From Göteborg to Nyköping, part 14

Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005

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This old E4 really boosts my progression. I wanted to stop but the good speed and poor camp sites drove me onwards, so after considering one night of warring against giant ants, I did the final stretch to Norrköping.

Just before town there were a lot of good camp sites but I called Peter to know if he could provide me with a roof. His hospitality was genuine though sollicited so I stopped at his place, atleast 50km from my starting point. By far my longest stretch!
Finding Peter's flat was easy despite the festival in town -much easier than Villa Ekö!
Peter offered me an "improvisation for vegetarians" made of boulghour, chick peas, mushrooms, courgette and onions -and a lot of taste! By far my best meal in two weeks. Then I was shown the studio: some hard- and software, surrounded by a set of unusual instruments. Cymbals and gongs, shakers and rattlers, Tibetan bowls and Chinese horns, an ocean harp and, behind the noisy half of a piano, scraps of iron that came to life under his hands. A light touch or a beating and forth came the sounds I knew so well from his albums.
Then he told me about his projects, his creative process before playing for me his forthcoming DVD. To be released under his own name this autumn, it will feature a short movie shot in a derelict building in Poland. The place itself must be quite impressive but combining Raison d'être (or Necrophorus or whatever name you know him by) sonic scapes with such industrial apocalyptic visions results in mesmerising states of consciousness. For all those who whorship one or more of Peter's pseudos, those who liked short-circuits (kurzschluss) on Arte, and for all those who feel entranced by abandoned places, alternative cinema and other mind-disturbing sensory perceptions, this DVD is a must-see, must have. A proper home cinema is a big plus, the surround sticker isn't there for fancy.
I wanted to make this kind of actor-less movies after listening to this kind of music. Seems I wasn't the only one...
After all that, one of Peter's friends, Zlatan, was giving a party. For a second, I felt utterly lost amid all these people who knew each other, lived off their talent and spoke a language I can't use in conversation... Then one turned and spoke to me, then another, and after Zlatan made me feel very welcome there was no more being ill-at-ease at all. I finally spent the whole evening talking to nice people about all sorts of things. The authentic cloudberry jam from Kiruna, Sweden's low fat craze, snow in summer and the distance to Yugoslavia, how people lived 10 000 years ago, French literature and extreme cinema... My coast-to-coast trip also inspired some surprise and wonder, and maybe some such ventures...
We later went to a -typically Swedish!- café-and-restaurant-and-nightclub. Is it because Swedes don't hang out much that there are so few places, or the other way round? Maybe it's just that there isn't so many of them...
In there I was talking French with Ulrika (am I right?) for a completely unexpected but very pleasant while. Damn it! Somebody heard me having a French accent! Or maybe it was my pronouncing French names so naturally, or... Whatever, I liked that! Before I rattle on about what happened to me, I must tell you about this town.
Norrköping is nicknamed "little Manchester" because it was poor enough not to take down its very central factories after they closed. Thus all sorts of richly-coloured brick buildings and chimneys remain today, and are converted to museums, company offices and most importantly, university buildings. Anyone going to Sweden for an Erasmus/Socrates year needs not even think about it: this is THE place. Nowhere else will you find classrooms with such surroundings, and from what I've seen of the town it's very lively. The lace-like network of paths and canals flows amid green parks and these red and yellow bricks, which at night turn to warm industrial architectural textures. In this labyrinth, one might walk and lose track of time, place and epoch... I fell in love with the place, and it appears that many others moved in after being similarly struck. Trust me on this one...
Only trouble is if you roller-skate: this town is cobble-ridden where they haven't laid any (grumpy) asphalt.
We walked around town the day after and had an ice cream before I resumed my travel around 5. I hunted for the old E4 all the way to Åby, then a sudden and definitive shower turned the road to a swimming-pool and stopped me short. My camp is but 3m from the road -steep side- but at least I will know precisely when it's dry! I'd like to be more hidden from view, but the soft ground and regular whir of passing cars won't harm my sleep, together with Necrophorus' latest outburst. Tusen tack, Peter!

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