What I Hated the Least Today 32/365: Oversleeping

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I have highly irregular sleeping patterns, which involve phases of sleeplessness alternated by phases of sleepmania. Today I was struck by an episode of the latter. I went to bed at five am, which is pretty much my usual hour when I’m working. I work at nights because I’m an owl (or a vampire, but shh). I won’t admit that I wasn’t working this time but binge watching a rather disappointing TV series. Like I never said it.

In my sleep, I constantly kept on hearing the screaming of ambulances. I live next to a hospital, so a moderate amount of ambulance sirens is to be expected, but today there seemed to be two or three times more than the average. While still sleeping, I was wondering what the hell (or heaven, if you prefer) was going on. Is it an international suicide day and I’m missing it? Or are we being invaded by the Soviets? I mean, it already happened once (Warsaw Pact, 1968), and I hear the Russians have enduring interest in recruiting new territory.

I could also hear my neighbour very insistently hammering into something. That would make all the sense if we were in the process of being occupied. In my mother tongue, martial law translates literally as tent law, so I was imagining there were ambulances and tanks in the streets, martial law had been declared, and the neighbour was busy pitching up his tent. Why, yes, I am capable of complex conspiracy theories when I’m sleeping.

Twelve hours later, I woke up. Well, that was a nice nap, about a day longer than I anticipated. It was dark outside, and I was quite disoriented. Of course, if I were asked on the spot to transcribe someone’s recklessly complied bibliography from barbarian into Chicago Style, I could do it with my eyes still closed. But otherwise I wasn’t sure of my name or number. (In my country, people are numbered—it’s called the birth number and it’s similar to US social security number.)

I checked and discovered that nothing interesting apparently happened while I was indisposed. That is, not counting that my cat missed me so much that I couldn’t get her off me when I got up. Also, meanwhile, she peed outside of the litter box. The little bastard. I will allow the benefit of doubt and will assume that it was an accident.

Outside, there was darkness visible because the street lights stopped working. I could see no tents though (I was using the lighted end of my cigarette as a flashlight), so I decided there was no martial law after all. I already concluded that I missed absolutely nothing by sleeping the whole day, and I was starting to think that I could do it again. Then I happened to see the news that there was a prank bomb call in my town, which resulted in prolonged sweeps and police maneuvers. That of course explains the sirens. The prank didn’t amuse me.

11 thoughts on “What I Hated the Least Today 32/365: Oversleeping

  1. It would be quite easy, methinks to ‘turn night into day’, so to speak … to fall into that pattern. Your sleep doesn’t sound very restful, but then again — at least you got an explanation for all the sirens.

    In Sweden, we all have numbers too, «personal numbers» used to be birth numbers before. You need to provide that number to do more or less anything; rent a car, check into a hotel [unless something has drastically changed]. There’s nothing secret about them. Before I left, having lived in the same country for fifty years, I never questioned that system, I just took it for granted. Therefore, I was a little surprised, when I got here, finding out how totally secret the Social Security number is. The only two occasions I can think of, when you have to give it out, is for a new job [tax purposes = government] and the bank.

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    1. I usually sleep at daytime and work/not work at nighttime, I spent the whole summer like this when I was writing my dissertation. It works fine for me, but of course not when you have to go out and run errands. Everything naturally tends to open for business between 9 and 5 the latest, which discriminates vampires.

      I’m surprised to hear that there are/were birth numbers in Sweden too. I think it’s quite convenient, as a means of identification. Unlike one’s birthdate, it’s a unique number. We don’t fuss much about the privacy of personal data, and you need to give your birth number in most transactions, just as you say. Those who run a business use this number as a business ID number too, so it’s entirely public. I always assumed these numbers were some remnants of socialism.

      How is it with carrying your ID on you at all times? Here you need to be able to prove your identity on request and should you fail to have your ID card, you could be taken to a police station for identification and fined. That’s probably the remnants of secret police…

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      1. Oh, they still have them, that’s for sure … I just don’t know if you have to state it when making a hotel booking. I did it two years ago, and I forget. The numbers are like if you were born on the 11th of November 1911, your number would be 1911-11-11-****. Four more numbers, where the first two tells you county and city, the third tells whether you’re male or female and the last is totally computer generated.

        I don’t remember how it is, if they can stop you randomly and ask for ID, can’t think of a situation where they would do that.

        The numbers are very convenient and nobody makes any fuss about them. The only ones it”s inconvenient for are the ones who are trying to escape their debts, or are criminal in some other way. It gets very difficult to disappear … not to say impossible.

        If I know a person’s birth date and year, and they happen to have a reasonably unusual family name, I could look them up online. Without the four last digits, it gets difficult, that’s why the family name has to be unusual.

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        1. Oh, your number system is more intricate than ours! Our numbers include the birth date and sex, but not country or city. The rest of the number is a “serial number” and one number is added for checking for typos. Apparently, all personal numbers can be divided by eleven. It’s a bit more complex than that, but that’s the rough idea. It’s funny, you’re teaching me a lot about my country 🙂

          People who embezzle something or are in debts can’t really disappear here, unless they go off the grid, that is, homeless; but we have a long tradition of financial criminals just retiring to non-extradition countries. No need to disappear entirely.

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          1. 🙂 I did use to know how to calculate that last digit, it’s pretty easy.

            Oh, our guys can go off the grid too, but that must be totally. Or retiring to some country like you said, if they have a lot of money. The best thing for them is when they can find a way to be declared diseased. But that’s difficult, and even more difficult to get ahold of a new number … Glad I’m not in that situation!

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      2. We have birth numbers here too, but it’s actually nothing but a slave number. You get your own personal slave number to use for your enslavement in the monetary system: banks, jobs, taxes. You’re also obliged to inform the guardians of the fascist system (the police) of your slave number if you’re stopped or get arrested.
        Soon, the societies will become money less, everything will be paid for electronically and the enslavement to the system and the surveillance will be total.

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        1. You said it. I’m surprised that the personal number system works in Scandinavia too. I always assumed it was something peculiar to Eastern Europe. Former Soviet satellites are not exactly famous for respecting individual freedom.

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    1. Yes, I was relieved that it was a prank. I can’t imagine what kind of a sick person does that. Perhaps it was unfair competition because the primary aim of the “prank” was a private railway company. Of course all trains got searched and delayed eventually.

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