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About living one year in the sharing economy…

Day 102: So much more than just a lunch

Yes, I did a little trip to a farm in the forest this weekend. With the biggest hens I've ever seen.

I wanted to try some peer-to-peer car renting service. On Gomore I found a Ford Focus that wasn't too expensive. Luckily I had just received a mail with a 100 kronor discount, so it only cost me 250 kronor for a whole day and 200 km, that's a nice price. But what to do with the car?

Most of the meals in AirDine in this region is in Stockholm, but there was one event in the middle of the forest one and a half hour north of Uppsala, on Saturday. That sounded intresting! So I decided to go there and asked the french car mechanic and the Korean family if they wanted to join me.

It said smörgåstårta would be served, it's a sort of savory Swedish cake where you have layers of bread and ham, cheese, shrimp, paté. It's a pretty weird invention if you ask me, so I didn't mind when the host sent me a message and suggested we should make something else instead. Perhaps cook something together? Alright. Could you buy some veggies? Yeah, sure, which kind? Anything you want.

So at 8.30 on Saturday morning I took my bike for 30 minutes to get the car. (I really wish there had been some cars available in the city center) Then I took the car to pick up the french guy, a car child seat that I'd borrowed from a friend, two bags of veggies and the Koreans. After all this I'm already an hour after my schedule, but no one else seemed to care.

At noon we arrive to this farm. There's a horse on the road and a dog playing with it. We're greeted by our host, who first shows us around. The pond where he will have ducks. The little wooden hut he's built. The horses. I can already feel my stress from the morning is going away.

Then it's time to cook food. We have two bags of veggies. Eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, onions, chili, mushrooms. What can we make of this? "Let's make vegetable soup", suggests our host. "I'll make some bread." Alright. So we start and make it up as we go along.  Someone chops the onions, someone peels potatoes, someone stirs the pot. The house is full with people, kids, friends, us. Every one helps out where needed. And it's so cool to see how well it works with so little organization.

After two in the afternoon, we're ready to eat. Tables are set in the big kitchen. Some neighbors come by with a pot of meat stew. When I booked the event I thought it might be just the five of us, and our host. And that we would be served lunch at noon. Here we are, seventeen (!) people having a very late lunch and we even had to cook the food ourselves. But it's great! Even the cat and the dog gets to sit at the table. The dog is served his own bowl of meat stew. I really love this! It shows in a nutshell why this is something completely different from an ordinary restaurant. None of this would have happened there, but this is a lot more personal, and really a great experience.

After lunch we're offered to ride one of the horses. Unfortunately we have to go back to Uppsala to return the car, but we have time to try a little. No saddle, no helmet. I love the way that all the rules that are everywhere else doesn't really seem to exist here.

Well, we really have to go home. We get in the car, wave goodbye to our host and his friends and family. It's a beautiful, sunny spring afternoon. We get lost a little on the small roads and pass a lake mirroring the pine trees on the other side of the lake. We're talking about what a great experience it was. All the animals, being out in the nature, the nice meal we had together. The little Korean three year old almost sleeps after all the excitement holding the bone he found when we walked in the forest. It could be a vertebra from an elk, but he probably thinks it's from a dinosaur, he loves dinosaurs.

Then I drop everyone off. Five minutes late I return the car, but the owner seems happy and gives me five stars. So does our lunch host. And I do the same for both of them. I think we're all worth it. It was a great day. I just wish I had had a little more time for riding. But perhaps we can come visit again some time?