billetten i handa i Oslo og gjort alt riktig. Vel, det startet bra … jeg tok lokalbanene fra start til slutt og kom meg med enkelte andre reisende ut på perrongen i et av distrikt-Norges mest stillestående utposter. Ingen lokale helter var til stede for å heve et øyebryn over den udramatiske avstigningen, men den mystiske fremmede i sorte skinnklær spyttet skråen i en lang bue over skinnegangen (neida, jeg tygger jo ikke tobakk, men historien blir litt mer dramatisk av det), og myste mot lyden av et krengetog i anmarsj. ”Ikke dårlig,” tenkte han; ”NSB har jaggu timet avgangene bra.” En ung dame frasa seg hans generøse tilbud om å løfte en bag som ikke var så tung som den så ut, og så gikk han målrettet mot vogn nummer èn – komfortvognen. Han hadde flottet seg denne gangen, og lagt på 75 kroner som gav strøm til PC’n, benplass og kaffe, iht telefonstemmen som hadde solgte ham reisen etter at han dagen før ikke klarte å bestille over internett. At det var plass 41 husket han fra nedturen, ettersom han da hadde sett på feil billett og måtte flytte på seg i Drammen. Men nå var det sete nummer 41. Gjeveste i toget, med ekstra stort bord og et vindu mot landet.
En fremmedarbeider uten bestått norskkurs manøvrerte sin frityrpregede kropp ut av setet, slik at den fremmede kunne åle seg inn reclinerstolen i beige hud. To PC’er var allerede oppstilt på bordet, men det ble plass til en tredje. Innvandreren hadde den minste, mens sørlendingen vis-a-vis dominerte med en diger Compac - han hadde nok en raus arbeidsgiver. Ryggsekken til Den Mystiske Fremmede begynte å pipe før alt var på plass, så ledninger, armer og ben kom litt i ulage før opprigningen ble besvart. Det var Den Mystiske Fremmedes svoger som minnet om noe Den Mystiske Fremmede pussig nok hadde glemt. I samme stund kom konduktøren forbi, og drevent drog Den Mystiske Fremmede opp de to identiske omslagene med reisens billetter. Tjenestemannen måtte selv finne den rette.
”-Jasså”, bemerket han umelodiøst; ”Du skal til Oslo?”
Den Mystiske Fremmede så med oppgitt selvfølgelighet på ham, mer opptatt av å unnskylde seg i telefonen enn å utveksle selvfølgeligheter med en selvhøytidelig autoritet; ”-Ja.”
”-Men du er på vei til Kristiansand.”
Den Mystiske Fremmede fikk det travelt med å avslutte samtalen, mens den hvasse hjernen hans straks scannet mulighetene. Hildegun. Hun bor i Kristiansand. Da kunne det enda ende godt. ”-Eh… fikser de denne billetten i morgen?” stotret han selvsikkert.
”-Ja, hvis du greier deg til i morgen,” svarte den uniformerte i en stemme som unektelig var bekymret og beklagende.
Den Mystiske Fremmede måtte erkjenne at det her var gjort en feil som alle andre enn ham selv var fullstendig uskyldig i. Likevel kunne nederlag snus til triumf - nå stod og falt alt med Hildegun. I sitt stille sinn frydet han seg over den listige måten med hvilken han engang sikret seg hennes mobilnummer. ”-Det skal nok gå,” repliserte han, med et slesk drag i munnviken.
Få minutter senere brøt Sørlendingen med den formodentlig rause arbeidsgiveren inn. ”-Etter hva jeg husker, passerer togene hverandre like nedi her …”
Den mystiske fremmede sjekket avgangstidene på billetten. ”Skarpsindig til å være sørlending,” vurderte han, men valgte å holde det for seg selv. I stedet sa han i en likegyldig tone; ”-Du mener altså at …”
”-Du kunne jo spørre.”
