On the 23rd morning, Þorbjörn and I, and the rest of Sweden began our journey for Christmas break. This year, we traveled to Sälen, a ski town in central Sweden, close to the Norwegian border.
To get there, we had to take a bus. Luckily a direct bus. Because coming back to Stockholm we would be blessed by taking the car, bus, train, another train, and the tunnelbanan.
At 8.20 in the morning we arrived, bright, happy and stressed at Stockholms CityTerminaln, the city bus station. Being Swedish, and therefore being super organized, there is a lovely Arrivals and Departures board with gate information and times. Just like the airport. We head to the second floor where were leaving out of Gate 19.
Alas, a huge crowd overwhelmed the area between gates 16-19. In fact, we couldn’t even reach gate 19 because someone put up a barrier and people were standing in a moshed queue. Now, normally a queue in Sweden is a highly organized and semi high tech process. You go to the queue machine, take a number, and wait until the number is called on the bulletin board.
Today, being Christmas, was different. There was no organized queue. There was no information. It was 300 people standing in a mosh with two idiot ticket checkers. To be efficient, these two ticket agents were clearing four buses departing within 15 minutes of each other. Excellent, just what I need at 8.30 in the morning for a bus that leaves at 8.45.
Massive. Queue. FAIL.
We eventually pushed our way, with bags in tow, to the front of the crowd. The one of two brilliant ticket agents asked seven times (maybe I exaggerate, ten times), “Who’s going to Salen?” “We are!” screamed a dozen of us. Then two people get through. The other 300 people are still waiting to get through the line too. Then our idiot savant screams again, “Who’s going to Salen?” This time just ten of us say it. And it continues until the last three.
Now tickets checked, time to get on the bus. Nope, we had to push our way through another line where two buses were departing from gate 19. Morons at Flybussarna.
Eventually we fight our way to the right bus, get our luggage on, and get on the bus. Being of course almost full and every single ticket holder taking their own seat, it split couples and families. Þorbjörn asked one guy if he would mind switching seats so that we could sit together.
“No,” he said.
Ahhh, the friendly asshat during the Christmas season travels. And that Swedish organization is just a myth during busy times.