After surveying the mists of Avalon last night, while thinking of Roald Amundsen, and donning a T-shirt featuring his expedition, I found Nikolai on the porch. “How about a cruise tomorrow morning?” he asked. “We won't have sun, and there'll be other people on the boat. Disabled people,” he further said. “So what,” I said? “And if you must know, I absolutely adore cruising through Avalon,” I continued in a convincing voice. “Through what?” he asked. “Avalon,” I said. “What's Avalon?”, he wanted to know. “Have you heard of King Arthur?”, I asked. “Yes,” he said, “but that's about it.” “All right,” I said. “I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.” So, today, I was telling stories over grilled fish and cutlets at the round table with a bunch of disabled knights. Now, that was some experience. I made good friends with the ones who were functioning well enough to sustain a conversation both mentally and physically. Especially Trond took a liking to me. He is a David Helfgott type. After asking everyone whether they didn't think I was just about the sweetest thing on the planet, and getting it confirmed, he wanted to hug me every third minute. His language other than that of the body was very well adapted to my Danish too. So, in a wonderfully clear and resonating Norwegian he told me that he didn't think I looked one day older than 25. He knew exactly where Arad was. “About 20 km from the border with Hungary, isn't it?” “Precisely,” I said. “What else do you know? I asked him. “Oh,” he said, "about Romania, I know about your classical music tradition," he said, and then shifted, while getting some help: “I can't tie my shoe laces by myself, you know.” “I can see that, I said.” [...] “So, Camelia Elias from Arad via Roskilde,” he said, "are you coming back here next year? You know, Nikolai gives us a trip every summer, and you're welcome.” “Well, Trond, if you insist, how can I say no?” Knight Nikolai approached us and said that he was going to build a top luxury cabin in the place of the old Elverhøj hut so that I can stop thinking about the daisy house, and just enjoy all that he has to offer. This sounded very good to me, so I said to him that such royal treatment, now and in the future, will not be forgotten. Only in Avalon. There, we can all be knights, sweet queens, and redeemed souls. Being among so many helpless and hopeless people, I thought of what King Arthur said: “there is no worse death than the end of hope.” Trond's take on life and Nikolai's generosity made me want to hope, hope hard, and keep the faith.


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