Monday, November 17, 2014


Ante signaled to Katinka that he was ready to pay by waving his debit card in the air, prompting her to come over with a terminal to take his payment.

"So, was everything to your liking?" she asked, handing the device over to Ante to let him type in his pin code.
"Oh yeah," Bjorn said with a smile. "And I really liked your little lecture on the ID chip thing. Very well presented, I must say."
"Well, thank you, I'm glad you liked it."

Ante handed the terminal back to Katinka who checked that all was in order before handing Ante his card back, together with the receipt.

"It's hard to believe you're able to make a living with these prices," Ante commented.
"Well, there's no taxes and no fees."
"Still... I'm sure you two have bills to pay like everyone else."
"Yes we do," Katinka answered with a smile reflecting her appreciation for Ante's implicit recognition of Katinka and Roger as a legitimate couple. "It's tough, but we get by."
"Don't you think you could raise the prices a bit without hurting your business?" Ante continued, pushing his chair back and readying himself to get up.
"Maybe... but we got Nora's Place to compete with, and they serve food at the casino too, and... well, you know. Even people form Kirkenes are feeling the pinch, with the crisis and all... And the Gram has appreciated quite a lot over the last few months."
"It has, hasn't it?" Ante commented, looking over at Bjorn. "Remember how upset Espen got on Friday when he had to pay more for his tokens?"
"Yeah, he got really angry, didn't he?" Bjorn confirmed.
"So, you see," Katinka concluded. "Upping our prices wouldn't sit well with our regular customers. And the appreciating Gram is actually making things a little cheaper for us. Things like flour and sugar and meat. It's all getting cheaper."
"In Grams," Ante noted.
"Yeah, but still. That's the money we use. So we are actually better off now than we were. And we keep getting more customers too."
"So, you're optimistic for the future?" Ante asked, finally getting up from his chair.

Bjorn rose from his chair too, but was immediately struck by a spell of dizziness, making him fall over to the side.

"Oh my!" Bjorn gasped clutching the table in front of him in order to keep himself from falling flat onto the floor, and he was immediately griped by a sense of intense embarrassment.

"You're all right there?" Katinka asked, clearly concerned about Bjorn's sudden dizzy spell.
"Yeah, yeah," Bjorn replied with a sheepish smile, continuing his hold on the table. "It's just a dizzy spell. That's all."
"You get this often?" Katinka asked, seeing that Bjorn was not letting go of the table.
"No, no..." Bjorn replied, noting with terror that the discomfort was lingering. "It'll soon pass."

But it did not pass for several long seconds, and even when the worst was over, Bjorn felt a lingering nausea.

"You look a little pale," Ante commented. "I'd have that checked if I were you."
"Yeah. Why don't you talk to David. He's good with this kind of things," Katinka suggested.
"David?" Bjorn asked confused.
"Yeah. He's practically a doctor. He knows his stuff."

Bjorn felt it a silly proposition. But Katinka was clearly serious, and when he looked over at Ante, it seemed that he too thought it a good idea.

"Just as a first quick check up," Ante noted. "What harm can come of it?"
"And it's free," Katinka added. "He's a serious guy. He knows his stuff."
"But... He's a drug dealer," Bjorn protested.
"No, no, no," Katinka protested. "He sells some stuff that's illegal in other places. But he's actually a very nice guy."
"Ah, well, I don't think we need to," Bjorn said, smiling bravely. "I'm better all ready."

Ante and Katinka looked at Bjorn quietly.

"You know, I'll hold your hand," Ante said with a patronizing smile. "It won't take long. And you know... I'm rather curious about the place myself. Let's have a look at it!"

Bjorn straightened up and pulled his jacket on. Then he collected the token's he had spread out on the table, leaving a ten MG token for Katinka.

"Okay. Let's go!" he said. Then, thanking Katinka for an excellent meal, he joined Ante out into the cold but sunny weather.

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