You may have seen that I called my first workaway station a bit of an experience… well, experiences can be good, but there are also bad ones sometimes. This first stop on workaway was one of the latter 😦
Here’s what happened: On Sunday, when I came back from my first ever loppis and some grocery shopping with Sven and the Hungarian guy (Szukie?), the Icelandic lady had arrived, Rúna. We pretty soon set out on our first dog walk because between the two of us, we could handle all 6 of them. We got along really well right from the start, so I was very happy to have her there and sharing a room.
We walked the dogs on Monday, then we were planning to work a bit in the garden, but our host wanted us to clean the fridge first (maybe that was because we had some very old meatballs for dinner one night). While I took out everything in there, half-expecting something to be alive in there, Rúna took the task of rinsing and cleaning all the plastic parts of the fridge. Once empty, we put it back together and wanted to sort the stuff – but our hostess just said “Leave it, I’ll do it.” Knowing that she is very bad at throwing things away, we didn’t think that a very good idea, but what could we do…
In the afternoon, we were supposed to help in the garden, but didn’t get very much done until she said “leave it” and “later” again. That sentence became kind of the motto of the week: whenever we had a good flow in our work going, she’d interrupt and tell us to continue another time. She also made a habit of shouting at us “What are you doing?!” in a very stern voice, so we became really insecure in our tasks. One evening she banged on our door around midnight and shouted “who turned on the outside lights?!”.
Thankfully, Rúna had planned to go to Göteborg for 3 days to meet her kids, so I asked about the details and we decided to go together. That was a light at the end of the tunnel… for a day. Then we found out that we both had started to look for another workaway place for after Göteborg – without talking about it before. That was some excitement, but also brought in some very strange responses like “It’s not clean here either, don’t come here.” or “There’s no space for you here, good luck.”. In the end, we found a Dutch couple who were very friendly and said we could come to their place, even though they already have 3 people there.
So that meant only surviving until Sunday, which we thought would be ok. But no… the place more and more started to feel like a prison with all the fences and walls around it. When we went down to the village shop one day, Rúna got told off for buying a can of coke there – “we have coke from Lidl in the fridge here, waste of money”. She was also smoking her weird tobacco a lot and of course the whole house smelled… the dogs were hardly allowed outside unless we were on our walk, so they did their business inside… and the food was just very heavy.
By Wednesday, my stomach decided it was not happy and I thought it was just too much acid from all the coffee. So I took it a little easy that day and rested a lot, only did a bit in the backyard. The hostess was a bit worried about me, but I told her a day’s rest and fasting would fix it.
It didn’t though and the next morning I decided to look for places somewhere close by from immediately as I just couldn’t stand it anymore. As it turned out, Rúna again had been doing the very same thing after a bad dream in the middle of the night… we went on our walk and decided we’d leave as soon as we could, just needed a place to stay. Checking the net, we found a room in Malmö for the cheapest price so far and just booked it.
We packed our bags and then went down to tell our hostess. She was extremely surprised and didn’t really understand why we were leaving – her being her she wouldn’t have understood the truth, so we made up some story about me not feeling well there and Rúna needing more company. She had us clean our room (now we knew why that was by far the cleanest part of the house!) and actually hugged us goodbye. In a very awkward kind of dance, I narrowly avoided a hug from the nerd son… brrrrr!
Then we walked down to the station in the brightest sunshine, got a snack at the little shop and said forever goodbye to Smedstorp! Such a relief to be away from this strange place and the strange people, even more when we got to the hotel. It was so clean and we both immediately felt the need for a long shower 🙂
One day and some fresh meals later, we are fully restored and happy again! There are so many things that we could tell from these few days and one sounds weirder than the other… it was all real though. She has created her own reality and seems to like living in it, not us though.
But we learned one important thing: If your first instinct is to turn around and leave, don’t put on a brave face and try sit it out. Leave immediately! The rest will work out somehow – or as the Swedes say: Det ordnar sig 😉