Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Norway. Installment #5. The last one.

My last installment of Norway.

I don’t know how to write any more of this. There’s so much I know is still locked in my memories, but for the life of me, I don’t know where I can begin. I’m going to write this last installment before I loose my nerve. I don’t know why it feels difficult. Maybe because writing the last installment means I have to admit that it’s done. Maybe because I want to keep some of the memories just for me… Maybe because a lot of different reasons.

But I’m not going to be selfish or lazy. I’m going to put it to keyboard and share that last bit of reminiscing with you all.

So, where to start? Well, whenever someone asks me this question I ask them to list off the things needed to be accomplished. Whatever came to their mind first is a subconscious priority. So, I guess I’ll begin with the theater.

Josh took me to see Alice in Wonderland one night. I liked it. I know there are plenty of people out there that will gripe about remakes, or, they don’t like Tim Burton, or, Johnny Dep. And I have one thing to say to them. Then DON’T watch it! Keep the opinion to yourself and let others enjoy! You don’t like broccoli? Then don’t eat it! It isn’t necessary to spit in someone’s meal.

There was a riddle in the movie, I love. “How is a raven like a writing desk.” The popular answer is, Poe wrote on both. My answer is, both are believed capable of bearing another’s soul. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this riddle. But this isn’t a review of the movie, but the experience.

Going to see a movie in Oslo is very different. When you purchase tickets you do not just reserve a right to watch the movie. You reserve a specific seat. As if you are seeing live professional theatre, you are shown a screen on which the layout of the theatre is splayed, and you choose where you would like to sit. 3D movies do not cost extra, but the glasses do. If you already have a pair from a previous movie, you are welcome to use them. (promotes waste reduction.)

I did not get any candy or soda, but they did give out these little samples of salt candy as we took our seats. Josh popped one in his mouth, made a strange face, and urged me to try it. I could tell by looking at it that I didn’t want to. “You have to, if just for the experience of it.” I winced, tried, and it was…. Not good. I could barely lick the damn thing let alone think myself capable of swallowing it. It was really just plain unpleasant. Let me illustrate. Take a bit of black licorice. Pound it into a flat disk like a bottlecap. Now smash it into salt. But Josh was right. I’m glad I at least tried. I’m here for the adventure after all. No matter how small or large that be. Eat me, drink me; Alice in Wonderland was a very fitting movie to choose to see while there.

And as much as I loved the movie, I must say I also loved the previews. One in particular which I promised in the last installment that I would elaborate.

What is this commercial for? (and can I just say that I’m amazed at myself for finding this clip?) This is an ad for OSLO CITY, a very nice mall right near central station. Thus the now nickname, the Emo Mall. :D …seriously, you should check out some of the other ads for this place. And yes, this is the one with the pay toilet.

I did get something from this mall. My first day in the city. I needed a sketchbook, so we went here to procure such an item. …Now I know that I have plenty of sketchpads at home, but they are full of not-so-good doodles. I wanted fresh paper. Why? Because I wanted to take more than pictures there. I wanted something more intimate than digital copies. Especially for when I visited here.

This is a near ancient cemetery. Beautiful. Somehow majestic, and with a sense of honor and tradition. Cemeteries do indeed have a very different feel out there. This particular one is built into the hillside. And as I sat there, as the sun went down, and the flickering lights of the city beneath us lit, everything seemed to come to life. (but not in the, help it’s a zombie, kind of way.) I sat on a bench and drew the ancient church that sat on the grounds while Josh made his own doodle’s and notes in his journal.

Why is it that in America you seem to get a little cookie cutter style plot. A rectangle of pristinely trimmed, flattened expanse, in which little markers neatly tag the concrete pits below? Everyone dying to be buried how they lived. A suburb for your corpse. …Note to all. Please, don’t do this to whatever is left of a body I might leave behind? (Idealistically, I won’t leave one behind at all as I will die flying some form of doomsday device into the sun for safe disposal saving all of humanity.) But seriously. I don’t care what you do with the body. Stick it in a gorram Hefty bag for all I care. As long as you don’t bury it in one of these tasteless grids of bland rectangles. …blowing it up with dynamite might be cool. And I’m sure that money from tickets sold/video sales will help cover any expenses left behind. :)

On to lesser morbid things.

But this is just one of the adventures. The second full day I was in Oslo, was a day full of exploring ancient ruins, and ferry rides.

I got to see the ocean, and climb a tower.

I also incidentally slipped while atop it and in my attempt to catch myself, nearly pushed Josh down the spiral stone stairs. ….Something I STILL feel REALLY bad about. I’m extremely accident prone, but rarely has that ever endangered another besides myself before.

But the day ended nicely enough. We walked to the other side of the island to a little beach that seemed to be made of these little seashells. And I really mean that. I’m sure there was sand under them… somewhere… a couple feet down maybe??? Okay. Maybe that’s a touch of hyperbole. But there were a lot of them. And I couldn’t help but envision what a creature with such a massive appetite to suck that many little lives from their shells would look like. I was certain it was somewhere within those murky brown waters, watching, and waiting for one of us to slip in (and given my aforementioned accident prone nature) this probably wasn’t the smartest picture to pose for.

We took the ferry back. Each of us relaxing with our respective journals, doodling, scribbling, and passing the time in a comfortable silence. Boats always make me sleepy, and I’m pretty sure we must have passed through some kind of temporal wormhole, because we had arrived back to the dock before I knew it.

Well. That’s it.

I’ve run out of things to say about Norway. Not memories mind you. But anything more is for me and me alone. There are some things I prefer to keep locked in my head and just for myself.

But I’m surprisingly happy to have made this my first trip out of the country, and to know that it will most definitely not be my last. …It’s strange to think about it. I had always thought my first non-American adventure would be either Japan, Sicily, or Australia. Not Norway, and not at the edges of winter. There wasn’t a moment of the journey that wasn’t worthwhile, and not a second I can regret.

I took this last picture, as one of the first photos snapped there. It was just walking up the street near the apartment, and the lighting was just right. It's strange when I look at it now. Because when I look at it... I no longer feel like I'm walking up the street. I feel like it was taken while walking away. And leaving behind something special.

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