Saturday, April 26, 2014


Back in his room, Bjorn sat down on his bed, turned on the TV, and flicked through some channels before settling on a reality show on a cooking channel where competitors faced each other in a "bake off" to make "the best chocolate cake ever."

"Just the right kind of entertainment after a festive dinner," Bjorn thought to himself with a smile. Then he let his thoughts drift, inspired by the spirited conversations he had just taken part in. He really felt he had come to know his colleagues quite a lot better over the dinner, and that he now finally had been fully accepted by his colleagues. Not that they had ever been anything but polite and friendly with him. But getting to know people always take a bit of time, and if anything, Bjorn felt that the process in this case had been surprisingly quick and pleasant.

Bjorn had taken an immediate liking to Ante, who had welcomed him wholeheartedly from the very beginning. Maybe primarily because Ante neither liked Geir much nor fit very well into the card playing group. Not that the card players were unpleasant in any way. But they were a closed group, uninterested in opening up much to others. However, over dinner they had opened up quite a lot, and Bjorn thought them all quite likable in their own way.

Thomas had consistently made positive comments regarding Lundby and Ane's business, arguing against John and Frank who both were of the opinion that the village would eventually blow up due to a combination of internal social tensions and right out desperation. Thomas pointed instead out the fact that the general atmosphere, as experienced by Bjorn, was positive, even optimistic, and that people always have a tendency to sort out their differences in a peaceful manner if left to themselves.

Espen on his side was always quick to oppose any position with facts to the contrary. His strange habit of never looking anyone in the eye, had made Bjorn jump to an early conclusion that Espen was suffering from some sort of autism. But Espen's well developed sense of humour soon made Bjorn realize that whatever was the matter with Espen, it was not interfering with his ability to see things clearly and humorously. When John and Frank argued that the village should be shut down, or at the very least be policed properly, Espen commented dryly that that would hardly save the government any money, which was the whole point of the establishment of the colony in the first place. And when Thomas, confidently stated that people have a tendency to sort things out peacefully when left to themselves, Espen suggested the so called "liberated Libya" as an example of how well people get together once the central government is gone, or left impotent.

John on the other hand revealed himself as truly sceptical to people's ability to take care of themselves, stating at one point that he would be lost without the strict routines of military life, and that he would probably not even get out of bed if it was not for Frank's schedules. "That's why you are our night watchman," Frank replied to this with a great big smile. "You don't seem to mind when you have to get up as long as I'm the one telling you to do so."

Realizing that he had thoroughly embarrassed himself by admitting his deep seated insecurity about his own ability to make even basic decisions regarding his own life, John quickly retorted that he was just making an exaggerated point and that he did not really need someone hanging over him for him to get through his daily routines. But none of his colleagues were very convinced, and taunted him for his silly comment for some time before focusing again on what they would all do on Friday evening.

"Poor guy," Bjorn thought to himself as he recalled the deeply embarrassing insecurity that John had admitted to. "I might be lost," Bjorn thought. "But I'm not as lost as John." And with this in mind, Bjorn flicked through several channels before stopping at one where the foreign minister was in the middle of an interview. "Ah, here he is," Bjorn thought. "The man at the centre of the universe."

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