Thursday, August 24, 2006

Kester and the disposable BBQs

Meet Kester Petersson. Donald introduced him to me in Marstrand. He sailed on the team that won the Swedish Championship in '97 and I could tell he had a clear cut respect for the folkboat class. He said if you ever want your ass handed to you get in a folkboat and try to keep up with those guys. On the last day of the regatta he gave me his card and said if you make it over to Stockholm to give a call and we'd go get a beer. On my last day with Anders I decided to spend the day in Stockholm and look around one more time and do a little shopping. I took a bus that conected me with a train that let me off at this central station... then, it was just a brief walk downtown. So after a day of walking around shopping and looking at the terrain, I look at my watch and see that it is 4:30.
I give Kester a call and we attempt to meet each other. I miscommunicate, but with the help of the local metro ticket counter lady and her cell phone, I get directions on which underground metro to get on and where to get off. Many minutes later I get off the metro and met Kester. We walk down to this pub under a bridge and at this point I have no idea where I am, but I'm near the Stockholm Tivoli. We have a beer and talk about having a BBQ in their secret spot with some friends. Perfect. My last night in Stockholm is shaping up nicely. In this picture we have Kester,
Lisa (Kester's girlfriend), Charolete and Oscar.

In Sweden they have these "disposable BBQs"
They call them one time use BBQs, I call them
genius. The next series of pictures is the process
you go through when BBQing on a rock.

First, you take off the cover.

Then, you light it.

Then you fan it.

Then you fan it some more, but faster.
Everyone prays.

Then you shake it and pray some more.
Don't forget the oven mits.

Then you drink a beer or two while you wait.

Then someone smart like Lisa disappears
and comes back with the equivelent of
lighter fluid and saves the day.

Then add lighter fluid and watch it smoke.
Seconds later...


Add seasoned meat.

I'm not at liberty to tell you where we were.
This is a secret place, but here's the view.
At this point I'm feeling fine and once again
feeling like everything is going my way.

Then you flip the meat and start passing out the
plates and salad and another beer.

Then drunk Rob with the fancy white shoes shows up. He later helps me find all my conections back to Vallentuna... sort of.

This is the view of our picnic on the rock.
Yes, we were having a great time. If you look
carefully you can see drunk Rob's fancy white shoes.

The rest of the evening goes like this:
We head back to Kester and Lisa's apartment and look up the metro schedule, train and bus schedule to discover I only have one shot at making all my connections. I can't miss one or I'm stuck in Stockholm for the night. I'm leaving for Copenhagen the next day, so I really can't stay the night or I would have. Drunk Rob and I head out to the metro and get on. We talk about what I have to do to make my next connection, but Rob's got his mind on the next party and calls his friends to find out where they are. After a brief conversation, he gets off at the next platform and I'm officially on my own and unsure in Stockholm and I've had a few beers... In Stockholm, the freaks come out at night not to mention it was Pride festival weekend. So there are freaks, queers and I've had beers. But I never once feel unsafe. I mean really, can any city be more of a freak show than San Francisco? I make to what I was calling the central station and ask these drunk teenagers to help me find my train. I'm not taking any chances. I've got 7 minutes to find the platform and the right train. They ask me where I'm from, what are you doing here, etc, but they help me find my train. I put my ipod on and people watch for about an hour until I get to my bus transferin Vasinge near Taby. I hop on my bus and we drive another hour out to Vallentuna. I get off the bus and it is pitch black, countryside dark, but not cold and no wind. A creepy fog had settled in. I found the bike I borrowed from Anders' wife and rode the direction I thought I should be going. 5 minutes later I find the road to Anders house and take the turn. Several more minutes later I ride up to Anders house, park the bike, walk in quietly and go to sleep around 2 or 3 in the morning. Quite possibly one of the best adventures I have every had in a foriegn country.


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