Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Coffee House, DRYH c3s1f

As they step outside (with Yurev trying to be in the middle sheltered from whatever by the others) they're hit by a stench like when the farmers around at the Östgöterland plains apply manure to the fields around Linköping. A smell well known to anyone driving in to or out of Linköping at certain times of the year. Difference though being that they now step into a street inside Linköping as opposed to outside Linköping (and also it's the wrong time of the year, it early August). As they stop at the great steps out from the museum they see low two to three stories wooden houses, apprently they are in Gamla Linköping (Old Linköping). A part of the eightteenth century Linköping that was moved and gathered to a part of town where they form a kind of museum of old Linköping, a part that was in great parts destroyed by a big fire in the eightteenth centuary. They don't really recognise it but it was along time since they were here last time and what else could it be?

They get growled at by a lot of people stressing up and down the street dressed up in quite genuine clothes from the time. There must be some history event going on or maybe some big live action role playing game. Across the street the Cloetta shop has even been redecorated as ''Chocolate House'' to blend in in whatever event is going on. There's a lot of people going around, horse chariots and totally a 18th centuary feeling. Strange though that Erik can't get a GPS position on his smartphone. The symbol for what kind of data traffic he can get is also weird, looks like a asterisk, no it looks like a chaos symbol - a bunch of arrows pointing out from the middle. They decide that if they just go in any direction they will soon leave Gamla Linköping and either come to the forest or the private bungalows area or Malmslättsvägen and then they will know where they are and where to go.  They all want to go the same way in the beginning no matter whether they want to cross Malmslättsvägen and get to Ryd or find a bus to some other part of the city.

Soon they see that there has been a lot of work done to make Gamla Linköping look like in the old days because the cafe in Gamla Linköping has also been redecorated and has been named ''Coffee House''. As they walk they see some people not following whatever guidelines issued for the event because although most people are dressed up in 18th centuary clothes there are a smaller part of the people dressed in all kinds of clothes from that time and onwards to their own 21st centuary or at least up to early 20th centuary. Also, Gamla Linköping should have ended by now. It is quite small. ''I feel for a cup of coffee, anybody want to join'' Erik says. ''oui'' says Maurice but Sandra is hesitant and wants to get home and has no cash. Erik promises to buy here a cup though and so they enter the coffee house. 

As they enter they enter a cafe that makes old Vetekatten in Stockholm to look modern. At one side of the large room is a long desk behind which men startle back and forth and either take payments or delivers coffee. Behind them are early 20th centuary espresso machines that clashes with the rest of the decorations (at least for the history interested person). As they approach the bar and leave the rest of the room behind them the feeling is rather like from an italian espresso bar or the Sosta espresso bar in Stockholm. Since the tempo is high Maurice finds himself having ordered a caffe before having the time to look at the prices. When they find the price listings they do contain prices in ''coins'' but also things like ''no longer remembered memory''. Sandra is hungry and look at the breads and find them costing ''a lesser childhood memory''. Maurice pays with two of the coins he got from The Curator still holding on to his sweeper - property of Linköping Cathedral and his only connection to his, two hours earlier, orderly life - something safe in the midst of all these unreal events. As they strays back and forth in front of the desk several customers arrive and orders ''caffe'', pays, sweeps the coffee in one sweep and leaves.

Erik hands them a 100 SEK note to pay for his cookie and caffe. The guy receiving it turns to one of his colleauges and they frown and look at it and asks who has issued that bond paper. Erik's confused and they repaet the question. ''Ah, eh'' says Erik ''It's him, mmm, von Linné''. Erik can't come to think of anyone but the swedish biologist and taxonomist of old days whose portrait is on the note. They look at him and each other. ''Ah, that's right, VON Linné'' one of them says and hands it to another guy who puts in the cashier machine (a totally non-electric mechanical one). 

They all want to ask what the fuck is going on. Sandra tries to catch one of the caffe guys at a free moment and get some answer both to what event is going on and what the strange prices are but he just looks at here like she was a newly arrived hillbilly from far away. As Sandra asks if ''thirteen coins'' means ''thirteen crowns'' (crown being the name of the swedish money, as dollar, pound and so on) the serving guy looks at her strangely again and seriously tell her that there is not several but one and only one crown and that's The Wax King's crown. Meanwhile Erik and Maurice has sat down and after sweeping his espresso Maurice retrieves his hip flask and pours some cognac in his cup. As the warmth from it spreads through Maurice body he sees a dog run by. The dog has a needle for head and the needle is threaded with a thread who goes into the neck of the dog and comes out as a tail at the other end of the dog. People scarily move out of the way of the dog. Erik never really gets more than a glimpse of the dog and quickly decides he never saw that.

Yurev manages to start to talk to one of the customers and ask what this is and get the unsatisfying answer ''The Bizarre Bazaar''. ''I mean the whole village'' Yurev says with his russian dialect and the man answers him by telling him to never call the place ''village'' so any of ''the locals'' hear it. All the time between talkings he has a very stale broad smile that comes on like he flipped an electrical switch, not spreading through the face as normal smiles do. As Sandra gives up trying to talk to the busy caffe guys and joins she sees that the guy Yurev talks to has a wing nut key in his back, slowly turning, just like a wind-up toy. The man realise that they are not from town and ask if maybe it would be for the best if they come with him - to Officer Tock. When they ask who that is they get the short answer ''The one upkeeping the order''. As they don't know where they are and don't want to displease the police they decide to go to Officer Tock. The man says that he's off-duty though but if they just go in that direction they will get to District 25. He points generally in a direction.

They almost decide to leave when Erik objects and says that he's not that comfortable talking to the police (considering he fled a razzia at the hotel and left a lot of drugs there). Yurev understands him (not knowing specifically about the razzia) and agrees that talking to the police might not always be nice but he can wait outside in the meantime. Erik decides to go on his own in the meanwhile. Sandra is really in a hurry to get back to her normal life but Erik really don't have that hurry. They decide that they shall meet up here at the coffe house later. Since they all have bought stimulantia from Erik they have his number although Sandra never got her phone with her and Yurev's, as he explains, disappeared during mysterious circumstances. They now find out that the old man Maurice don't like mobile phones and don't have one. Sandra, Maurice and Yurev leaves and walks away in the direction the friendly but mysterious win-up man showed them.

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