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2006-05-14

I sent an email to everyone I knew in Malmö asking if I could stay with them. I got no replies. (Well, I got one reply that said no.) So, I turned to couchsurfing.com to see if I could find someone to host me for a few days.

The internet really is the coolest thing in the history of ever. Within a few hours of posting on couchsurfing.com I got a reply from a girl in Malmö. She said I could stay there for a few days, as long as I didn't mind cats.

I hate cats and want them to die in spectacular, dramatic ways. But, I figured I'd put that aside for a few days. I mean, if someone was willing to be a gracious host I should be gracious as well.

Frida had a small flat in a postwar apartment building outside downtown. These buildings are pretty much the standard issue housing when you live in a city. They're big, ugly, and they all look exactly the same. The apartments inside are never flashy or interesting. But, they're apartments nonetheless. And, everyone has one. For the most part there aren't any homeless people—thanks to their socialist system and the endless expanses of apartment buildings.

Frida's flat had a kitchen, a bathroom, and a combined living room/bedroom. The bedroom was home to three beds—hers, mine, and a another one for a schoolmate that was staying with her for four months. It wasn't a place to go for privacy. But, it was comfortable and I was so glad to stay there.

A bit about Frida. She's 23 and super into capoeira. She's a vegan and she loves indie rock and brit pop. And, she's only 3 cm too tall to be legally considered a dwarf by the Swedish government. She's really, really short.

She was the size of half a normal person. But, she made up for it by talking twice as much. Which, I have to admit, I like a lot. I like people that talk a lot. I'm used to always being the chatty one. It's nice when someone else leads conversations and is the center of attention. Then I get to sit back and listen.

Frida attributed her chattiness to being ADHD. I don't really know anything about behavioral conditions like that. I don't even know if I believe in them. (I think I was diagnosed with that when I was a kid. Now I'm not really like that at all, though. I never took any medicines. It just all worked out OK. What does it mean? I don't know.)

But, she really did have some fun ADHD symptoms. My favorite Frida ADHD experience happened the first night I stayed there. We went out for drinks. She got drunk; her roommate and I were cold sober. So, when we came back to her place she was bouncing off the walls. The sober ones tried to sleep, but Frida insisted that we were boring, horrible people because we wouldn't watch a Care Bears DVD with her. She threw pillows in the direction of the mattress I was laying on to demonstrate the importance of viewing this masterpiece of 20th century animation.

Her roommate would have nothing of it. But, I figured it would be interesting to say I'd experienced Care Bears in Swedish. It would surely be better than sleeping.

It turned out it wasn't better than sleeping. It was more like living in a nightmarish torture chamber of boredom. I'd never experienced anything so predictable and insipid. The bad guy stops the Spring Festival from coming by tricking the entire town into eating apple pies laced with grumpiness. Cute little bears riding on cars made of clouds rescue the town from the bad guy through dancing, giggling, and talking in really stupid high-pitch voices.


This is how I feel about Care Bears. This photo of mine will be at my upcoming gallery show at Transport Gallery in Los Angeles.

Care Bears cartoons are not for children. These images are toxic to the mind and should only be viewed by mature audiences or people with fantastically numbed senses. The Care Bears should be put into the same category as snuff films like "Faces of Death."

Luckily, the tsunami of Care Bear boredom drowned Frida's hyperactivity. She was out halfway through. I should've said yes to the cartoon sooner!

And, only one cat attacked me during my sleep. MUST...EVISCERATE...CATS.

But, staying at her place really has been great. I mean, I got to come across the world and meet new people and stay in their home.

There are so many people I need to meet in Malmö during my short stay: Folks from Playground Records, Junk Musik, Brainpool, Tambourine Studios, and so on. So, I'm thankful for a new adventure and that someone would help me be able to do the things I want to do.

So, the moral of the story is that couchsurfing.com is really cool and cats and Care Bears are really terrible.


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