Tuesday, November 10
Outside Westerdals, 20:00
I went down to breakfast at 7:50 and met Eija and Milda. Erik joined us ten minutes later but ate nothing because he had got up for breakfast at 6:30 in order to be the first there. Apparently he wasnt, and when he got up to get a second cup of coffee the waiter cleared his tray.
We walked to Westerdals through some of the grimmest architecture I have seen in years. As we passed under the tubular walkways jutting out from the grey buildings at odd angles, through the massed ranks of the chemically bewildered, I fantasised about filming a dystopian movie here.
The university was even odder. It was in a “street” that was convincingly indoors while allegedly being outdoors. I was reminded of the lobby of a hotel we have stayed at in Warsaw, which has been built by glassing over the space between two rows of buildings. This was exactly the same except for the fact that nobody had agreed to stop using it as a street.
Erik and I were supposed to organise this meeting but in truth it organised itself. By lunchtime we had got further than either of us had expected us to get by the time we went home. By the end of the afternoon we were beginning to discuss a detailed plan of action with a fixed deadline of Week 13 2016.
Now I am “outside” the university lookng down the “street”. I have never seen it this busy before.
We will walk back to the hotel by a different route and this time we will not go outdoors at all. At some point the street that is not a street will simply turn into the station and then, among the restaurants and shops, we will find the lobby of the hotel.
At 18:45 we will all gather in the lobby and walk to Restaurant Eik where we will enjoy a four course meal that is genuinely delicious and filling.
By 22:30 we will be back in the station, heading to our differently decorated rooms.
Different but equally brash.