Så raskt den fete nye landsmannen kunne vippe kroppen opp i vertikal stilling, brøytet den mystiske fremmede seg bakover i vognsettet, og erfarte at krengetogprinsippet er utviklet for folk som sitter, og ikke for de som forsøker å jogge. Likevel uten å ha skubbet borti for mange pappkrus med lunkent innhold, tok han igjen konduktøren i kioskvognen. De to hadde tydeligvis samme tanke i hodet. Problemet, ifølge den statsansatte, var mangel på perronger og sambandsforbindelse. Den ugjestfrie villmarken toget raste gjennom viste seg nemlig enda å være ubrøytet mark, hva Netcom og Telenor angikk. Han skulle se hva han kunne gjøre. Hva det enn måtte være, var det nødt til å skje raskt – meget raskt - ettersom de to brølende sølvpilene raste mot hverandre med en innbyrdes avstand som avtok dramatisk for hvert passerende sekund.
Tilbake i vogn 1 ønsket Sørlendingen Den Mystiske Fremmede velkommen tilbake uten påtatt selvgodhet, og den overvektige fremmedspråklige demonsterte at trening gjør mester, idet han med et undertrykt stønn tok en tungt tak i luxus-stolens allerede slitte trehjørner og svingte bena ut i midtgangen. De to av de tre som hadde skjønt bæret av hva som foregikk, skulle gå noen spennende minutter i møte. Samtalen gikk likevel forbausende lett, situasjonens alvor tatt i betraktning. Til tross for at Den Mystiske Fremmede avslørte at han er Oslo-mann, kommuniserte de to forbløffende godt – så bra at man knapt skulle tro at den andre hadde vokst opp i Distrikts-Norge.
Vantro kastet så Den Mystiske Fremmede et årvåkent blikk ut av vinduet. Noe der ute hadde fanget hans oppmerksomhet; landskapet fòr nå langsommere forbi. Fortsatte farten å utvikle seg på denne måten, ville toget rett og slett stoppe, til tross for at dette usiviliserte strøket helt klart fortjente karakteristikken huttiheita. Den fremmedkulturelle fikk et anstrengt drag i ansiktet, han ante vel at noe var i gjære da den mystiske fremmede i vill fart kastet strømadapteret ned i ryggsekken som forble uåpnet, stakk PC’en under den ene armen, et dansk rugbrød han hadde kjøpt på tilbud i konditoriet ved Arendal torg hvor de avslørte deres manglende kunnskap om at han er halvt dansk (idet de informerte ham om at dette var en kompakt form for brød, som kan oppbevares i kjøleskapet en uke – kanskje endog ti dager – og er temmelig mektig) under den andre. Igjen bar det ut i midtgangen, hvor togverten allerede var i anmarsj for å opplyse at nå fikk de se om dette lot seg gjøre; ”-Det er jo ingen perrong her ute …
”-… i huttiheita,” tilførte den mystiske fremmede i sitt stille sinn.
”-Vi gjør et kort opphold i påvente av et møtende tog,” lød det i høyttaleranlegget, hvilket fortonte seg som en fullstendig bisarr melding, tatt i betraktning at sørlandsbanen er en tospors institusjon og det ikke var arbeid på linja eller nedfalte kjøreledninger. Ingen av passasjerene lot til å stusse over det absurde i situasjonen. De fremstod som drevne kunder av Norges StatsBaner, og hadde åpenbart blitt behagelig sløvet av utallige unnskyldninger og forsinkelser opp gjennom årene.
”-Vi får se om det går,” smilte konduktøren med nøktern, men uomtvistelig, optimisme idet han fra den åpne døren skuet mot hva som etter kort tid manifesterte seg som nordgående togsett. Det stoppet, hvoretter Den Mystiske Fremmede gjorde et sprang som knapt fremstod belevent grasiøst og bakset seg på en måte som ikke ville være Clint Eastwood verdig opp fra pukksteinene for å bli halt ombord i vogn nummer fire. PC, rugbrød og sekk litt hulter til bulter. Alt kom om bord unntatt billetten. Hvor den hadde blitt av, visste ingen, men sete 41 i vogn èn stod ledig, han ble påspandert en kaffe før han påstod at han faktisk hadde betalt for tilgang til komfortens termoser og ingen brød seg med så mye som en klandrende vending eller formanende ord.
Lenge leve NSB - dette hadde aldri funka med SAS.
… men hadde det funka med Hildegun?
This is the first letter I send...
...to everybody I know.
