30.09.2008 - 04.09.2008
Just as I had settled down to try and recover from the first trip, let alone the second, it only goes and drops the bombshell. Slyly, into the conversation one day, it says "So, Clive, how would you feel about leaving Sweden for a while?". Being a good Swedish Elk, I looked at him somewhat worriedly and was just starting to answer that perhaps I would prefer not to, when it says "because we are leaving in 4 days and might never come back, so perhaps you should get your affairs in order".
I was aghast.
Or, I would have been aghast if i knew what that really mean't.
"Leaving Scandinavia" I cried! "But why?" To which it averted my gaze and mumbled something about prisons that he wouldn't repeat. "But where will we go?" I asked, trying a different tack. "Nowhere much", it muttered, "but as i mentioned before, we'll soon be checking out whether you are sea-sick". And with that it stalked off, though i could have sworn i heard "stupid elk" under it's breath.
Leaving Sweden???? Oh dear.
And so i spent 4 days wandering around the town i currently call home, visiting the sights...
...before it forced me to help empty it's appartment. I craftily tried to convince it that if we stayed, none of this hard work would be neccessary, but it ignored me.
Then it was the lowest of the lows. That last morning, whilst *it* went and did who knows what, I had to help some of his poor colleagues, though admittedly they all seemed very happy that he was, to quote "b*ggering off for a long time".
As we sat on the train waiting to depart, it said to me "...do you know, Clive, that i started work with these Swedes six years ago tomorrow? I came for 6months, and 6years later am finally leaving...". He was gazing out of the window in a slightly somber mood, punctuated only by a little cheer of delight when we passed a place called 'Hässleholm' for reasons he refused to disclose to me. A couple of hours later, and we are in Copenhagen. This isn't so bad, I thought, I've always liked the Danes and their more friendly, alcohol tolerant way of life. Until the stupid human told me that we were about to leave Scandinavia for good. Leaving Scandinavia???? I must admit that it hadn't occurred to me. I assumed we might end up in Jutland, or on a Norwegian fjord, but not leaving Scandinavia. A deep feeling of foreboding then overcame me.
Happily, the next morning we were in Paris, and I was starting to feel a little out of the woods. There are surely worse places for a Scandinavian Elk to live than Paris?
But then we met some people, and it said it's farewells, and the feeling started to come back. Why would it be saying its farewells if we were staying here. We even then went to Charles de Gaulle airport, which stunned me for a minute. My stupid human is many things - stupid, and human chiefly amongst them - but it never flies anywhere. So why are we in one of Europe's biggest airports? It's definitely a strange one, this one. But we then returned and did a bit more sightseeing...
... including the noisy and apparently triumphant return of the bubblegum bangers to the Arch of Triumphant, or whatever the stupid human calls it in some foreign language i don't know.
I was almost starting to enjoy it, until, then, we suddenly emerged at Paris Gallieni and my S.H. was refusing to talk to me anymore. We sat in silence for a while on a bus, and then went through customs and passport control and customs again (i tried to shop it to the police, but they weren't interested in it. Only everybody else). It was only then, sat on the top of a ferry at 4am in foul weather, looking back towards Calais, that in a somber voice it said to me...
"...take a long look at Europe Clive, for we won't be seeing it again for some time."
I almost had heart attacks in both my hearts. Leaving Europe, I thought to myself. But where on earth are we going.....?
To which, almost as if it were reading my mind, it half said and half murmoured "...get used to boats quickly, Clive, for the next one will be slightly longer than this, and i don't mean in terms of feet and inches".
And, dear friends, I still don't know where we are going