• Mario Alberto Gonzalez Robert

Scandinavia - Going back and forth within Denmark, Sweden and Norway

While I was in Sweden planning what to do next, I was thinking of not going to Norway anymore because everyone warned me about how expensive it is and my savings were already quite low. I started looking for helpx in both Norway and Denmark, placing more emphasis on the latter, when suddenly I received a positive message from some hosts in Denmark saying that they had to go to Norway as well to run some errands and at that time they were in Sweden so they could pick me up without me having to leave the country and take me through all three countries, so I decided I would go with them.

It was a marriage, a 75 year-old Norwegian husband and a 70 year-old Welsh wife, who most of the time lived in a small town in northern Denmark but they also had a holiday home in Almería, one in Sweden, the wife’s one in Wales and now the brother’s house in Norway who had just passed away.

So the main reason for the trip to Norway was that they needed to move some furniture from the house of Denmark and the brother’s one who had died about two months ago. The odd thing is that my host was notified one month after his brother died, through a bill for the cremation and tombstone for five thousand pounds which they would put in a cemetery somewhere in Norway. It turns out that there was a girl who used to help his brother with the house-keeping and taking care of him, as the he was senile and had Alz Heimer, and she was the one who decided that he would be cremated and his ashes put beside the remains of her own relatives, all without saying anything to my host.

The house was quite big and overlooked into part of the golf field and forest. The brother used to be passionate about golf and everything in the house had to do with it, he had hundreds of different clubs, thousands of balls, even toilet decorations about golf, and all the equipment imaginable because besides all he was quite wealthy.I was also told he had a Thai mistress whom he was sending a thousand euro per month to sustain her while she lived in Thailand and he visited her occasionally.

Something my hostess complained a lot about was that the brother’s lawyer had the key to the house so he could come and go freely without anyone knowing about it and casually, no traces of the wallet, jewelry, money and some electronic devices like DVD player were to be found.

In Norway we were a few days cleaning, gardening, and putting things into the van to take them from one house to the other. In the house in Denmark there was almost nothing to do, I mowed the grass, helped clean up some stuff and not much else.

One day in Denmark I was asked if I wanted to take the day off and visit a beach town called Løkken. My host took me there in the morning, left me at the parking lot of the tourist office and we agreed that we would meet there when I was ready for him to pick me up. The town is very nice, with a fairly wide beach, full of bunkers built by the Nazis during the war which are now sinking into the sand. I was looking for amber on the beach for they say that you can find stones around and I found several yellow slightly translucent ones, which after investigating, I found out with disappointment that they were only flint. When I was ready I called them, my hostess answered asking where I was at that moment, I said I was at the main square and she replied “Ok, my husband will be there” and hung up. I was thinking that maybe I should go back to the tourist office parking cause that was the original place my host had told me to go and there was no way to get to the main square on the car, I tried to call my hostess to tell her but she didn’t answer, I sent an SMS and after some minutes she replied to stay in the main square. I started walking back and about half-way I met with my host on the van, I got in and he said a bit annoyed “you said you were on the main square and I didn’t find you” I told him why I had gone to the original meeting spot and he said “oh she’s an idiot, she doesn’t know anything”. That’s more or less how they treated each other.

In my last weekend with my hosts, they had planned to go to an antique fair in a town in Norway called Grimstad in order to get rid of a lot of trinkets that flooded their houses, especially the ones in Denmark and Sweden. After a Thursday of packing, planning and other stuff, my hostess decided that we would leave early, around nine in the morning to arrive in good time without rushing to the campsite she had booked, which was about twenty kilometers from the event in a town called Lillesand and from there go to the fair, unload the van and prepare everything for the next day.

On Friday morning, once everything was ready, at about half past ten we were just going out, got on the van, my host started the engine, we heard a strange noise, he asked “what was that?” to which the wife, with her same tone of complaints and reproaches as always, replied “you must have forgot to close the door of the van or remove the handbrake or something else as usual”. My host got off the car with his commonly angry and fed up face, because he said he did not remember if the door was closed. He came back, right when he started to turn to the street he said he could not move the steering wheel. My hostess was upset and started yelling as usual "how can you not turn it!? You must be doing something wrong!? "-"I'm not doing anything wrong; I can not turn the wheel! Won’t you just shut up!?"Bla bla bla! He reversed, putting the van back inside the yard to try and maneuver when suddenly I saw something resembling car parts that seemed to appear from under the van and warned them. He turned off the car, got out and saw that there was like a metal wheel with two black bands lying on the ground. At that moment, my host completely exasperated said "It's over, we unpack!" and the wife kept talking all the time, as always, incredibly stressed out, so I no longer paid attention to what she was saying, besides, I was trying hard not to burst into laughter right in front of them in full crisis.

They called the insurance company and were told to find a workshop to bring the car to, to what my hostess replied it was ridiculous because if the insurer does not send a tow and take the car themselves, then what’s the point of having an insurance. In the end they agreed to send someone saying he would come in an hour. Three hours later, he arrived and took my hosts and the car away, I stay at home alone for a few hours. They returned after a while with a not much better van than theirs that the company had rented them for the modest price of five thousand crowns (approximately 500 pounds)

Going in this van with my host was kind of a high-risk activity because it had the steering wheel on the left side but he was used to driving a British car, so he used to get really close to the right edge of the road, sometimes even going outside of it. At the end of my stay, I was alone with my host at their home in Denmark, as the lady had a flight to London the day before, and just before we left for the train station he told me "I hope you enjoyed your stay with us and I’m sorry about my wife, she was just disgusting! Uuugh! "This time I could laugh at a socially acceptable level, he smiled, I grabbed my luggage and we left, I got to the train at the exact time and I departed.

Nice lake view in Denmark

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