(going home from town, 2002)
I have to. You do not have to read it, and you absolutely do not need to answer to it. It is nothing but my personal statement, my egosentrical way of saying thank you very much for being alive, for me knowing all of you and for me beeing able to feel, sense, act and play. I feel like standing outside under the dark sky with sparkling whith dots, and scream loud enough for everyone of you to hear and smile, but my voice is not strong enough. I want to lay down in bed and think of you all, and sink into your minds and fill them with love and lust and happiness and security and all that is good, but I am not able too. At least, I think I am not, so I am not. I am so small. I just want you to know, that it has been a fantastic gift to know you all, and that it is a pleasure as well as a pain to know that so many individuals that I love is out there, many beyond daily physical reach.
Please use your days well. Please love eachother.
I sound silly, but I feel so happy. I believe a person that is in touch with the forces connected with his or hers positive energies will feel free and in tune with his or hers destiny. I pray that you all experience this kind of life's love. I do not know why I feel it so strong tonight. I just do. It is as if all of you crawl into my brain and whisper that life is worth it. That there is a meaning, that we are all valuable and that there is something out there for us to learn and to get to know. It is like a little, tiny miracle opening up for each and one of us, every day. Like the gift of the universe, the gift of our children, the gift of history. I do not know what, but something for sure.
Here is todays story, however boring it may be.
I had a great day. I live above Oslo, with quite an ascent downtown. I do the downhill on my skates, and today nobody was in my way, so I made an all time record, zooming down the winding streets towards the old part of town. That is a good start. I was heading for a sort of a meeting with Roy, in TV2. We have been cooperating, making a series of my paddle tour through Europe. Talking was good, about the continuation of the story, now continuing through Latin-America. We moved up to the roof of the building and kept talking. Still good. A bit of rain fell. Wonderful. Chilly rain in the heat of summer. Later we went to his place. Plans float, everything is possible. Existence is weird. Solutions. Energy. Experience. Aid. Interchange. Communication. A friend came. relaxed.
We went out, met wonderful people, some we knew, some we did not. Everybody smiled. Everybody positive. Love. LAUGHTER. Like a massage on the soul itself. I was floating, smiling, me making a fool of myself perhaps, but not caring, not understanding; just extracting the one dominating essential part, which has to to with interhuman relationships. I try to remember the last time someone was pissed at me... but I can't. People say it is because I am so damned positive. Why aren't we all?
On my way home, I had a talk with two accidental neighbours that I came across outside their apartments. He was wonderful, she was older. He has two children with two women, divorced again, she is sad because a guy with a beard left her, but she has a new guy. They started to communicate as a result of me stopping them. First him, then her. It was beautiful. We must talk. We must interfere, we must participate and show that we feel. Why would we have emotions, if not to use them? What a waste. I was talking with these to friends (revealed strangers) for a while, before talking to taxidrivers waiting for a customer and people having a party on a balcony. The host of the party told me to leave, which I was about to do, when I heard him calling after me. He called me a "fucking nerd". That is sad. One should not put the "nerd"-stamp on people who wants to communicate. So I turned back, and informed him that he was wrong. I mean, I am not a nerd, at least not in a negative sence. I told him, and his guests got interested. I said that I stopped because I love people and communication, and to my great joy, they (exept their host) understood me. They smiled and did not go away. I asked the owner of the place why he did not invite me in. He said he did not know me. Fantastic. What a statement! I mean, that is exactly why he should invite... I felt terribly sorry for him, him being so ignorant of how to enrich himself. To explain myself, I asked them if they have seen the programs on TV2 about this guy paddling to Greece. They had. They liked him. Cool. I told them it is me, and that every single bastard of a soul crazy enough to climb uphill from downtown on skates long after midnight might be of the same kind, perhaps worth an invitation. I could teach them something, if they were willing to teach me. As things went, I actually learnt a lot, and somehow I think they did too. It is great. Wonderful persons. People are so nice.
Now I am home, and soon after I arrived my landlord made some significant noise telling me to be silent, as it is really very late, and everybody but myself is sleeping. I am so lucky to live here. Now I have my headphones on. I am very quiet, but still very happy. Really positive. It is as if the drugs of life suddenly conquered every cell in my body, and I do not actually understand how they got there. I believe that being happy has to do with releasing the positive abilities or dispositions in yourself. It might be what I am doing. What a gift it would be.
Thank you for being and for encouraging me.
Seek to do whatever it is that tells you to do good.