The last Sunday in April started gloomy indeed. I’ll give it to you from my perspective and my experiences. You wake up in a hotel room on the outskirts of Trondheim completely overwrought, broken and with a stiff neck. You look around the room looking for something to wear, but you immediately realise that you have to put on the same clothes you wore yesterday and the day before, nothing is clean except for the underwear you bought in bulk the Saturday before. If you try hard enough, you will be able to tell from your clothes that in some places you can still smell your perfume, which is in your suitcase somewhere among the thousands of other suitcases at Amsterdam airport, or you can trace on your leather jacket with shorter sleeves the smell of cigarettes, which you took out of your backpack for stress and put directly into your pocket and never let out of your sight, let alone out of the pocket that currently has better security than the Pentagon. On your T-shirt you can find traces of the food that your friend in Prague prepared for you and you immediately think what it would be like if you stayed in Prague. But there was no time to think. You walk into the bathroom and see your brand new toothbrush, which is missing toothpaste, so you give up brushing now and find the erary toothpaste in the room of other travelers after breakfast. You’re going to go to breakfast. You’re looking forward to hot eggs, or at least a sausage, but the lady at reception immediately confuses you by handing you plastic-wrapped toast straight from the fridge and pouring you filter coffee. This is not the full espresso you want to improve your morning with every day. You shuffle your feet slowly to the table, where you join the small number of your fellow passengers already seated and staring blankly (the rest are either asleep or breathing out anxiety attacks). You have a conversation with the teachers about what you’re going to do, and what you joked about yesterday becomes a reality. And the goal of the day is clear, you’ll complete the program and go to the Salvation Army.
You’re gonna head into the city. On the way you see the statue of the last Viking, where you stop for a moment and then sail deeper into the centre. You walk alongside wooden houses that stare at you from both left and right, only the pavement and roads are made of asphalt and concrete. You come out in a little park where there is an interesting bench. It’s not just any bench, because there’s a girl sitting on it. So you approach the bench and learn that it is a monument to Cissi Klein, a young Jewish girl who was taken from school by the SS in 1942 and sent to Auschwitz, where she was killed that same day. You take a picture at the bench and spend some time devoting your energy to this story. In the meantime, someone in Amsterdam decides to answer your many emails. The email is not very satisfying, as you learn that your luggage will not be returned just like that, giving 1-4 days, but you have hope that something will start to happen. Now it’s decided, you have to go to the Salvation Army. It doesn’t take long and the goal is in front of you. For a moment you all hesitate to actually do it, to put all your pride aside and ring that bell and ask for help. Finally you do, and you wait to see what happens. Nothing. So you ring it again, but harder Crrrr…. Crrrr…. And you hear slow footsteps coming down the stairs. There it is. The lady opens the door for you, you pour your heart out to her, and she replies that they only provide lodging and food for the homeless and that she’s sorry she can’t help. When you ask where you can get clothes from the second hand store, she replies by saying that it’s Sunday and everything is closed. So you lower your ears and at least go for a walk to the cathedral. Nidaros Cathedral is as massive as Notre Dam in Paris. You’ll be blown away by its monumentality. You breathe in the fresh air and go back to the centre. For lunch, you pop over to McDonald’s and it’s your best meal from that chain in a very long time! After an unhealthy but delicious meal, you hurry gracefully to the ferry. It will take you to the other side of the fjord. On the boat, you laugh in despair at all the incidents so you don’t cry later. You disembark and are greeted by a delegation from the Norwegian school. You get into two cars and drive to Leksvik, where your accommodation is for the rest of your stay. In the car you reflect on life and consider everything, really everything. The accommodation is great and the only thing missing to perfection is your suitcases, still lying in Amsterdam. You have nothing to unpack or prepare for dinner, so you go for a swim in the fjord. The water isn’t that cold and it’s a balmy 12 degrees Celsius outside. You get back in the car and go to dinner. You don’t feel well in the restaurant, so you decide to go outside for some fresh air. You try to call your friend, he doesn’t answer, so you crack the stick on him too. After a good half an hour, the rest of the party comes out and we get in the cars. We get clothes, including jackets, which you redistribute later at the accommodation and experience at least partial satisfaction and a feeling of cleanliness and comfort. You swap conversation, review the day, call your home country and go to sleep.