Jante – 5:36

All photography by Sam Ashley
Words by Axel Lindquist

‘The grateful man wants to favor another because he has been favored, as the vengeful man wants to inflict harm on another because he has been harmed himself.’ – A. D. M. Walker

Gratefulness is a strange experience:
‘We have laws here!’ the middle-aged man argues from his balcony.

Me and Nisse look at each other and burst into laughter.

If this man only knew; spend a week in Sweden and you’ll wish The Purge was real.

Hermann Stene, frontside boardslide, Vila Nova de Santo André

We give thanks (Obrigado is as far as our Portuguese will take us) and pack up. The spot wasn’t that fun anyway. Lisbon didn’t seem to have much better spots than Stockholm, generally, but back home we are left to either an indoor park prioritising family-sessions, or to garages covered with crusted asbestos.

Even though Sweden is six times the size of Portugal, in March there is nowhere you’ll find even a fraction of the serenity as the one experienced in the shade from a tree, in which we sit and poke fun at the silly people trying to fight with us. Aware that sleet is whipping sideways back home it is honestly hard to care about being kicked out, just like the pale sloppy beer served from a McDonald’s suddenly tastes like God’s nectar knowing that Systembolaget closed fifteen minutes ago.

Karsten Kleppan, frontside 50-50, Almada

The Jante crew has gotten some additional contributions on this trip. A booster-pack of
good energy containing David Jakinda, Lover Öhling, Hermann Stene and Karsten Kleppan, also meeting up with Heitor Da Silva and Tor Ström.

We make our way to the next spot, some grandiose hubba Hermann wants to skate. I catch myself absolutely satisfied, grateful even, just to watch the show, standing around trying out people’s trucks the whole day.
In Swedish we have the same word for gratefulness, thankfulness and gratitude, so I have no choice but to feel them all at the same time.

Vincent Huhta, ollie over to nose manual, Lisbon

In the evening we are all bushed from walking up hills and talking nonsense. A lot of skate but only the booster-crew getting clips. Honestly that couldn’t bother me less.

I am so grateful to get to share new memories with old friends and old memories with new friends, to get to lose myself in skateboarding.
I am grateful for the coins in my pocket, grateful for hash on the balcony, for books in bed, that I have people to miss back home.
I am grateful for the chance to stand around all day testing out people’s trucks.

Hermann Stene, frontside ollie, Almada

The next day it rains, and some rest is much needed after having to walk between all the spots that the Norwegians skate. No reason for dejection.
Gratefulness can be both an emotion and an attitude, and on this trip gratefulness expresses itself for me as a spontaneous and genuine emotion. So genuinely grateful for splashing around on slippery cobblestone looking at recognised spots.

I seem to be doing pretty alright, at least according to the Ted Talks, self-help books and such, addressing the way to a happy and fulfilling life. They all conclude that you won’t necessarily be grateful because you have a happy and fulfilling life, but the other way around, that you can become happy by practising gratefulness and gratitude. To value what you already have to be grateful for.

Martin Sandberg, noseslide, Vila Nova de Santo André

Despite the rain hindering our skating I’m grateful for the chance to listen to foreign languages, grateful for ​​Alvarinho grapes, grateful for how daft Nisse gets when he’s drunk.

If you’re satisfied, you’re doing it right, right?
I’m grateful just to get to stand around trying out people’s trucks, the whole time balancing between gratefulness and negligence.

When I’m awakened by the rain pattering on the windowsill for the second morning in a row I’m grateful to get to sleep some more.
They all claim in their Ted Talks that the road to a happy life is paved by gratefulness. So I practised that.

Hermann Stene, backside 50-50, Almada

Gratefulness can be both an emotion and an attitude. Sure gratefulness can occur spontaneously, but it’s also a tool, an ointment when life is itching.

I’m yet again grateful for the hash on the balcony. Yet again grateful to have people to long to. I’m grateful that I miss skateboarding. I’m grateful for sitting in peace and quiet on my bedside wondering what it’s all about.

My ointment seems to itch even worse.
All of a sudden ‘It’s not about getting what you want, but wanting what you’ve got.’ seems to rhyme with ‘ignorance is bliss’.

Martin Sandberg, backside 180 nosegrind revert, Lisbon

I have promised Free at least one clip.
And I don’t seem to be the only one grappling with my gratitude. In passing one of us suddenly utters: ‘Imagine, 95% of all people don’t get to do what they like for a living. They all have to do some shit like working at McDonald’s.’
‘and a great number of those are just happy just to have a job’, I’m thinking to myself. But I don’t say anything. Because I know my friend, and I understand that this was a cry for help more than anything else.

What he was really saying was, ‘I should be grateful; I should be happy for this.’
Just as other friends on this trip were stressing footy to the point of not skating at all. So very rationally grateful for the opportunity – unable to distil the stress this ‘opportunity’ is causing. Not being able to enjoy what they think they should be grateful for. Because we all understand that to be grateful is not enough.

David Jakinda, varial heelflip , Lisbon

A crucial part of gratefulness is to express it, if not in words then to manifest it in actions. To either repay the good that’s been done to you, or pass it on, or to make the most out of the opportunities you’ve been given.
We all do best in letting our gratefulness be a driving force, but here I see the gratefulness-stress expose itself. The fogginess between being satisfied with what you already have and wanting to ennoble what you’ve been given.

Gratefulness without direction is a potential source of stress, when it becomes indebtedness.
None of this ever seemed to be of any issue for the guys skating the most. They were too busy making the most out of

Hermann Stene, backside nosebluntslide, Vila Nova de Santo André

I’m not going to solve the question of how to live a good fulfilling life. At least not here in this text. Just like I don’t know what is the best way to express gratitude. But if an honest attempt is enough then: Free –  I skated, I really did, and I’m so grateful for this trip, I really am. But you only have my words for it.

Nisse and Fritte