Facebook reminds me today that in 2011 i wanted to move from Norwich. A week or so ago, it said the same, but for a much earlier year. Is this a summer time fad? Or something i have repressed for many years. I want to go to Greenland. On the map on the wall in my room in Aarhus i saw islands to the east of Greenland, what are they i wonder? My potential long term tenant from my garden house is returning from a year in Alaska. Circle the north pole, how close might i get without actually doing it. I still want to sail up the coast of Labrador.
Rømø is sand sand sand.
Now i know where Happisburgh, Dunwich and Winterton are disappearing to. Denmark grows year after year, 18metres a year was the figure given me at the salt factories i visited on Læsso, thats the distance they have to move each year to sink wells to gather the salt water for their production.
Arriving here the in only way possible other than hitching, the school bus, I stand sweltering in the heat with sweat running down my face amidst a mass of chattering children, I do not like large groups of children, find them brutal, uncivilised, pig sticking beasts, am afraid of being in their world. I am pleased I generally choose trains over busses when ever i can, it is a small luxury I give myself. A comfortable journey with aircon, wifi, table and signs that announce stations is preferable to a greenhouse with mobile data switched on just to find out where we are.
I meet a young man, he sits beside me when enough children get off for we, the only adults, to sit down. It is clear he has issues. He soon tells me he is on a ‘pension’ having mental health difficulties that no doctors understand, that they say he must work out alone. He reflects that he is bored and wants to study but must pay a million krone a year in order to do so. Because of his pension. Education is free for sane people but not for him. It is a lifetime pension. Or is it prison? Societal disgrace.
He did not complete school and now recognises the need for education. He tried fishing but said he could not live on a boat with six smelly men for a month. I mention my prawn boat experiences but he cannot engage. He wants to grow things, he says, to learn how to be a market gardener. No, he cant help me with which stop i must get off at as he has only lived in Havneby a year, doesn’t know it but knows a year is too long.
He talks easily. People get to know him he says but he wants to remain unknown, doesnt know where he will go. He would love to be in Norway where places are remote. I say, go. It turns out he is Faroese, from Torshavn, no he would not return, everyone knows your business he says. I wonder if he is gay, chased away. We are unable to engage in conversation about the Faroes any more than conversation about fishing. I thank him and wish him good luck as my phone tells me I am at my stop.
I knew Bennys place might be challenging and that he would be a real character, not from the one negative review on airbnb but from his lengthy, expostulating response to it! Plenty of others have made enough cryptic comments for me to know he would be worth a risk.
It’ll be ok, Im sure, but it occurs to me that I might think about checking single women’s reviews of hosts. If there are any. I thought it would just be basic and dirty but twice, he has touched me, in just half an hour of showing me around, welcoming me. Touched me in that presumptuous way that i know from my childhood, that men used to assume it ok to touch women. I dont want him touching my bare shoulder. It is unclothed, i wear a vest type tunic dress over crops. It is hot.
I try to minimise my discontent but recall the fb post that is going around about women going sober and understanding why they need to drink. Yes, im drinking now and am avoiding going back. Its ok, I will return and cook my veggie curry but a couple of pints will help me not to be prickly when he is inappropriate, to let it wash over me. He is approaching seventy. Another generation. Hats off to him for earning money this way and hats off to him for letting me be here, thats my reality. Yes please, ill have a third.
Of course, the crazy thing is that the price of these three pints could have bought me much more pleasing accomodation. But im kinda interested in his stories, i like the undertones of the reviews about him, dont want cosy cosy tourist experience, i enjoy taking risks. Small town world. Living on the edge.