I hitchhiked around Europe for 3 months

… in 2007 😉 And I wrote a blog about it, so the text comes here, one post a day 🙂 As you see on the map, the blog is only for the first two

… in 2007 😉 And I wrote a blog about it, so the text comes here, one post a day 🙂 As you see on the map, the blog is only for the first two months (the green line). What I learned is that when you travel and write, you have to write and post every single day! And then you can always come back and edit later. But I can write a summary for the last month in the end.

The text is like I wrote it back then. If I started to change it anywhere, I’d never be free to do other things. So the opinions and lifestyle and everything is me 15 years ago, and a human changes every second and year. Sometimes, when I disagree with myself, I put present-made comments in cursive.

If you wonder about the money added, included in the first posts, then that’s what I earned on Google ads (including what I earned on the blog up till I started travelling, when it mostly was about being a student in Uppsala). Let’s just say that I couldn’t live from it. And if you wonder about my notes about the weather and road condition, then I was collecting statistics 😉 I still have it in my basement.

The whole point of the trip was to produce and play a strategy game, Seigo. It was my first out of 8-9 board games, so if I did it today, I’d make it VERY different. It’s hardly perfect for a game. Can be very tedious. Kanji cards coming all random, not leaving the game board. A game made by somehow who: hadn’t played many games and: didn’t understand positive feedback. If somebody didn’t like the game, I thought they were “stupid”.

And to top it all off, I got the game idea in Japan, where everybody knew at least the phonetic characters, which the game needed you to. I should have used more Latin letters so that people could … read. Hitchhiking around Europe selling such a game … you just have to laugh at it. That anyone actually enjoyed the game is a mystery! Maybe because of all the good ideas in it.

Anyway, please enjoy the past version of me 🙂

Stockholm РLink̦ping Mon March 5

I woke up at 6:44. Damn! I had set the alarm at 4 am but didn’t wake up. Obviously my body felt it too little with only 2 hours of sleep after 5 beers. I was supposed to be at Linköping University at 11 am but now I had already screwed it.

I walked hastily to Södra Station and came right in time for the commuter train to Södertälje Hamn. The train was crowded and the commuters not overly fond of my luggage. After coming out of the station house I took to the right and walked South. After a few hundred meters I took to the right again and passed under the train bridge and the highway bridge. On the other side of the highway I took to the right a third time and walked up to the place behind the Statoil gas station where a nice stretch of road led cars from E20 from the West to E4 to the South. It’s my favourite place for getting South from Stockholm.

I was a little bit worried about the the piles of snow that narrowed the area on which the cars could stop. I took off my beanie and gloves and opened the jacket to look less of a snowman and raised my thumb. It was now 8:10 am. It was the first time in years that I did this. But it didn’t feel awkward at all. 5 cars passed. At 8:13 am car number 6 stopped. He was going to Norrköping. Almost jackpot!

It was a single man who owned a water pipe company. He didn’t look that old but claimed he had kids in their 40s and 50s. We talked about present Sweden’s work morals (he pointed out that hitchhiking wouldn’t positively affect my pension check), about our respective military services (mine was rather short), about having small kids and so on. I asked him what the government had done for his company since the election in September. There hadn’t been too much yet, but he appreciated the abolishment of the 15% that the company had had to pay of a former employee’s sick leave money. I agree. I understand that an increased responsibility on the employer ought to give her more incentives for creating a healthier work environment for her employees. But the 15% was to be paid even if the sickness had nothing to do with the work environment, and thus looked more like an extra tax on labour than anything else.

Personally I believe that a better social safety system that doesn’t tell the welfare recipient to “accept the next job offer or die” would strengthen workers in rejecting unsound workplaces, and these would then have to shape up.

The man let me off at an highway entrance outside Norrköping that he believed would be good for me.It was well situated in regard to the traffic from Norrköping to Linköping, but the highway entrance was curved and not that wide, so perhaps a few cars would be intimated to stop. I started waving my thumb at 9:29. The sun was shining. At 9:36 car number 5 stopped. The man was going to Linköping. Yeh! He let me off in the East end and I walked fast through the whole city and arrived in the University and found the right lecture room exactly 11:00. The teacher was so kind and let me present the game for the class. They were really amused by my presentation, and they were very curious about the details of the game.

I asked if anyone wanted to play after the lecture, but they all had laborations the whole afternoon. This is no regular Japanese class, but an engineering program geared towards Japan. One guy had no laboration so he signed up for a game.

While waiting for their lecture to end I took my stuff and walked around Linköping campus. I came to the Student Union building and looked jealously at the big hamburgers that were being eaten. I hadn’t received my medical experiment salary yet so everything I had was 40 SEK in my pocket and that wasn’t enough, and in any case I had better save them for something else. But I found some people advertising something and I thought that I could perhaps satisfy myself somewhat with their candy and pastry. They told me that they represented a company making do-it-yourself venereal disease tests. If I put a stick inside my penis and rotated it in there and then gave it back to them, then they would give me a free lunch ticket.

I’ve always had a thing for supporting science, so I went to the toilet and did it. AOOOOOOOOO it hurt.

But the hamburger was nice. You were to make it yourself from a line of ingredients, so I made it BIG with lots of sauces and vegetables.

The guy from the lecture came to play my game. Waiting for me to finish eating first, we talked about this and that. Their education is kind of hard. I could see from their lecture that their Japanese learning pace is the same as we had Waseda University. But on top of that, these guys are also studying to be engineers, which would be hard even without the extra Japanese.

Then they have compulsory exchange year. I like that idea! He’ll go to Saitama, he thought.

Then we went to “Colosseum” and played for 2 hours. He was quite amused by the game. Some friends of his came by and looked, but was too busy to stay for a game. He told me that a shop in Linköping, “Seriebörsen”, had games and manga and I decided to check it out to see if they wanted my game.

After the game I was extremely sleepy. I went to find a toilet to drink some water and I found what looked like a toilet door. But on the inside was a bed. I locked the door and fell asleep.

I woke up at 5 pm. The road description was not that good though, so after 2 hours of fruitless walking through all of Linköping I ended up in Torkel’s new apartment.

Linköping was quite beatiful. Torkel’s new apartment was really nice. And he made a very edible pasta with chicken and bacon. Yum yum. Then we had tea for an hour, then I surfed for more Japanese lectures to crash.

Now it’s 11 pm and I am so tired it hurts. It’s time for my first night of sufficient sleep for half a week. Goodnight!

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