|Touchdown in Sweden|
|Videogames - Geek Adventure|
|Written by Pixelsmith|
Monday April 21 2008
I chewed over another lump of licorice, wearing the expression of a man who has just rectally ingested five lemons. Brodos wisely decided not to eat one. Then our flight was called, and we shuffled aboard a plane the size of a trouser leg, paused briefly to take in the charming air hostess - a slightly fading beauty with a basket full of mini Mars bars - and then left Finnish soil as vertically as we had arrived. One hour later we touched down in Sweden for the first time in our lives.
The quaint town of Norrkoping (pronounced "Nor-churp-ing") is renowned for being dull. The wait for the train was short, so we grabbed some food in the station café. With no discernable vegetarian options, the only choice for refuelling appeared to be the wide selection of cakes. While Brodos does eat meat, his wariness of foreign retail scenarios forced him to take the simple option, which was for me to double my order. So we ate cakes for tea. It's the kind of meal you dream about as a child, but it loses its appeal when you're forced into it.
Next, we discovered our train was cancelled, so we headed into town to kill the hour long wait until the next one. On our travels, we discovered a sign that looked rude if you tried hard to make it, some kind of waterway, a statue of a man and the faintly unsettling experience of two clocks chiming 6pm at different times. First the big one, seemingly the town hall, clonged its bell, then after a short pause, the neighbouring church had a go. Church or state - we wondered who was right. The smart money's on God. You wouldn't catch an omniscient, omnipotent entity with a broken watch.
It was dark when we finally arrived in Kalmar. A minute or two later, Morani and Maddok stepped off a bus to meed us, aided by their horse-sized dog, Mingla. They would be our hosts for the next four nights. I would leave their home with barely functioning kidneys, bite wounds and bruises that refused to fade for a fortnight.
None of these were caused by the dog.