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onsdag 10 september 2008

Seeth-Ekholt, chapter 4

We set out on the Autobahn. Me and Eli had the maps and took the lead in our overpacked Volvo, with the other guys in the other car following us. We hadn't driven that far when we suddenly became part of a queue. I wasn't certain wether it was a queue for people exiting the Autobahn or just a general queue, so I drove past it. I realised Simon (who was driving the following car) didn't, and I wondered why. Me and Eli guessed they would catch up, but we couldn't figure out why he stopped. It turned out that Simon was right - it was a general queue, and I had to sneak into it with cheeks full of shame. Our two cars were connected via walkie-talkies, but they had very limited range, and we could figure out what had happened to the others. As we drove, we slowly closed in on our exit and hoped that the others would catch up. They didn't, so we drove of, and hoped that we could catch them when they were closing in. We called out on the radio time and time again that they were supposed to exit at our particular exit - they didn't have any maps and therefore they couldn't figure it out for themselves.

Me and Eli parked the car at the roadside and put the emergency lights on. We waited for about 30 minutes, but we couldn't make contact with the others. Suddenly I saw a cop car in the rear view mirror, driving by at the street connecting to ours, and I cursed.
"I hope they didn't see us!" but the siren told another story. The cop car backed up and I had a lump in my throat. And in my stomach. The cops stopped behind us and stepped out, as did I.
"Guten Abend!" I greeted them, and they replied with the same courtesy. As my German isn't very good, I'll take the rest of the conversation in English. Please enjoy, as I didn't...

"What seems to be the problem?" (or for you Swedish guys: "Hur var det här då?")
"I'll tell you." I said, knees shaking just a tad. "You see, my friends are going to Hamburg, even when they were not supposed to." I felt my heart sinking; this wasn't going well at all. It was quite clear that my German wasn't at its peak in a stressed situation. The officers glanced at our clearly over loaded car, filled with axes, handgonnes, blackpowder, spears and German booze. Then they looked at me, and I felt inclined to continue:
"Well, we are waiting for them. They are turning, to get back to the other way..." I stuttered. The officer looked concerned and puzzled at the same time.
"Do you speak any English?" I tried, as it was clear that my message wasn't clear. He shook his head, slowly. The buttons on his uniform shone in the blue lights from the cop car. I swallowed.
"This is a bad spot, you see." he said. "This is the Autobahn. Would you mind waiting somewhere else?" 'Autobahn?' I thought. 'I just exited the Autobahn. This is just at crap piece of road.'
"No sir! I wouldn't mind at all!" I replied. He pointed at a parking lot some 100 metres away.
"Is that a good spot?" I nodded. "Well, turn your car around and park over there."
"Yes sir!"

So I got in the car, started it up, and drove off to find a spot to turn the thing around. And suddenly - we were at the Autobahn again! We had been parked at a slip road connecting to the Autobahn - and I hadn't the slightest idea this was the case. I drove off into the beginning night, sweating like... like... myself in a tight spot, and hoping they wouldn't chase me when I didn't park where I was told to. We called the others by phone (the phone bill arrived some days ago - it cost me about 80 euros altogether) and decided we should meet up at a suitable spot. They were ahead of us by at least 30 minutes. I drove a bit faster to gain on them, and on some dark highway, well of the Autobahn I was flashed by a speed camera and cursed a bit. Again. Finally we caught up with our friends, and drove all the way to the ferry without any troubles. We handed the ticket collector the tickets, and drove slowly towards the awaiting ferry. This is where the troubles started again. The other guys couldn't find their tickets. And we unknowingly went on the ferry without them. And the ferry departed. And they were still on German soil.

Me and Eli waited on the Danish side, and together we drove the last hours through Denmark, until we crossed the bridge over Öresund, and were back in Sweden and Malmö. And that was the end of it.

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