On my first day in Herrang, I would like to get WiFi for a week, since the phone card that I bought was 30 days, but my trip was a week longer than that. I did not believe a food place would sell WiFi password, but I was told that this place sells it. Eventually, I got a week of WiFi for 150 SEK, which I think buying a phone card elsewhere should be a bit cheaper.
It is also a time to look at the price of stuff in Herrang (in 2018). All prices are in SEK (1 EUR = 10 SEK = 9 HKD).
I think the price for most of the snacks and drinks, while a bit expensive to my standard, are still acceptable. The prices of the coffee drinks are actually not too expensive. Yet, look at the prices of the ice cream (cup/ cone). They are really affordable!
So, I got my first 2-scoop ice cream on the first day of the camp. "Hallooo!" the cashier said casually with a bit of happy energy. I asked about the price of the WiFi password. I also learned about an ice cream card that cost exactly 5 rounds of ice cream (2-scoop?), but card owner can wait outside, as an express lane, for ice cream. I thought I probably would not have ice cream every day, so I did not get the card. The cashier then showed me the list of ice cream flavors. After I learned about the choices and got the ice cream, we introduced ourselves. At that point, I did not quite remember her name, but I only remembered she is from Lithuania. I thought: perhaps I could learn about swing dancing opportunities in Lithuania, since I would be there later in the trip.
I was wrong about my ice cream consumption in Herrang. There was no rain in Sweden for at least 2 months. Wildfire and water shortage warning were announced during the Week 2 and 3 camp period. It was hot every day during daytime. Moreover, ice cream can provide me inexpensive sugar before taking classes at around 4 pm. I did not really need to eat breakfast. Lunch was sometimes just snack food, also provided by ICP. Thus, I visited ICP very often each day. Sometimes it was snack for lunch, but I got my ice cream every day. It was 2 scoops earlier, but I got 3 scoops later on. I also tried different flavors each day, always in a cone.
My everyday ice cream allowed me to look at the life of the staff in the Herrang Dance Camp. That cashier, who greeted customers in a playful way, was there most of the time. I could then remember her name: Ruta. She seemed to work almost all the time in the ICP during the open hours, which was around 11:30 am to 7:00 pm. Before coming to the camp, I saw the option of signing up as part of the camp staff. A week of work as a staff can mean waiving some cost of the classes and dances in another week. Yet, staff needs to commit for at least a week of time. Seeing that I had to leave early in Week 3, and I would like to enjoy the camp fully in Week 2, I did not sign up to be the staff.
I tried to relate names with what they do to remember, so I mentally called her Ruta the Ice Cream Server. One day, I was with the ice cream and checked the laundry service. A female staff there told me that the ice cream was too enticing, and she would not help me to wash laundry if I brought the laundry with ice cream. I later knew that she is from Italy and her name, and learned what they did every day for the laundry service. FYI, I don't think the camp has public washing machine for the participants to use. Yet, the laundry service helps people to wash, dry, and fold clothes, for a fee by weight. I think it was 4 kg for 60 SEK. So, I mentally called her as the laundry helper.
Staff, including instructors and DJs, seemed to have perks that normal camp participants do not have. They have a special area for dinner (known as the Hell's Kitchen). They have staff classes, probably on Wednesday when the cultural activities mean a break for the staff (I saw one of my favorite instructors taking classes on Wednesday when I was wandering around). There is an afternoon staff party each week to appreciate the hard work of the staff.
Back to the ICP, I later found that there was another staff that guarded the cashier also called Ruta. She is also from Lithuania, and told me that the name is a name of a flower. So, how can I identify them? The two have the same name, same country of origin, and same occupation in the camp. They do look different, but I do not like to use appearance as an identifier. So, Ruta 1 and Ruta 2? I probably cannot read out their last name (past experience: look at Pamela's last name), and calling the full name is too formal anyways.
For the rest of the dance camp, I could meet either one of the Rutas, or both, when I wanted to get food in the ICP. Besides ice cream, I tried the banana bread with different varieties; I tried Herrang Slap, which is espresso with lemon juice, and sleepy people should really wake up with this drink.
Then, there is anti-cold juice:
This is a great product to sell because a dedicated dance camp goer will never get enough sleep. Thus, it is easy to get sick due to prolonged sleep deprivation. I love the ingredients in the juice. When I get sick, I like drinking ginger tea to help me to recover. People in Europe seem to know the anti-cold ability of ginger.
At some point, the two Rutas could recognize me as a regular customer, and gave me recommendations of the ice cream flavors. Once, when I got a cone with three scoops, I got an extra cone. When the ICP had fewer customers, we talked about events happening around the camp.
Did I see them in the dance? Yes, but not often. I believe the day work already tired them out a lot, so they sometimes came and sometimes not. If they come, they will also not be able to stay for too long, for tomorrow is another day of work. Once I danced with them, however, I think they have probably been to many dance events, perhaps even winning competitions. "Beyond my ability to harness their following potential" was the phrase that I wrote before with someone else, and this probably applied to them.
I not only met them in the whole Week 2, but also in Week 3. Before I left, we exchanged Facebook and had some pictures together. One of them even met Sinclair from Singapore. I bet I would meet Sinclair sooner or later, and I would pass down words to him.
Before the O-Ringen Hong Kong team came to the camp to pick me up, I got my last ice cream in the ICP, and bid farewell to them. Once again, who knows when I will come to Europe again to dance.