Written onboard M/T Ek-River and M/T Ek-Star July 2010
Kvarnberget, Göteborg 1988
I spent one night in Båstad and I took my car to Göteborg the day after. I had no apartment in Göteborg anymore. When I decided to take 2 years off from school my friend borrowed my apartment and just before I should move in to resume my studies we got kicked out.
But I had started school with a friend back in 1985 and he was living in a student home. So when we got kicked out from my apartment in May I asked him to keep his student room. So this is where I will live until I finish school.
Well, coming home from India with exactly ZIP in my valet so I had to go to the bank first thing. I borrowed 5000 US and it was all party again. 2 weeks later I got another 4 or 5000 dollars from my student loan. Yes, I was loaded again and life was fun.
Honestly, I did not spend much time in school. I had money and party was a priority. Fortet in Helsingborg, we remember that I was introduced to the place before I left for India. I spent almost every weekend there, driving back and forth between Gothenburg and Helsingborg.
I had 2 friends that had started school when I came back from India. But one of them left school to start at some military academy. There were even a few left from when I left school back in 1886 so I knew quite a few people at the school.
I don't know what have happened in Gothenburg during the 2 years I had been away.
Before it was so expensive to go out for a beer. They told me that people had stopped to go out drinking beer in Gothenburg due to the ridiculously high prices. So they had to lower the prices.
And when I was back in town they had lowered the prices, and that's what a poor student like. At least the prices were low on weekdays so we were on town almost every day of the week. Weekdays that is, when Friday came I was off to Fortet in Helsingborg and I returned to Gothenburg Sunday evening. Sleeping on a bench or under the pool table at Fortet.
I came home from India in September and it was soon October. And so far I had not done any exams. Who the hell have time for an exam when there are party’s to attend?
I was lucky to that I could use my friend's student room when we got kicked out of my apartment last spring. But it would have been better to live in my apartment. The student home was 8 rooms, 1 kitchen and 4 bathrooms.
The room was very small, I had space for a bed and desk. Of course, I had space for my entertainment centre and my records. Back then it was LP and I had 4 crates on the floor. But that was pretty much it
There was a guy coming once a week to clean our home, but we had to clean our own room. I remembered it like the guy was pissed off most of the times and many weeks he just refused to come to clean.
14th of October, Friday afternoon and I drove with my car to Fortet in Helsingborg. I remember one time when I had a British guy with me. He was hitchhiking in Gothenburg but I don't remember where he was going, but he joined me to Fortet. I had company on my trip, but it only lasted for 2 hours, yes, this was before the high way between Gothenburg and Malmö was ready.
Of course, when reaching the border to Skåne the high way started. Actually, Sweden’s first highway was between Lund and Malmö and it was built 200 years ago. Still in good shape though. Malmö to Auml;ngelholm was built back in the 60s. The last stretch over Hallandsåsen was open in 1976 and there was a high way all the way to the border to Halland.
Well, anyway, it was a pain in the arse to drive to Helsingborg back then, an old country road between just south of Gothenburg and Skåne. I had to drive through Falkenberg with red lights and stuff. Now it's highway all the way and you can do Helsingborg to Gothenburg in just a little more than 1 hour. Of course, depending on what car you're driving. For sure, not possible with the car I had back then, the only car I have ever had in my life. A light blue VW.
- Hmm, when I'm thinking of it I find it strange. I could afford everything back when I was a student. Today it's a different story.
Well, anyway, we arrived to Fortet but I don't know what the hitchhiker thought about the place, but he did not want to drink beer.
I don't remember where I woke up on the 15th of October, it was Saturday and according to my pictures we were having breakfast in Helsingborg. I remember that we went to my friend's apartment and he was cooking dinner while we drank beer. And of course, Saturday and not possible to buy beers , so we had to go pick up a few beers at Fortet.
Yes, it was the classic spaghetti with meat sauce. I don't remember if it tasted good, most likely it did. Hell, I don't even remember us eating the dinner.
But I remember that we drank beer, the most important thing back then.
We were going to another friend after dinner for a few drinks before going to town. He was living down town Helsingborg so it was walking distance from there to pretty much where ever we wanted to go.
When it was time to leave it was my turn to make a tit out of myself. My friend lived on the 3rd or 4th floor.
