Monday, June 23, 2008

Backwards Land

“Where can I find School of Sound Recording?”
“I have no idea” (Then why are you a Bus-driver? The place is supposed to be a medium size central school).
“Go and ask those taxi-divers, they will know.”
“Ok… thank you! (?)”

“Huh? No I have no idea where that is…”
“You don’t have any clue?”
“No, sorry!”
“Where can I find out then?”
“There’s a tourist information just down the street on the left hand side.”
“Left hand side, just down the street?” (Echo information and await confirmation.)
“Yes, just down here.” (Pointing).
“So, it’s just a few blocks then?”
“Yeah, not more.”
“All right, thanks a lot!”

I walked down the street and looked everywhere where it was supposed to be but I had no luck. I started asking people I met in the area but they didn’t know about any tourist information.

I kept walking. And walking. And walking.

I needed an internet-café to try to find it on a map. But the same thing happened. I was directed to places, and when I arrived there would be a beautiful house, tree or statue of Queen Victoria or who ever. But no internet.

I was running out of time + I was hungry = I was getting angry!

I went into a mobile-phone/ laptop shop. Surely, they must know where the World Wide Web can be found! I was directed towards the public library by a young guy that worked in the shop. He asked what I was doing in Manchester. I told him I was going to an event with a company that makes music production gear.
“Are you a music producer or something then?”
He lit up. What do you answer to that? I’m studying it, but I’m producing stuff too, and so I told him.
“Ohhh, I would looove to do something like that!” he exclaimed.
I thought that he just could get started any time if he wanted on his own PC and see where it took him, and I tried to give an encouraging comment if this was really what he wanted to do. Suddenly I was becoming the hotshot in the party. The Norwegian dude in a blue sailors blazer with golden buttons and a linen scarf. If I had said I knew Beyoncé he’d buy it on the spot. I thought I should probably have brought some worn out jeans and a black t-shirt to take it down a bit…

It struck me how lucky I actually am. –To travel around the world in pursuit of dreams. I used to look up to people that did that, but I was feeling quite ordinary. Like any stressed out student who is just done with his last assignments.

The library was supposed to be a rounded building in the end of the next crossing road. There was no such thing. Hey, I used to be a trekking guide in the Norwegian mountains! –This isn’t high level navigation!

The answer was to call siss and her fiancé back in Norway, they went online for me and found it and I got the exact address. I was really running out of time and I boarded a taxi to take me there. We drove through the city and finally we came to the right street.

“Ok Sir, this is the street.”
The driver pulled up by the road.
“But this is not the right house-number is it?”
“No Sir, I have no idea where the building is but it should be around here.”
“So can we drive along the road then till we find it?” (That’s what I am paying you for!)
“No Sir, I don’t know where it is.”
“And neither do I!”
“I think it is just across that junction. You can walk up there and I’m sure you’ll find it.”
“Can we drive?” (I can’t believe I’m saying that in a cab!)
The answer was no and I was out on the street walking again.

In spite the ridiculous behaviour, he was the first one with an accurate road description (sheer luck?/ divine intervention?) The school was there after the junction, just by the road.

I was reminded of a Norwegian children’s song. It’s a song about The “Backwards Country” where everything is backwards! The rules in school, day and night, it’s like everything is reversed in a mirror cause right is left.

“…’cause in Backwards Land, there everything can happen.
There they are just as nutty and mad every man!”

I’m sure the Manchester people are probably not mad! –Bless them! It just seems like everything is backwards there! –like in a mirror…

But it’s a beautiful city though, although people will tell you both. If I ever get the chance I’d like to buy the old fire station! It’s from the 19th century and abandoned. There are trees growing in the walls. But it has a tall beautiful watchtower, a prime spot for Cigarsmoking and a funky element in any party. Just keep in mind while on watch that you’ll get the sun at your North at noon.

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