What follows is a rough and lengthy report from my trip to Sweden to visit my littlefur friend traxswe, going over and summarizing a few events in semi-chronological order. Be warned that it does have babyfur content, but nothing too graphic. I highly recommend looking over the LiveJournal version of this report, as it includes pictures (with captions) you won't find here.
Unfortunately, Trax ended up getting sick pretty much on the day I arrived, and he passed it on to me within a couple of days. So for the majority of my stay we were both feeling yucky and short on energy. Consequently I didn't get to do quite as much as I'd have liked, and I wasn't feeling terribly cubby a lot of the time either. While that certainly put a damper on things, I still enjoyed myself while there.
On the first day Trax surprised me with some semlor he'd bought at a bakery, which apparently is a Swedish treat only made in February - similar to the Norwegian fastelavensbolle. Very nice of him, and it was a cozy and pastry-filled start to my visit. And they were tasty, too. I, in turn, surprised him by doing the dishes and making a pretty simple fort while he was away on his weekly local floorball practice for a couple of hours.
On the second day we went to watch Puss In Boots - in 3D! I paid for the tickets, and Trax paid for the treats. I got one of the popcorn menus, since it came with a very neat plastic cup with a kitty figure on top! I felt pretty excited about that. It was a nice, subtle way to get to feel a bit little while going to the cinema. The film was surprisingly entertaining too, considering the quality of the last couple of Shrek films, and I rather enjoyed it.
On my first Saturday there, there was a medium sized furmeet hosted by Lightfox (fa!lightfox905) and Hassel (fa!hasselvargen), two Swedish diaper furs. By now Trax was unfortunately feeling too ill to join, so I had to go alone. There was also some minor last minute panic when I realized they had a cat, and I'm allergic to cats! But they were able to clean up and air out their apartment okay, and kept the cat locked in a room while I was there.
The furmeet was pretty fun. There was some awkwardness with me being Norwegian and not really knowing anyone there too well (and it didn't help that Trax wasn't there either), but most of the awkwardness eventually passed as the evening progressed. The evening's entertainment mostly consisted of watching things, with some occasional mingling, friendly furpiling, and some minor alcohol consumption. We ended up actually watching a few episodes of Pablo The Little Red Fox (which I have on DVD myself!) and Fraggle Rock (to which most of us clapped along to the opening song). At one point I was also brough up into Lightfox's lap, with my legs laying partially across two other furs (who hopefully didn't mind). It was pretty nice, and made me feel a bit cubby - especially in conjunction with the children's programs we'd been watching.
Another day me and Trax went to a big-ass pet shop. Mainly see if we could find a new collar for me since the one I had was starting to get worn out. It was a bit embarrassing standing in the shop, trying on collars and debating which one looked the best, but there weren't all that many people around and no one seemed to react to it. I found one that was pretty decent (if a bit stereotypically canine in design), as well as matching mini-collars that were on sale which fit my wrists! Trax also ended up getting a few food bowls. So all in all, a successful if costly trip.
We also went to an Indian restaurant together. It's not a cuisine Trax particularly enjoys, but it's my personal favourite so he was willing to indulge me. After browsing the rather large menu I eventually settled on a dish, and when I orderd it the waiter warned me it was hot. It figured it would be okay, and didn't want to have to re-think my choice, so I just said sure. Turned out... it was pretty hot. So I ordered some raita to go with it, to help dampen the strength some. But things got even hotter when I ate the green chili that was in the sauce. I wasn't sure if it was a green paprika, or a green chili, or something else, and figured I'd try out. So turned out it was a green chili (and presumably something you're not necessarily supposed to eat; something that's mainly there to give heat and flavour to the dish overall). That left me rather red-faced and gasping for some minutes, and required a refill of water. Trax apparently found this very amusing, and seemed eager to spread the news of my encounter with the chili to anyone who'd listen.
One of the highlights was probably getting to ride in the front of the train with Trax when he was working. (Yup, he's a train driver.) It was rather cozy, and I really wished I'd brough my proper video camera as I could've gotten some decent footage to use for a potential music video. I'd brought a couple of his plushies along for the ride, which he apparently wasn't too happy about since his employer or co-workers might not think too highly of someone bringing along childish toys to the workplace. At least not when you're working for the government and need to consider public safety. Ah well. Still got a few fun pictures. I was also a bit worried about being too chatty and disturbing him in his work. Wouldn't want to cause a train accident because I'm asking him out about his favourite pony.
His favourite pony is Rainbow Dash, by the way. We ended up working our way through several episodes of the show together, since it was a fairly easy activity when you're sick, and he seemed to enjoy it! Despite him being a very manly cat. Stumbled over some neat My Little Pony: Frindship Is Magic activity and colouring books too, even if one of them claimed that Fluttershy loves to sing loudly. If I had been feeling better and cubbier, I might have bought one.
On Friday before my final weekend in Sweden, Trax and I decided to invite Lightfox and Hassel over, since they seemed keen on meeting me again before I went back to Norway and we were all available that evening. Unfortunately, this smaller furmeet didn't turn out quite as nice as the previous, larger one had. People didn't seem too motivated to do much of anything, and maybe seemed a bit too tired and distracted. Might've been me and Trax's fault for either not presenting a sufficiently good alternative in terms of activities, or our fault for not jovially forcing one of the presnted alternatives on them. (I was personally hoping we could've worked our way through the Mongrels series, possibly the Ricky Gervais animal-themed stand-up show, or maybe watched the No More Diapers potty training DVD.) But I've never been too good at the latter; if someone doesn't want to do or watch something for whatever reason, I'm not very good at convincing them otherwise with promises of fun and awesomeness. Still, was nice seeing them again one more time, and I got to try drinking white wine from a baby bottle without anyone reacting too oddly. Guessing the next time I'll meet them will be Eurofurence later this year (unless they decide to visit Norway for some reason).
