Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

enjoyed a good reputation in his years as a shoemaker, but as a carpenter he was not worth much. As a result, Martimann got out of bed; progress was made with every board he nailed fast. He saved the widest boards for the area around the door; they were up to eleven inches in length. The floor had been sawed from a piece of driftwood his father had given him, and on a nice day last summer they had dragged the tree stem to Tórshavn and got it up into the boathouse’s loft to dry. It was the short trip down to the boathouse to retrieve the boards that proved too much. Martimann became damp and cold, and when he lay back down on his bunk he fell victim to all the complications Old Tóvó had constantly warned him against, and which strong Martimann simply could not have imagined. His intestines felt like they had come to life and were writhing like worms in his gut. Sometimes they squirmed up into his throat and made him vomit, or retreated down into his rectum, spraying filth onto the blanket Old Tóvó had placed beneath him. Old Tóvó tried to coax him to eat; boiled milk was somewhat satisfying and was also good at providing blockage. However, the mites that lived on skerpikjøt 4 were

4 A well-aged, wind-dried mutton that is a specialty of the Faroe Islands.


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