It All Changed: 3 - Hitchhiking from Stockholm to Malmo, Sweden

5 July 2012

It all changed when the alarm didn’t go off in the morning.

It’s 7 and they’re long gone. Of course, it all seemed too easy - and it was. I go back into the old dorm and find my crumpled up sign. On the way to the free Ikea bus to the outskirts of town I unfold it and stare blankly at the letters of the place that just mean nothing to me now other than to get moving.

Ikea of Stockholm is really, really big. All walks of Swedish life are walking in the ingang and out the outgang.

When your’e truly nowhere in particular you get a clear plan of action and you feel truly lost. I know what to do, I just have no idea how to do it or where to do it. Where the hell am I anyway?

It’s all ok for a while when you’re standing on the side of the road and your thumb and forearm and head isn’t sore. Yet.

It’s when you are tired of doing all that and you change your sign to somewhere really close you have a problem. Not where am I, but what the hell am I doing anyway?

A thousand cars later, a white van pulls over and a blonde guy takes me to Sodentalje, but only after making some Norwegian fish deliveries.

“I think you’re the only tourist to even be inside teh Scania gates to the estate”

Scania is apparenltly the largest truck company in hte world. Its grounds here which manufacture the vehicles are over 6 kilometres long and buildings even go up into the hills. Patricks is proud of his father working in transmission department there, and proude of the countryside he lives in. He plays rugby for his town and lives in an apartment just across from a lake lined with fruit trees he picks every so often. As he drops me off, it’s clear that he’s proud of his son who is also called Oliver. He points to the tattoo on his arm and waves goodbye, smiling.

So now the plan is to get a truck which is going to Sweden’s 3rd largest city: Malmo. After a young German guy accidentally takes me the wrong way, I walk back. After a couple more people stop who are going to Stockholm, I start again to wonder what I’m dong. After a Spanish trucker asks me where Scania is, and honks me thanks goodbye as stereotypically as you can imagine, I start to really think about what I’m doing.

It’s been hours here. Nobody driving past has any idea what I’m doing which tells me I’m doing the wrong thing. The right thing is to be a sophisticated northern European and catch the sleeper train to where I fly out of this country so strongly defined by its harsh winters.