Tunnel Vision!

Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of Sweden  , Swedish Lakeland,
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I do live a charmed life!
I get up this morning wondering what to do. I haven't heard from any couch surfers offering me a place to stay in Copenhagen, though I would enjoy seeing more of the city, a hotel room is out of the question at over $300 per night and I didn't even think to ask at the hostel since the hostel website did say they were full for a few nights. My problem was what to do about my Visa card stuck in the bank machine. The bank didn't open until 10 and I had to be out of the hostel at that time. What to do with my stuff since the hostel had no secure storage?
One of the thoughts I had about my "stuck" credit card was that maybe I had been caught by thieves. I do remember that when I was walking up to the bank machine this pretty young thing was wandering around with a suitcase (the bank is across from the train station) in front of one of the bank machines. I walk up to that machine and there's a sign that says if the machine is out of order to use the one on the other side of the building. The first machine "looked" out of order (remember I can't read Danish). So I walked around to the other machine and stuck my card in. This pretty young thing followed me to that machine then when my card got stuck she offered to push it in further with her card as the machine kept on saying "insert bank card". That's when the machine "ate" my card. I left without seeing what the young woman did. I do know that scams like this do happen. Where thieves get people's cards "stuck" in bank machines and then retrieve them. I wasn't worried if they had gotten my card as the most they could have gotten was $200. That's the thing with having your credit cards maxed out, thieves can't benefit. There was also the issue of my signature being rubbed off on the card. I was being asked for ID every time I used it. My only concern was the hassle of not having this card to access my bank accounts. The card also has an expiry date of September. So it will be of no use to me even before I get home.
The hostel offered a breakfast (that you buy at an outrageous price) and I had planned on having it. But as I'm waiting to pay these 2 large groups are getting their food. I decide that the wait won't be worth the cost, so I leave. I'll eat breakfast somewhere else. It's now 8 am. For some strange reason I decide to walk by the bank with the hungry ATM machine. There I meet a business man from Switzerland banging at the bank door for an employee to open the door. I ask him if he's lost his bank card. He says yes and has to go to a meeting. The bank employee comes to the locked door. The man explains our dilemma. At the same time a woman has gotten her bank card stuck in the machine. Well, there goes my theory about this being a scam by thieves. The bank employee says that no one has keys for the ATM room, to come back in a half hour. I go have breakfast and then return to the bank. The other woman has also returned. She's from Sweden, across the river from Copenhagen. The bank employee sees us and comes to the door and lets us in. He has a stack of cards (maybe 50). I get mine. It's 9 am. Awesome. An hour sooner than I thought.
All packed up and on the road to Sweden. Originally I thought of heading to Stockholm first and then Oslo, but for some reason reverse destinations. Leaving Copenhagen you cross the river into Sweden by driving through a very long and straight tunnel under the river. I found this to be an extremely weird sensation on a motorcycle. It's almost like you get hypnotised. I'd go off into a tangent by comparing this with life but am tired and won't write a long chapter on how a lot of people live their lives hypnotized with tunnel vision.
After the tunnel there's a long, high bridge to cross into Sweden. The wind was very strong and I was afraid I'd be blown away due to the motorcycle being unstable at high speeds in the wind. Crossing into Sweden and the Customs Officers waive me by. Now this sucks! I was hoping to get my passport stamped but it seems like they don't do much of that anymore. It was the same crossing into Denmark from Germany. No stamp.
The drive through Sweden was uneventful. The weather was overcast, though somewhat windy. During one rest stop I fiddled with the pre-load setting on the rear shock and found afterwards that the bike handled much better at high speeds. Awesome. Now it doesn't feel like the motorcycle is gonna drive off the highway when the winds are strong.
I met and chatted with a couple and their son from northern Belgium at another stop. Well I'm exhausted and can't stop yawning so I'm going to finish by talking about my accommodations and supper. They are nice but expensive (over $200). I had found a hostel nearby when I was on the hostel website last night. There was no specific address (only a box number) but directions. In case the hostel was full I had checked with Expedia for the cheapest hotel (about $100). This morning I was going to write down the directions to the hostel, as I had written the name and postal code, but the internet access at McDonald's wasn't available until after 10. So I left Copenhagen without knowing exactly where the hostel was. I arrive in Gothenburg and stop at an information booth to see if they know how to get to this hostel. The information booth was closed for the season. Guess it was time to put plan B into action. I find the hotel on my GPS that I had located on Expedia. I drive there and it doesn't exist. I'm sitting in front of the address and my GPS says there's a hotel there...but there isn't.
I decide to continue driving as I do remember the hostel site saying that it was 6 kms north of town. Now I can't get back on the highway due to construction. I'm going round in circles and rush hour traffic is starting. Finally I'm back on the highway, it's getting late and I don't know where I'm going to sleep tonight. I see a sign that says hotel off the next exit. I'll take whatever I can get at this time, at whatever price and turn off.
And so there you go. Another day in the life of me!
Think It! Feel It! Live It!
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