Thursday, July 10, 2008

Norwegian Scenarios: Oslo, Part One

Norwegian Scenarios: Oslo, Part One

We scramble up to the top of the hill, Oslo to our left, the harbour to our right, crowding around the first available hole.

"Beer! They have beer!" I hear Bourbon say.

I look up. It is true. At the other side of the fence there is a truck filled with beer. Normally this would be of little consequence to me but I have overly developed empathy and am feeling the pain of certain members of our group.

"There must be some way of getting in".

For we may have stumbled upon a music festival in Oslo but Glastonbury security it certainly isn't.

Sadly, after some wandering, it becomes clear that the only possible means of getting under the barrier is at the one patch of ground that is water-logged. Whilst I may have already climbed into a fountain today I do not intend to lay down in a puddle.

None of us have shown enough inclination to go through the hassle of climbing either under or over the barriers, we go back down the hill, the sound of Sebastien Tellier in our ears.

In our over-excited absence History Boy has used his time for something other than taking embarrassing photos of us and found a bar on a boat. I approach the matter with something resembling mild apprehension. The notion of anything on a boat is always appealing. The reality that almost always results in my feeling sick isn't.

Regardless, I climb on.

Immediately I wish I hadn't. My stomach tells me that I have about ten minutes before I get to cement my reputation for being sick whilst on outings. Beer or no beer I shall not be drinking.

Thankfully, it quickly emerges that I am not the only one who is having problems with the boat, and the decision is made to leave Traveller and History Boy to beer and motion sickness whilst we buy ice cream (which are positively cheap in Oslo, thus making them my drug of choice for the next few days) and wander to the end of the pier.

Sebastien Tellier, oblivious to us, is still singing, a mixture of French, English and Italian drifting through the air, complete with some rather disturbing noises than provide us all with a little bit too much information. There is being caught up in the music and then there is this.

Though it is almost 11.00pm there is still no need for cardigans, coats or even my pashmina. Looking out across the water it is undeniable - Oslo is beautiful. So beautiful that if I could press pause and stay here forever I would.

"Why Norway?" Bourbon says, the question that we have all heard, and joked about, without ever having come up with a concrete answer.

I wave my ice cream, a nonchalant shrug to the world.

Wordless, Oslo provides the answer.

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