Written onboard M/T Ek-Star August 2010
New York March 1990
Our class was going for a trip to London in March and we sold lottery tickets and stuff. I was looking forward to the trip but when they told me that it was mandatory to visit all the places they were going to see I got cold feet.
They had an extensive program of places they were going to visit, all of them connected with the Maritime industry like Lloyds and Dover Coast Radio etc. Well, this was nothing for me so I booked a ticket to New York instead.
Friday 16th of March 1990 and we had finished the first part of the spring semester. Each semester was split in two periods of study (4 periods per year) that was a finished with an examination period.
So we just finished the 3rd study period on the third and last year and I finished the third period in the second and third year.
We finished our exams in the afternoon and we went for a beer at Ölautomaten on Kåren. I can't remember ever seeing any one from my class at Ölautomaten before.
But this afternoon there were plenty of them around Ölautomaten drinking beer.
I don't know why they all came today, but I guess the spirit was high after the last exam. It possible that I had missed them at their previous visits, but I don't think so. We were practically living in the sofas around Ölautomaten. Yes, I can't remember how many times we woke up in those sofas. For sure, more times than I care to remember.
We had a few beers and then I went with some of the future Engineers and my friend from second year to a Mongolian restaurant down the stairs towards the port from school.
The restaurant was located 3 minutes from school, I don't remember the name. But I think they are still open.
The food was quite OK and they had a BBQ buffet. But I always ordered spring rolls, as a starter that is.
Spring rolls are my favourite, well, at least western styled spring rolls. The spring rolls you get in Asia are like cabbage wrapped in cardboard.
Not so very nice.
Checking my pictures and I discover that my friend is carrying my weekend bag on the way back to the school after the Mongolian restaurant. So obviously I was ready to leave for New York.
New York, I really didn't understood what I had got myself in to. Departure from Copenhagen early Saturday morning. And there was an airport bus leaving from Gothenburg in the middle of the night to get us to Copenhagen airport.
I don't remember when the bus left Gothenburg, around midnight, maybe. But what a stupid departure time for a Friday night.
When we came back from the Mongolian restaurant we had a few beers at Ölautomaten and by then the school dance was at full swing.
Well, maybe not such a bad idea to left for New York. This school dance stuff is not really very fun. But I think this was the last one while I was in school.
OK, I was tipsy when it was time for me to leave for my airport bus. Who do I try to fool? I was dead drunk, I don't remember going to the bus. The only thing I remember from the bus ride is beer bottles rolling around on the bus floor. There was a passenger coming with a few bottles of beer.
-Is this your beer?
When I got back from New York they told me that they had had to carry me to the bus. By then I had said: F@ck New York. For sure, I did not look forward to the trip to Copenhagen o a bus.
- We had to carry you to the bus! When it was time to leave you refused to leave.
But they had packed a bag of beers for me to have on the bus.
Next thing I remember is waking up at Copenhagen airport when a Japanese guy is running towards his gate screaming. well, I can as well copy this episode from 1st of January 1992 when I'm going to India.
My first memory of the 1st of January 1992 is from Kastrup airport in Copenhagen. I was sleeping outside the gate when a Japanese guy came running screaming. I understood f@ck all, but when I looked out the window I saw a JAL Jumbo jet leaving the gate so I guess that he missed his flight. I guess that he has to get on the next flight.
When I'm writing this I discovered the picture of the departing JAL flight. But it was pretty much under the same circumstances. Drunk on the bus from Gothenburg and when I went to India I was drunk on the train from a New Year's party in Helsingør. Hmm, if I went by train, and if the New Year's party was in Helsingør, can as well have been in Copenhagen.
The only thing I remember from the flight was that I played Big Daddy Kane on my Walkman® Full blast and the Stewart was asking if I was listening to Hip Hop.
Well, he was obviously not as familiar with Hip Hop as the guy I meet in the elevator at my hotel.
- Ah, Big Daddy Kane!
So at least I knew the volume was too high when the fellow passengers in the elevator could hear what kind of music I was listening to.
Saturday 17th of March 1990 and I arrived to New York in the afternoon. I checked in to a hotel, I'm pretty sure the hotel was named New York's Hotel Pennsylvania. Opposite of Madison Square Garden. This hotel looked OK and when I entered the hotel I thought that this was my place. A big bar and a guy playing the piano.
I decided to stay here and I asked if they had a room. They needed 2 credit cards before I could check in. I took the elevator to my room and when I opened the door to my room it was like receiving a punch on the nose. I had expected way more of the room after passing through the reception and the bar. Not to talk about how the hotel looked from the outside.
