ESC in Malmö – Saturday

Saturday started off with an unexpected piece of news. As we were slowly getting ready for another day in town, Jo received a Facebook update that Hop Louie, a well known Swedish street artist, was having a vernissage in a gallery in Malmö. Today. In a gallery that was situated about 200 metres from our flat. We had our first mission of the day.

The gallery was quite small, and there were probably only about fifteen Hop Louie pieces. In another small room was an exhibition from a woman calling herself ItchySoul, whose art was both humourous and interesting. Jo and I stood there with our glasses of white wine, when Jo expressed an interest in buying one of Hop Louie’s pieces called Framåt. It did not take me long to persaude Jo that she could use some of the birthday money she had got from me to buy a pair of vegan shoes. So, within half an hour of entering the gallery, Jo was the proud owner of an original Hop Louie, which will be sent to us after June 1st, when the exhibition comes to a close.

It was an odd feeling. Jo has been into street art a couple of years, and has done her best to photograpgh as much as she can, sometimes placing herself in potential danger to get a good shot. From the start she has liked Hop Louie, and while it feels natural to support him, there is a part of me that feels uncomfortable standing in a gallery, drinking wine, and looking at a price list of, what is essentially, street art. A far cry from walking through a dark, icy, disused train tunnel in the hunt for new pieces. Still, I am glad that Jo made the decision to purchase the piece. Who knows, it may even be worth something in the future.

After our departure, we strolled up to and around Old Town, taking in the Eurovision atmosphere that was oozing from the main streets. Our next mission involved food, in the form of falafel. Since Malmö is known for its falafel, it would have been rude to have left without trying at least once. Luckily, we arrived at Meze de falafel, just before four o’clock. It did not occur to me that any restaurant would close in the middle of the afternoon, and looking at their website gives conflicting information about weekend opening times. Not that it mattered, as we ordered a falafel in Libabread each. The portion size was more than enough, and the price was a very decent thirty-five crowns per roll. The only thing that brought down the whole experience was accidently eating a small slice of lemon in the tabbuleh. Lemon rind, even in small quantities, is extremely sour, and not recommended.

After eating, we made our way back to the flat, to prepare for the main event. We chose to go to Folkets Park a few hours before the start of the final, in order to get a decent place. On our arrival, we saw that many others had had the same idea, though we found a spot just on the wrong side of the path that intersects the park. We did not count on the park, and the path, being packed full of people arriving later than we did. Some people even sat on the path, making it more and more difficult for the public to traverse the path, and resulting in our view of the screen being obscured.

For a while I became increasingly irritated at the general impoliteness of people vying for their own personal space in the park. It goes against the sense of Brittishness I have, especially when I saw people complaining who themselves had commited a social faux pas in my eyes. By the time the final had started, I was in a better mood, even though we had to stand to see anything. The evening ended pleasantly, the result expected: Denmark won. We had other countries as our favourites, but a Scandinavian victory means that we could possibly do a similar journey next year. Something we have vowed we will do.