Christmas Vacation N°6

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After arriving to the city of Göteborg in the evening (therefore darkness) I embarked on the search to find the tourist information desk which, of course by my luck was lost. However before I even began the search for that, I forgot to realize the English name for Göteborg: Gotenburg. This name is so perfect, and I didn’t realize it until I left, but in this city, I have never seen so many goths before. Maybe because it’s just because of the name, but it’s kind of freaky to have most people around being goths, but I just thought it was funny and giggled to myself after the fact. So anyways, in search of a map to find my way to the hostel. The tourist bureau turned out to be a map of the city outside the train station, and I was clearly not impressed. After several feeble of copying down a map of where to go, I gave up and walked in a random direction. It turned out that I walked around for about an hour before I found the tram line that I could take, but of course it was a holiday so no trams worked. I kept wandering amouisly around and empty Göteborg, until I found my hostel by accident. When I say accident I mean I fell on the cobblestone since it was raining, and when I looked up I saw the sign at the top of the hill. If I hadn’t of fallen I never would have found it, so the cut was well worth it.

The guy at the front desk found it hillarious that I came without a map, and offered me one so that I wouldn’t have the same problem. I laughed nervously as he said it was nearly a 3km walk from the train sation, since I probably walked about 10km anyways in the dark. I went to my room, which was inhabited already by 3 people, oddly none of which were anywhere near my age. The first guy was André, a French rocker, and the other two were Polish people named Maria and Mikael both of which struggled with English. I installed myself in the sketchy bunk bed and read some stuff and organized when I would meet Willy the next day. When Mikael came back and the others were asleep we tried to have a conversation, and it turns out he’s a really nice guy, but understand English way more than he can speak. What did this mean; that I would control the conversation and he would answer with yes an no and then struggle to figure out what he wants to say. We ended up staying up way later than we should have, but it was still nice to talk to someone for once. André was weird as it turned out, living in Paris but originally from Brest, who spoke English poorly, and refused to speak to me in French. He was in Göteborg for work, since he draws designs for Volvo or something, but he reminds me more of a homeless man who lives in hostels (which he does anyways).

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So avoiding the further sketchyness of the other roomies, I went to sleep and woke up late to more and more rain. You’re probably wondering why I posted or even took the above photo; and of course there is a funny story about it. The previous night when I was wandering the streets in search of my hostel I walked past this area, which turned out to be right around the corner from where my hostel was. It was about an hour after I left this place that I found the hostel, but the walk was only about 5 minutes. Funny that eh? So when I met with Willy and we walked around I couldn’t help but take a photo in the rain, because it never stops raining in Göteborg I’m told. The day with Willy was nice, and we seemed to get along great with lots of jokes. Sadly we ended up walking across the river’s bridge for no apparent reason in the rain, so we were drenched with no umbrella. We took refuge in the mall near the train station, and had a lovely time watching a human sized chess game being played.

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This is the street next to where I stayed. The medevial-like archetecture of both the houses and the bloody hill that was a bitch to walk up are explained by the fact that Skåne (region) has been long faught over by the Swedes and Danes in early history. Since I don’t know enough to give you a lecture on Danish-Swedish relations, I can just tell you that the city is situated on a huge hill that was used to protect itself against the Danes, and offers a beautiful view of the city from above. The one thing that make Göteborg different is the fact that it’s really dirty, which can be explained by the fact that everyone apparently hates to live there as it’s forever raining. I would hate it too, quite frankly.

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This is a wonderful story about public transortation. Apparently Göteborg is famous for something… it’s one of the oldest running systems of tramway in the world. It’s certainly visible by the conditions of the cars and tracks which aren’t very well kept, but they are everywhere! One must pay attention or get hit by several trams at once, which is kind of funny since it’s really a quite small city, but to each their own I suppose!

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More drooling to occur here as this is Scandinavium, host venu of Semi-Finals of Melodifestivalen. Robb threatened to stalk and kill me if I didn’t take pictures of all Melodifestivalen arenas so I snapped photo of this very sexy, but unsexy building whilst walking away from the ‘cultural’ centre of the city. It’s really looking quite delapodated, and I was freaked out to find the Disney on Ice was there, and I suddenly felt slalked by Disney while in Sweden. Like seriosly now, I love Mickey and all those wacky characters, but I’m sort of at an age where I don’t care much about them and it creeps me out more that there are millions of kids around screaming stuff. Where are your parents? Where is your common sense? Why do you have so much energy? Why can’t you be quiet and shy, and make the world less annoying?

To clarify, I love kids, but at the time I was very bitter about Disney so I’m sure my resentment towards them is shown through this text.

So I went to bed all wet the next night, happy to finally be leaving Göteborg which was freaking me out. But sadly the train ride to Malmö would only be a short distance. Of course the next day it was raining, and of course I got lost going to the train station so by the time I was there, I was cold, tired, wet, and miserable. All perfect things for traveling of course. Note to all oblivious readers: that last sentance was oozing with sarcasm, beware of cynical attitudes. I was so excited to go to Malmö that I was at the train station hours before I should have been so I got to kill time by watching the busses come and go, which to be completely honest is more exciting than Göteborg. Little did I know that Malmö wasn’t going to prove to be any better!

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