Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Wallet, A Serial-Killer Bus Stop, And A Friend

It was well into the first week in Sweden and I was feeling pretty good. I had a great new friend (hottie-tattoo-guy) that I was really excited to get to know. I had a cool roommate who was a little slice of home (she was from the other mitten state) and she even let me borrow clothes.

One day, after having settled in a bit, I decided to go to the mall that everyone was talking about. They said it was a little bit out of town on the number 1 bus. So I went to the central bus station in town and looked for the number one bus. And I got on the number one bus. Now is where you can smile and laugh because we all know how my "adventures" seem to go. Yes. I am giving you permission to laugh in anticipation of how awesomely lost I was about to get. Ok now stop, breathe, and let me continue damn it!

On this lovely fall day I had decided that I was going to go out on my own. I had heard several people talking about this mall and I thought instead of dragging Wobbly Girl roomie I would take an afternoon on my own. What was Study Abroad without a little personal adventure right?

So I get on the bus and stared  out of the window quite aware, waiting to see the mall, as we traveled through the town. And then we left the town. And then everything was thick forest. I don't know if you have ever been in the northern parts of the U.S. but that is how it was. Lots of pine trees standing close together. And I waited. And waited. And the trees grew thicker and the bus stops stopped looking like bus stops and began to look like places to pick up a serial killer.

After deciding that we weren't going to turn around and loop back into town I finally decided to ask the bus driver. His English was shotty and he told me to get off the bus and wait for the one going back the opposite direction. Twenty minutes or so. I was already an hour outside the town.

I got of the bus and it was already getting dark. It was about five pm after all.. I waited for the next bus. I got on and went to pay. And then I remembered. On the first bus I had taken out my wallet to see if I had any cash to get something to eat and/or my ticket home. And it stayed on that seat beside me in the first bus. So as I climbed the steps up to the bus I had the panic of being utterly lost, without a wallet, and awfully hungry.

In my panic I tried to explain to the bus driver that I left my wallet on the other bus. He was failing to comprehend (not his fault.. I mean..come on we were in bumblefucknowhere of Sweden and I was speaking English). And then this blonde angel came to the front of the bus and translated. She asked me what happened and I told her, desperately. After a minute discussing with the bus driver and a correspondence on his radio she told me to sit and we'd get the wallet at the next stop.

Milena (her name, which I would learn in a minute) was wearing at least three layers of clothes. The cotton tank top stood out beneath a simple sweater with a sequin-covered word and a leather jacket to top it off. She exuded confidence. Her unassuming manner and heroine-like act had me in awe. I sat on the opposite side of the bus, one row behind her. But it wasn't long before we were talking. I had to thank her.

To my utter surprise at the next stop we intercepted another bus and the driver of that bus stepped onto ours with my awful pink wallet. Not only was it my wallet but it had all my cash, IDs, credit cards... I was one lucky idiot. Let's take a moment here and think about this.Yep there it is, laugh now.

So I had my wallet back thanks to Milena and subsequently a new friend! Or anyway I hoped she would be a friend. I soon explained I was going to the university in the town and she said she was going there too. We talked a little more about where I was from and all the normal stuff. Then Milena explained that she was going to be staying in temporary housing on campus until they placed her in a dorm or apartment. I said "ABSOLUTELY NOT."

And in my wonderful way I invited a stranger (granted a savior of a stranger) into my flat (without asking Wobbly-Girl-Roommate) to stay until she got a place. It only ended up being a few days but they were epic days. Wine, beer, Jager-Bombs, clothes galore... it was a full-on girls flat. But letting her stay with us was not even close to enough of a repayment. I am pretty sure I am still in her debt. She saved me from serial killer bus stops and having to live in the wild of Sweden...

This wasn't even the first "little disaster" of my time in Sweden..but as with most of  my disastrous experiences the result was so weirdly beautiful that I couldn't argue with the price of the journey. I found my first (and only) Swedish friend who turned out to be so much more of a friend than I could have asked for.

This is after the lovely Milena made the life choice to go from blonde to brunette hehe

P.S. Yay for posting on post day!!! Thanks for continuing to read!

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