There was a big window in the stair case on each floor. My other friend, the one we had had the dinner at, screamed at me on the street asking where his shoes was.
And I really don't know why I had them with me down to the street. Maybe I had tried to help him get his shoes, because as I remember it as someone told me that he was down waiting for us. But his shoes were still in the apartment.
Well, anyway, I was on the street.
- I got them here.
- Give them to me.
I threw his shoes and they hot the window on the 4th floor. Yes, you can imagine the sound of all that glass plunging down hitting the ground floor. Embarrassing for my friend living there.
But I was quick to react.
- Call a Glazier I said while opened my valet.
The window sat me back by almost 1000 kr, back then 1000 kr was almost a good night on town.
Later on in the evening we went to Fortet, they had a band playing there later on in the night. Well, we arrived late, but no problem. Fortet was open 24 Seven so no need to be there early.
Driving back to Gothenburg on Sunday afternoon was not so fun. And I remember one day, I was almost back in Gothenburg when it started to smell like burnt rubber in my car. A minute later the car was full of smoke. So I had to stop on the highway.
Darn! And this was pre mobile phone era so I had to walk to the closest house. I borrowed a phone and I called for assistance.
I walked back to my car and I waited for the tow truck. He asked where I wanted to go.
- Do you know a good garage asked the driver.
- You can go to VW.
- They rob you blind.
- OK, I know a Polish guy in Gothenburg.
So he towed my car to a garage on Hisingen, Gothenburg. The Polish owner changed the electrical system, the wire to the speed meter and I got a mint condition tyre for 400 Kr. I felt like I had robbed the guy. This job would have set me back by several thousand at the VW garage.
Autumn and this is not the best of times to spend in Sweden or in Gothenburg. Gloomy and grey every day. Time passed by and I had yet to attend to any classes or to take any exams.
The weeks were spent doing all kinds of activities, except for attending school. Party most every day, maybe a waste of time. But back then I thought it was fun.
I don't have many pictures from back then, many have disappeared and I have throw away a lot of them. The instamatic camera left a whole lot to wish for. But I have at least noted some of the dates on the pictures.
But I don't remember what we did. Well, I don't know if it's so important today. But I have 2 pictures from Friday the 28th of October and next picture is from early Saturday morning, the 29th of October and that picture is from Fortet.
We went out in Gothenburg Friday evening and it was kind of boring so I left Gothenburg for Fortet. Yes, I still remember this night. I was sitting in a taxi outside Folkets hus when I decided to go to Fortet.
As you can see through the windows the sun is rising so there has been no sleep during the night.
No sleep, just a quick breakfast and we continued to drink the beer.
If we didn't spend the day time at Fortet it was quick to get the ferry to Helsingør, Denmark.
I remember on time in Helsingør. We had spent the day drinking beer at Hantverkaren. I should change the film in my camera and I discovered that I had been taken pictures for 2 days without any film in the camera.
I also discovered that my valet was empty. So I had to borrow money until we were back in Sweden and an ATM. Yes, this was pre digital camera, VISA card and mobile phone era.
Sunday 308th of October 1988 and we woke up at Fortet. I and 2 others with me left for a breakfast at Grand Hotel in Helsingborg. When we came out from the hotel the ground was covered in snow. 30th of October and snow, very early.
We came back to a snow white Fortet, very beautiful. But of course, the snow was soon melted away. More and more people came to Fortet for breakfast.
Sunday and I should really be going back to Gothenburg, but one day extra won't hurt. And it was not like I was going to miss school. Still, a little more than one month since I came back from India and I had not been to school.
Obviously this was not the way to go if I wanted to take my exam. But I will find the time.
I think this was one of my last times at Fortet. It came as a total surprise that I ran out of money and I had to look for a ship.
Life without money is not all that fun so when they called and asked if I wanted to come work on Stena Scanrail for 2 weeks I told them that I would be happy to.
Stena Scanrail is going between Gothenburg and Fredrikshamn in Denmark. So I will be in Gothenburg everyday and my hope was that I could get a chance to take home plenty TAX FREE beers and cigarettes. Can be good to have on a rainy day.
And while onboard I can save money on food and stuff. And of course, I had planned to do some heavy duty studies during my time onboard. Money is as important as the TAX FREE beer and I was happy when signed on Stena Scanrail as an AB 21st of November 1988.
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