The room reminded me of my apartment in Gothenburg, the apartment I lived in before we got evicted. Every morning when you woke up after a night with music the paint had felt of the ceiling and was lying on the floor. Exactly the same in my hotel room, and that was even though I hadn't played any music.
Never mind, I had no plans staying very much in my hotel room. I was looking forward to a week of heavy partying. So never mind if the paint in the ceiling felt down on
Saint Patrick's Day
Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a yearly holiday celebrated on the 17th of March. It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.
It began as a purely Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. It has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland's culture.
I took a shower and I left my room, my first bar turned out to be an Irish Pub. And every one was watching basket so as you understand I didn't drank many beers at that place. Next place was full of drunk Police officers and I'll be darned. Here they had Irish music on full blast, what the ??!!
How unlucky can a guy be, arriving to New York on the 17th of March, St Patricks Day. Irish music where ever I went. Well, only one thing to do, go back to my hotel and sleep. NOT! After 12 beers or so I didn't cared very much about the Irish music.
I only brought my system camera with me to New York and of course, I tried to leave it on my hotel room every day before going to drink beer. And a big camera wasn't big enough. I had to buy a new lens. 18mm to 135mm Canon lens. It was expensive, but if I remember it right it was half price compared to Sweden.
Well, of course, when you're a student you can afford this stuff. Well, I was walking around town most of the days, stopping for a beer every now and then and when the afternoon turned to evening it was very short between the stops.
And then around 7 o'clock I returned to my hotel to leave my camera in my room before it was time to explore the night life. Most of the time I was tipsy when it was time to return my camera.
it was not only party in New York. I also did some tourist and sightseeing business. I went up in Empire State Building, but that was it. Then I had it with queuing and I spent the rest of the days walking around looking at the city with stops for beer. Of course, some days it was only beer drinking.
One morning I ended up at the South of Manhattan and I stopped for a breakfast, well, lunch. But instead of eating I ordered a beer and it was a kind of nice place so I had quite a few beers before I left. Getting out and I was a wee bit tipsy so I went to World Trade Centre to check out the bar at the top of one of the buildings.
Well, World Trade centre was just close by but when I arrived they told me that there was a dress code. I needed a tie and stuff to get in.
- OK, there are better places in town, I said and left.
I remember that I went across the street to some pub and that I woke up on top of my bed fully dressed, shoes on and with my camera around my neck.
OK, this is sometimes happening and I have heard a lot about New York and how dangerous it is. So maybe someone had slipped a Mickey in my beer.
I was out walking in the city and I approached a building and there was smoke coming from some of the windows. The fire department was on the scene and there was a big crowd watching. I remember this because even though I was 20 and I did not suffer from any hangover I preferred to stay well clear of any people that I didn't knew. So I was trying to dodge the place when I heard someone shouting Aladdin. I turned around
- Aladdin! How are you!
- Well, I'm OK. What about you? (Who the is this)
Turned out that it was a guy I had meet at a bar the evening before.
Time turned quick and it was soon time to go back to school. The only thing I remember from my flight back is that I was waiting for my flight. And while sitting there I heard a roar and a Concorde took off like a fighter jet. Cleared the ground turned to port and disappeared in the horizon. A minute or two later a Jumbo jet took off and it looked like the plane took two steps forward and one back while gaining altitude in comparison with the Concorde.
My last picture from New York was on the Concorde. My next picture is from the 28th of March in my student room. And I got back home in the nick of time.
Thursday 29th of March 1990 and Kjell Höglund was playing at Frölunda Kulturhus tonight. I got the tape with Kjell Höglund when I was working on Lindfjord and I went to every second hand shop I passed to check for his records. Yes, back then it was LPs and his records were from back in the 70's so it was just to forget finding new records.
When I moved in to my student home no one knew Kjell Höglund, but he grew to be one of the favourites and now 3 of my friends had found out about his concert and they had tickets.
We took the tram to Frölunda torg and from there we walked to Frölunda Kulturhus. It was not easy to find, no one of us had been there before.
It was an excellent concert and tank's to my friend I got a few good pictures of Kjell Höglund. he took my camera and he went down to the stage to get a few pictures. I would have been too embarrassed to do that.
I don't like to go to concerts, but this one was very good. And it was not too long so we could soon return to the tram and our student home.
I think there was a tram all the way from Frölunda to our student home without any need to change. So we were back home after 30 minutes'
Life went on as normal in our Student home, the guy who was supposed to clean kitchen and common areas never showed up so we had to do it our self.
And as you understand, 8 people living together and it was not without problem. Arguing every day. Of course, as you understand I did more than my share.
