arrival on the island

At around half past four I see Pommern, the old ship from my cabin window. From Marienhamn also no-one moves into my cabin.
Stockholm greets with a flock of gulls. Behind them stand emotionless white houses with their back towards plum-purple sky.
I buy a ticket from the app, take a short bus ride, somewhat longer metro ride and even longer train ride. Stockholm looks like a big collection of nations from public transport. In the train is in front of one seat a crushed strawberry, in next row the floor is sticky with beer, on a bench sleeps a man and stinks actively of urine. Otherwise it’s a nice train. I switch between reading about the history of Delhi and looking at Swedish forest growing on rocks. Then I reach Nynäshamn. Pan-fried herring there.
People with big bags gather in the harbor. They are going somewhere else. Some others are sitting and looking hopefully towards the place from where the ferry to Gotska Sandön should go. There’s no ferry but it arrives soon. Everyone gets onboard whose name is on the list.
I happen to share the table with a Swedish family. The kids get seasick. The woman inquires if I know any more weird islands in the Baltics. I recommend Ormsö. The boat swings from side to side and jumps on non-existent waves.
As embarrassing as it is but this time I haven’t learned any Swedish. Don’t remember much from high school either except for two sentences. One says that Bo starts to run but still doesn’t catch the bus and the other announces that I have a cat who is called Mons. One doesn’t get far with these. And I can say in perfect Swedish that I don’t speak Swedish.
After three hours of swaying we can see the island. People form a chain to get all the luggage into the front of the boat. Landing is with two small boats, one drives into the carriage of a tractor, from the other people have to jump on land over breakers. I get recorded on a Swedish homemade video with a wave towering over my head. Next human chains transport the bags from the boat into a pile and then on a tractor. A young woman who reminds me of Annukka manages the affair and drives the tractor. I seem to be the only foreigner in this bunch of Swedes.
Next there's a four kilometer hike to the campsite. The island is covered with sand dunes and pines.
My rental tent stands a bit apart from the rest of the camp and contains two beds, two chairs and a table. So I can cook dinner in the common kitchen and go eat in my room.
Later I hurry towards the sunset but the most direct way is usually not the most comfortable or fast. I have to find my way through pines which are strangely soft. Trees, sand, moss and stones have a pinkish glow on them.
introduction into the island

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