goodness, gracious, great balls of gävle? / pt. 1
one of the joys in life which i throughly embrace is the opportunity to go on an adventure.
stepping out of my comfort zone and into the unknown brings a kind of thrill to me that few other things can – when nothing is planned and everything is up to the random lottery that life deals, i find excitement in the the ability to rely solely on instinctual reaction to my environment.
as part of my plan for moving to korea, i have been selling a number of my possessions to provide me with a small startup fund for when i land in seoul. perhaps my most cherished item is a rickenbacker 360 guitar that i bought during in my senior year of high school when i still rocked ‘n rolled. you might be surprised to learn that in my previous life before i was a designer, i was a guitar thrasher and lived for the experience of playing live in front of a crowd.
having spent the last half-decade virtually un-touched as i went to college, i saw it fit to say goodbye to my guitar as the primary source of cash for my big move. the only problem was that now is not a particularly good time to be selling valuable items, the market is much more favorable to buyers than sellers.
when i asked a music store in göteborg what they’d give me for it, the answer was quite underwhelming at almost 20% less than i was willing to let it go for. starting to panic, and wonder how i was going to make my way to korea, i was excited when someone contacted me via a web ad i placed expressing interest. the down side? he was located on the other coast of sweden with plans to come to göteborg a couple weeks after i would leave.
things weren’t exactly looking great. but then i had an idea, what if i took the guitar and delivered it in person – white glove service? would he pay for part of my trip? if so, it would be worth it to get the extra bones in my pocket. somewhat surprisingly, he agreed and by the end of the day i had booked a last minute ticket to gävle for the next afternoon.
the catch was that i hadn’t yet bought a return ticket. you can purchase discounted “last minute” tickets from the swedish train company up to 24 hours in advance of its departure, but i would have to wait and hope that i could get a cheap ticket back in a reasonable amount of time. after all, preparing to move around the world doesn’t leave much extra time for dilly-dallying around.
throwing caution to the wind, the next day i hopped on a train at 1500 to ride 6 hours across sweden despite not having any place to stay. just in case, i brought my sleeping bag.
arriving as the sky began to slowly dim, i met erik at the station, made short conversation and exchanged guitar for cash – all in about 15 minutes. by that time, the last trains and buses back to stockholm and göteborg had already left for the day leaving my partially stranded, but far from desperate. fortunately, although the main station was closing as he bought the guitar, the “night waiting” area in the station seemed like it would provide ample comfort for me to get some rest it.
however, i hadn’t come all this way to just plop down for the night. i wanted to see a piece of another swedish city, a final glance into yet another corner of the country i had been living in for nearly a year. it was my last hurrah and as i set out from the relative comfort of the station to explore more of the unknown, i had no idea what odd events were soon to take place.
continued in part 2