- Is it my turn? AGAIN!!??
- I do it every day and I never saw you do any cleaning! Blah-Blah!!
Yeah, you get the picture. Well, anyway, we managed to keep the worst away and the cleaning guy showed up every second month or so.
And I remember it like there was a new cleaner coming every time, so I guess they sent the rookies to our student home.
Friday 30th of March 1990 and this is one of the days I remember. Not much, actually next to nothing. But I remember very well that we were on our way home to my student room and we walked from Stigbergs Torget. And instead of taking the road we decided to make a short cut over the rocks and wilderness.
I don't know why, never happened before and never again. but this day we had to cross over the rocks. Climbing and we almost got stuck in the brushwood’s.
I remember that we were in my room , but that's it. I remember that I had a friend from my class from the first year at Navigation school 1985 visiting me later on. I don't remember that it's was on the same day.
But my pictures are marked 30th of March so I guess that's correct. But I think I remember that I meet him at Columbus, he had moved from Styrsö to an apartment just 2 minutes walk from Columbus.
Saturday 31st of March 1990 and well, what to say? And what did my neighbour said?
I had been at Columbus with my friend and he must have been hit by a sever motion sickness and I had to carry him to my student home. And this was not an easy task.
Wednesday 4th of March 1990 and we were going to have an evening watching slides in my student room. It started quietly, but it soon turned in to mayhem.
And I can't understand why we could not watch a few slides quietly with a soda water. Several bottles of vodka with orange juice were minimum requirements for things to turn from boring to fun back then.
And what an impression I must have done on the other people living at the student home. Always party and people sleeping in my room.
But I can't remember anyone complaining. Sometimes the guy in the room next to my room asked us to be a wee bit quieter because he had an exam the day after.
I can’t say that I remember if we ever watched any slides, most likely not. And by the look of my pictures it didn't look like I was able to sleep in my own bed that night.
Darn, you invite people to watch your very interesting slides and you end up having to sleep on the floor.
- Hmm, or maybe on the sofa in the kitchen.
Thursday 5th of March 1990 and I'm not sure. But by the looks of my pictures it seems like we were on a party with some of the students at the student home on the floor above us.
There were two student homes, 1 above. And there was a home for people on social welfare and with problem under our student home. Well, anyway, it looks like we had a drink.
Friday 6th of March 1990 and it was time to take the step from Ölautomaten to Frasses. The Party and Entertainment committee had found an empty local at school and they had turned it in to a pub. Sponsored by the brewery they managed to turn it in to a nice place.
And what an investment the brewery made, it didn't took long before our school were their best customers in Gothenburg. Once or twice a week you could hear the beer truck backing up to the school. Bip-bip-bip-bip and you knew that there were new beers delivered.
We had been sleeping in the sofas around Ölautomaten so many times and now they were going to enforce a new rule. Before the party started they told me that it was strictly NO SLEEPING at Frasses.
Grand opening and there were plenty people, at least when they opened the place.
Saturday 7th of March 1990 and the strictly enforcement of the rule NO SLEEPING at Frasses had obviously failed.
I woke up in the sofa and the whole Party and Entertainment committee had been sleeping at Frasses as well.
- What the happened to the NO SLEEPING at Frasses rule? I asked.
I started the day with a Ramlösa, the best soda water in the world. One or two bottles in the sofa and I moved over to the bar.
Breakfast at Frasses meant Ramlösa and beer and it's better than vitamins.
After 2 Ramlösa and 4 beers we were feeling like a million.
After the breakfast we felt ready to take on the cleaning of the place.
When the cleaning was ready, well, I don't know if it was much of cleaning. A tour around the place with the vacuum cleaner and we could concentrate on the beer drinking.
We stayed at Frasses until the early afternoon before we left. One of the guys from the Party and Entertainment committee had had enough and went home. I and the other guy went to see our friend from last year in the Engineer school.
We took a taxi to his place and we had a few beers before, no names mentioned, one of us felt asleep in the sofa.
Very nice, but later on in the evening I went to a student home on Hisingen with another future Engineer. I don't know how we got to know about the girl and her birthday. I don't even know if I knew the girl and who invited us? And were we invited? I don't know. But I remember that it was fun for about 5 minutes.
So our future Engineer and I took a taxi back to the city. I don't know what we did. But I remember that we ended up at Gambianska Föreningen on Kungsgatan. An after hour place and they kept their doors open until the people went home.
I remember that we went to Gambianska Föreningen, and I remember my friend eating a hamburger in the intersection, Kungsgatan and Ekelundsgatan. But, of course, I didn't remember what day it was until I saw my pictures.
