Traveling for the Paupers – Learning to Enjoy the Unexpected

Laholm, Sweden


By Lakshmi:

Today, marks day two of our trip to Sweden and this afternoon, I made reservations with Skanetrafiken and embarked on a train journey that was to take me from Malmo to Gothenburg in about three hours for 311 Krona.  As I went to confirm the platform/time, I was told that since the tracks were being repaired, the train journey would no longer be direct but instead involve three trains and a bus and I would still get to Gothenburg on time!

I made my way down to Track 4a somewhat agitated.  I had paid for a fast train and was instead going to be saddled with all these changes with two suitcases and a backpack in tow.  And Siddhi had work commitments and was going to travel separately and meet up with me in Gothenburg.

But, that model of Swedish efficiency did not let me down.  Here’s how the journey went.

Part 1: I sat in the area set up for people with bikes, luggage and strollers.  Families with children dominated the scene.  A young couple cuddling with each other and cooing with their baby, a father feeding his twin boys cheese sandwiches/juice/cookies, a young girl whose train ticket was not valid and had to pay a fine and a guy with a bike who was worried that this multi-stop journey to Gothenburg would not happen with his bike in tow.

Part 2:  At Helsingborg station, we crossed the platform and boarded a train for Angelholm.  This time, I sat in a compartment with 4 seats and a table and decided to write a blog post while listening to two young women, one of Indian and another of Chinese descent, speaking in Swedish.  “One world” took on a whole new meaning.  This time, I was treated to a visual landscape of beaches sans people.

Part 3:  We got off the train at Angelholm and were shown buses to board that would take us to Laholm.  It appeared that the entire train poured into three buses.  The visuals outside my window were stunning.  Acres upon acres of yellow flowers in bloom reminding me of Keukenhof in full bloom in Amsterdam.  I saw many wind turbines and later learnt that the area of Laholm has a multi-billion dollar wind farm for power generation.

Part 4:  The train ride from Laholm to Gothenburg was the most serene part of the journey, since I fell asleep till an announcement came through that we were arriving in Gothenburg.

So, even though I wanted that direct train badly and was upset about the detours, the unexpected twists provided for a lovely mix of scenery and life which is ultimately what a journey is all about.

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