Trip Start Nov 16, 1987
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

There are some things in this world that are exclusive pieces of information to one of the genders. How to pee with an erection is one of them. How to change a shirt without getting undressed in another. Today, I want to share the ultimate secret - what really happens at Snikkarbo!

For those of you who are not too familiar with Swedish television from the 80's or Astrid Lindgren's classic books about 'Emil i Lønneberget', you should know that 'snikkarbo' is a place where the main character, Emil, locks himself in to keep safe from his father whenever he has done something wrong. Originally, snikkarbo was meant to be a place for producing wooden figures an utilities of different sorts, but it is now better known as a place for naughty boys to hide.

So, what is Snikkarbo? In short, it is an excuse to not have to hang out with girls and non-Norwegian speakers while getting embarrassingly intoxicated and singing Norwegian classics

On the first Monday following my arrival, the the guys from my flat told me to bring 40$ and some clothes I was not to worried about getting dirty. At 2300h, all the taxis in that part of Orlando showed up in our driveway, and out of the darkness came around 30 Norwegian guys wearing white t-shirts and white overalls (at least, they all used to be white). We got in one of the taxis and the taxi-driver immediately turned on Norwegian karaoke music, which really lifted the mood even before any alcohol had been consumed.

Upon arrival at this shabby, outdoor pub, I was asked to put 20$ in a hat, and when the hat was full of 20$ it was presented as a sacrifice to the owner of the pub. She immediately brought out long tables and put them in a row, before covering them in pitchers of light American beer. 20$ more was paid for a white overall, to match my white t-shirt. Everyone was then handed a plastic cup, gathered around the table, and the game could begin.

There are a number of rules to Snikkarbo! - all enforced by the President. These have to be observed all night and some of them also for the rest of the week. Some of the highlights include

1) Freshers always drink from a full cup. If it's your first time at Snikkarbo! the cup will be refilled each time you take a sip.2) You cannot, under any circumstance, get water on your white overall or t-shirt. This will be seen as an attempt at cleaning your clothes and will earn you 'eternal penalty beers' - which means you have to down full beers with short intervals for a whole night.
3) When Karaki - a kind of sing-along guy - sings, everyone has to sing along and then down whatever is left in their cup. Any failed attempt at downing will be rewarded with a new full cup to down.
4) If it's your birthday, you have to down one full beer for each year you are. The video-camera will be brought out and your adventures in the garbage can will be documented.
5) You have to acknowledge anyone you have had sex with in the last week, even if it's the sister/girlfriend of the guy sitting next to you. Each girl is rewarded with a full beer to down.  

Based on these rules (there are many more) it shouldn't be to hard to imagine how the night progresses. People take this event and these rules so seriously, that when the President of snikkarbo in the 90's got stabbed by some American outside the bar, he told the ambulance workers to be careful with the President t-shirt (which is a Norwegian flag). The t-shirt was saved and it is still being used today - unwashed!

The first time I woke up after snikkarbo was also my first day of work. Being very hungover, I managed to crawl onto the bus, reach the work-place, claim I was sick (which was true enough), and then go home to relax. As a result of my 'illness', I was moved to the Food & Beverage section of the Norwegian pavilion, which increased my earning dramatically. And they say alcohol doesn't solve any problems.

Ps' The Norwegian girls in Orlando have their own snikkarbo, called 'flickarbo' (a combination of the Swedish word for girl 'flicka' and 'snikkarbo'). No guy knows what happens there, only that after snikkarbo and flickerbo ends, the drunk boys and girls meet back at the accommodation to have another Scandinavian concept called 'fuckarbo'. I don't think I have to explain that one.
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