It's 20 years ago, darn, the time turns really quick.
Those days I went to school I was walking. I left Skepparegången around 20 minutes after 7 and I arrived 15 to 10 minutes before it was time to start school at 8 o'clock.
On the right hand picture you can see our house. Our house was L shaped with a yard and a play ground in front of the house. I think there were 3 or 4 floors above ground when you entered the house. And there were 3 floors below ground level, but above ground on the back of the house. I don't know what they call these kinds of houses.
But when I left the house by the front door I had to go up two floors. Many times when I left I had to leave through the basement and then I came out on ground level, 60 meters away on the back of the house. Very convenient. But we lived in the corner of the house.
Leaving Masthugget and I took the stairs down to Masthuggstorget and I was on 2a Långgatan and I walked to Järntorget, about 7 minutes walk.
When passing Pusterviksbron and Rosenlundsgatan I turned right at Kungssgatan. I followed Kungsgatan until I reached Västra Hamngatan
At Västra Hamngatan I turned left and I passed the cathedral on my right hand side and after 200 meters I reached Kämpebron.
I crossed the bridge and I was in the intersection Norra Hamngatan and Smedjegatanand.
I used to stop to buy snus at the tobacco shop in the corner of Norra Hamngatan and Smedjegatan before I followed Smedjegatan. At the end of Smedjegatan I took the stairs up to Sjöbefälsskolan on top of Kvarnberget.
Coming up from the stairs and I reached the school. Actually, the stairs ended at the school yard. My friends were sitting there smoking so we had time for a chat before we went to class or to Ölautomaten.
But as I remember it we only had one course with mandatory lessons during the 4th and last period. Damage stability and I had to attend these lessons.
Damage stability and our Teacher told us that it was an oral exam at the end of the course. I remember that I was sitting at Ölautomaten while waiting for my turn. And of course, when it was my turn I came to the class room barefoot and a wee tipsy.
The first thing the Teacher said when I came in was:
- Aladdin! You're a thoughtful person.
I had been told several times by my fellow students that I was dressed like an AB and not an officer during my time in school.
- I'm an AB!
Well, anyway, the teacher told me that he had been on his way to the Teachers room when he meets another Teacher.
He had said hello and the other Teacher had just gaped at him.
- The difference between the Teachers and Students are how we're dressed.
- AH! That's the difference.
Well, that was pretty much my oral exam and I could return to Ölautomaten.
Saturday 14th of March 1990 and its Easter. We were invited to a party. It was our friend's girlfriend's friend throwing the party. So he invited me and 2 other friends to join.
We also brought a guy that I went in school with back in 1985. Or I'm almost sure that we called him later, I don't remember. But he showed up on pictures from the party and as I was the only one knowing him I must have brought him.
I arrived to my friend's apartment with 2 guys from school. One of them a member in the Party And Entertainment committee. Luckily enough, we stopped at school to get a few cases of beers before we left for our friend's apartment.
The three of us arrives, my 2 friends was in the same class as our friend that we visited. There was another guy from their class present when we arrived and he had not expected us. I will never forget how disappointed he was when we arrived.
He had expected to be alone with the girls. Well, as I said:
- Gå och lägg dig i korgen!
We had a few beers before we called a few taxi cars to take us to the party. And before we were allowed to party we had to paint eggs.
It was no surprise when I and my friend had to leave the party.
We were running alarmingly low on beers so we had to take a taxi back to school to get more beers. Yes, very handy to have a guy from the Party and Entertainment committee with you, at countless occasions we had to take a taxi to school in the middle of the night to get beer.
I also remember that I and my classmate from 1985 went to visit a friend. He lived close by so it was just a few minutes with taxi.
We had a few beers and a chat before we took a taxi back to the Easter party. When our friend invited us to the party he said that it would be fun.
- Join! It will be fun, we will drink beer and throw eggs.
So we had to return, we had had plenty beers but still not one single egg had been thrown. Hmm, thinking about it. I'm pretty sure that I was the only one throwing eggs.
The spirit was high and no one got embarrassed. Of course, I don't know what time the party came to an end. But I remember waking up and my friend was sleeping in the sofa. After a while I discovered people sleeping all over the house so I was not the only one that had stayed over. Good!
OK, we had survived Easter 1990 and I don't have any more pictures for the period between 15th of April and the 26th of April. But I'm sure there had been parties between those dates. Had a lost my camera? I don't know.
But I know that I left for Amsterdam on the evening of the 26th of April 1990 to go to celebrate Queen's Day. More party ahead.
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