On my final Saturday there I was feeling well enough to want to head out to downtown Stockholm, but I didn't want to be alone. So I got onto IRC and asked once or twice in the #swefur channel if anyone in the Stockholm region were able and keen on meeting up. One guy was, and I ended up having lunch and wandering around some with Oddity (fa!oddity) for a while, which was nice.
Throughout my stay there we'd also made trips to a medicinal laser company where Trax has a few friends and relatives, to try to laser my bad knee into submission. (I've been suffering from an inflammation for about 1.5 years now.) Not sure if it helped or not, as the treatment is supposed to go on for longer, but it was worth a try. The people were friendly too, despite one or two Anders Breivik jokes.
One night I slept with Trax's collar on. It was surprisingly comfortable, but then it was a soft nylon collarand a few sizes too big for my neck, so it wasn't exactly a snug fit. I thought the oversized aspect was kind of cute, though. Trax frequently sleeps with a collar himself, and one night I "forced" him to sleep with a leash as well, tying it to his bed. Which ended up with him waking me the next morning with a couple of SMS'es and loud miaowing when he wanted me to un-leash him. Both fun, and a bit annoying.
While not feeling terribly cubby for much of the time, I was diapered quite frequently. Not exactly 24/7; maybe more like 20/6. I really enjoyed that. I did also get to wear my onesie and sleeper at some frequency too, and engaged in my baby food and formula "fetish" while Trax was gone at work. When in public I did sort of "cheat" though, and occasionally used the toilet like normal (with a bit of, emh, maneuvering), avoiding the hassle and embarrassment of having to get changed in a public rest room.
On the final day we had a dinner planned with Trax's mother, steph-father, and half-brother, in honour of his half-brother's recent birthday. I felt pretty nervous about it, as I'm not really a "people person". I didn't want to say anything wrong in front of Trax's family, or give a bad impression. Plus there was the language barrier; whenever I talked to Swedes, it seemed like they would understand around 85% of what I was saying, but still nod along agreeingly and just ignore the other 15%, just to make things flow better.
But the dinner turned out pretty okay, I thought. His family members were nice, and both sufficiently chatty and inclusive, and didn't seem too bothered by my Norwegian tangents. The dinner was also pretty tasty; we had sukiyaki, which I'd never tried before.
The trip home turned bumpier than expected: after stressing to reach the bus in time, the plane was delayed by almost an hour and the train from the airport was delayed by maybe 20 minutes. Plus, I was stopped by customs. Passangers were sniffed by a dog as they made their way out, and for some reason the dog seemed to react to me. (And I accidentally hit it on its snout with my cane when it got closer and I turned around, which made it whine-yelp. Sorry, doggie! Even if you were a pretty dumb dog for sniffing me out.)
So I was pulled aside to the customs inspecton room where I had to have my baggage emptied out and inspected by a customs person. I was asked the standard questions about whether I've used drugs, been around people who've used drugs, have a past history with the police, might be carrying something that could've set off the dog, and so forth, at the same time as my belongings were being rooted through.
I knew what he was going to find when looking through my stuff: two adult sized onesies, one pink adult sized footed sleeper, four collars and one collar tag, two pacifiers, one unopened bag of powdered formula, a pair of pink plastic pants / diaper covers, a written list of activities to do (which the customs person seemed to read over) which mentioned "bottle feeding", a rattle, my commissioned Once Upon A Nursery gaming cards, some children's DVDs, and my flopsy fox plush. But actually no diapers!
Pretty much every babyfur's nightmare, having their cub gear exposed like that. But I was feeling both tired and happy (as it had been a good day), and was in a bit of a haze, so I wasn't as embarrassed as I otherwise would have been. I tried to be pretty stonefaced throughout, and there wasn't too much chatting. Though after he unpacked the mini-keyboard I'd brought he asked: "So are you some kind of musician or roleplayer, or... ?"
To which I responded: "Emh, a bit of both. I'm sort of an entertainer."
So I might've left him thinking it was all part of some odd cabaret or neo glamrock act, which required pink plastic pants and powdered formula. But... probably not.
Then I had to step into a private room, empty out my pockets, and be felt up. I guess it was a good thing I wasn't diapered.
As he didn't find anything, I was left to re-pack my bags and return home.
And that was the end of my adventure.
Overall, I had a pretty good time. Sure, I probably would have had an even better time if we both hadn't gotten sick, but it was still fun and it was very nice getting away from home and getting to be "casually cubby". Trax was a pretty great host / flatmate / feline overlord, but I do feel a bit bad for using so much of his cub supplies, not to mention the added grocery expenses. Hopefully I can pay him back some day when I'm a rich and successful business fox. Certainly wouldn't mind visiting again some day. Maybe some time when neither of us are sick.
Oh, and while there I was allowed access to his FurAffinity account to post some commissions he hadn't yet posted. Which resulted in this journal.