Departing for foreign lands

Alea Iacta Est…
…said Caesar, trying to blend in, because he wasn’t in Rome. He was in fact in Milan, as were I. Mercenaries from across Europe were drawn to the village of Casorate, some distance from the great city. They enrolled either for Visconti or his rivals, as they were preparing to fight each other, in the year of our lord 1356. Caesar wasn’t really there, by the way. He was born and killed much earlier. And to tell you the truth, I wasn’t there either. At least not that particular year, or any year yet. I went to Morimondo, some distance from Casorate, to reenact the battle of Casorate. Don’t ask me why it is taking place in Morimondo. I have no idea why. I’m just happy to be invited.

This, the first event of the season, was preceded by lots and lots of work and preparations. Me and Elisabeth had three main things to fix: One of the new company tents (which you probably already read about), lining for my new helmet and the sleeves for my (much hated) panzar. And how we worked. We were actually finished in time, against all experience and against all odds, and could even relax a couple of hours before packing the stuff and leaving for Kalmar. We were planning to leave Thursday, three days after packing up. Now all we could do was to wait.
The truck picking up people’s equipment left Stockholm Tuesday morning, and apparently got into trouble from the start. They were planning to pack equipment from a storage room in Stockholm about 6 in the morning, but the guy with the keys didn’t show up until hours later. The three heroes in the truck reacted as anyone would, and became a bit cross. When they had packed it all, they realized that it was a lot of gear. In fact, they suspected it was more than they were allowed to load the truck with. A bit of a set back, really, as they still had two pick up points left – Kalmar and Malmö.

They arrived in Kalmar much later than they planned, really stressed, and discovered even more stuff. At this point they phoned Ragnar, who phoned me. He told me that the drivers weren’t exactly happy with the amount of gear that we had left for them. Ragnar explained that the drivers seemed to be most upset about all the stuff the guys of Albrechts Bössor were bringing along. I was a bit puzzled. And annoyed. We usually put an honour into bringing only what we can carry, and this didn’t go well along with the drivers’ accusation. I phoned Sebastian, and I expected him to be really really mad. But he wasn’t.

– Sebbe! Ragnar called me. What’s going on?
– I guess we have about 1000 kilos of over weight, and we hardly left Kalmar. We still have Malmö left. Do you know if there’s anything you guys can leave behind?
I had a think.
– Yeah, I guess, but I’ll call the guys and ask them. I’ll get back to you.
So I called all of the guys going to Italy, and finally came up with a short list of things to leave behind. Then I called Simon, the guy in the company living closest to Malmö. Even if he lives closer than the rest of us, he still faced an hours drive. We really needed him to go and sort things out, and it wasn’t even sure that he was able to. I called.
– Hey Simon. What are you up to?
– Not much. Having a meal. I just came from work.
– Oh well. Eat up. The king needs you.
– Really?
– Really, really.

And that excellent piece of friend just did it. He jumped in his car and went to help the drivers. I really don’t believe we were big sinners in the packing business, but nevertheless he might have saved some face for the company.

Thursday. We left Växjö in the morning. Isolde’s grandmother came to pick her up, and we waved to the at the train platform as they went. And then we stepped aboard, bound for Copenhagen airport. We met up with Simon and had a sushi in Malmö at the place I used to work. It was good to see my old colleagues again, and the sushi tasted better than ever.
We arrived in Copenhagen and checked in to the flight. Then we had a tedious wait before boarding and taking off. Two hours later we stepped on Italian soil.

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