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18 July 2005

the supreme counsel of the global reconnaissance organization


damn. what the hell was i going to do? this was the first time on the trip when i'd forgotten something in the hostel. two somethings in fact: 01. a large plastic envelope containing copies of my passport photo page, driver's license, and immunization records, as well as numerous informational brochures, ticket stubs, museum handouts, and city maps. 02. my new book, d-day by stephen ambrose. i was concerned about the copies of my personal documents; a little annoyed about the other documents and the book. i'd packed the night before to expedite my departure this morning; i'd forgotten that when i'd first arrived at the hostel, i'd temporary stored a few items in one of the cabinets. therein the items in question lay.

[+]: i'd remembered that i'd forgotten the envelope and book while i was still in tromso.

[-]: it was 0605 and my bus was leaving at 0620. it had taken me half an hour to walk down from the hostel fully loaded.

[+]: there was another bus leaving at 1030 which would get me to narvik in time to catch my overnight train to stockholm.

[-]: the 1030 bus arrived only ten minutes before the train departed, almost zero slack time for any type of transportational difficulty with the bus.

gentlemen, i need options and i need them now.

option 01: the overall global reconnaissancee mission will not be threatened. you still have all documents necessary to complete the objective. ask the hostel staff to properly dispose of the forgotten items.

option 01 response: i can't be sure that the staff will effectively destroy my personal documents. if copies of my passport, driver's license, and immunization records fall into the wrong hands, the overall mission may be affected. this option is not viable.

option 02: ask the hostel staff to store the forgotten items and return to tromso later in the trip to retrieve them.

option 02 response: i can say with 99% certainty that i won't be returning to tromso later in this mission. tromso is not on the way to any other global reconnaissance destination. this option is not viable.

option 03: ask the hostel staff to mail you the items.

option 03 response: possible. i'd first need to wire money to the staff for shipping costs. i'd then need to determine where i'll be in the upcoming days and remain in one location long enough to receive the package. this option would be onerous to the hostel staff and i couldn't be sure they would agree.

option 04: take the 1030 bus.

option 04 response: possible, but if anything affects the bus timing... traffic, flat tire, road construction... i won't catch my train. the train ticket fare was non-refundable. if i miss the train, i lose the money. this option is too risky.

option 05: run your ass back up to the hostel and get that shit.

option 05 response: are you kidding me? there's no way i'd make it in time. the bus leaves in fifteen minutes. it took me half an hour to walk that distance with my pack on. no time.

option 05.1: taxi, brainiac.

option 05.1 response: that would be expensive... and where would i find a taxi at 0606 in the morning?

option 05.2: if you have a better option, then please, by all means, go for it. otherwise, get your ass in that taxi right over there and tell the driver to step on it.

POW! and with that the supreme counsel of the global reconnaissance organization had selected option 05 and i was in the back of a taxi speeding back up the hill to the hostel. four minutes later i was at the hostel and had a new problem. i'd dropped my keys off in the dropbox when i'd left and the front door, as expected, was locked. reception didn't open for hours. it was currently 0610. knock knock. pound pound pound. someone hear me. no. i ran back to the taxi and asked if he could call the reception. he already had the number programmed in his phone. call. nice, someone was on their way to the reception. in the door, gigantic apology, ran up to my room, grabbed the envelope and book, back down, another gigantic apology and an even bigger thanks and handshake, out the door. back in the taxi speeding back down the hill to the bus station. got there _right_ as the bus was pulling in at 0620. perfect.

arrival in narvik at approximately 1030. fuoko introduced himself; he'd biked from copenhagen to the north cape and was now cruising around seeing other sites. very nice guy. cruise narvik and damn, what the hell are you doing here? it was nate from tromso who had departed the day before. i had about four hours to enjoy narvik with nate before my train departed. i think we agreed these rock carvings were four thousand years old. got some food at the supermarket and relaxed at the train station. [at some point in narvik, i lost the hat i'd bought on the nordlys to survive the arctic cold. this is the only picture i have of it. if you find it, please notify me.]

train; i said my second goodbyes to netanel and boarded. six person sleeper and i was the only one in the compartment [soaking in more fjord scenery and snapping pictures out the open train window] until five germans (my take: four somewhat boisterous and dare i say annoying children and one 'cool uncle who lets us get away with far more than our parents') crammed into the space with an excess of baggage in kiruna, sweden (approximately three and a half hours from narvik). lots of 'mein rucksack'... 'rucksack'... 'rucksack'. one backpack had a full set of antlers hanging out of it. they'd obviously been hiking that day; the smell factor increased significantly in the small compartment. i really wasn't in any type of interactive mode; they stuck to their loud non-stop annoyingness and i stuck to my own 'i want this compartment to myself againness'. soon they asked if they could set up the beds (converting the two three seat benches each to a bed); fine. i spent some time writing before laying down and falling asleep.

posted by paul on Mon 18 Jul 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)


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