Thursday, July 28, 2005

"Hvordan gaar def? Hvordan gaar def?" was pretty much the only Norwegian I knew prior to arriving here. By the end of Friday and early morning Saturday, I made damn sure everyone was painfully aware of that. "How are you? How are you?" There's only so many times you can answer that question before you get seriously annoyed. But that didn't stop me, I guess I really wanted to know how people were doing. So after people stopped answering me, I just started to answer myself. "Bra!", which means "Fine". I apparently walked down the street for the rest of the night til about 6am just doing rapid fire "bra, bra, bra, brabrabrabrabrabrabra". That pretty much sums up my first day and night in Norway.

I was up for more than 24 hours that day. We left the house for LAX at 3 am Thursday morning. I had tried to sleep for a couple of hours, but was unable to do so due to the heat, and because my neighbor decided to come home at 2am and do his best impression of Christina Aguilera, while singing the whole catalog of Pretenders songs.

Flying to Norway, at least for me was a painful ordeal. First we flew to New York. Then from New York, we flew to London. Then from London to Oslo. When you're 10 years old, flying is awesome. It's totally fun and an adventure. When you're 25, it sucks. Flying now means lines, traffic, surly airline employees, crappy food, and jet lag.

We got into Oslo in the morning, haggard. Oslo airport is pretty new, and totally weird. It's dead quiet. Everything is sound proof, and looks...scandinavian. Our friend Monica picked us up from the airport. We hadn't seen her in two or three years. So it was really great to see her again.

Oslo is a great city. You don't really need a car, everyone bikes, walks or takes the public transporation system. The city also has a good mix of green areas, parks and walking paths within the tall buildings and apartment complexes. Scandinavians are also very blond, and very tall. I tried on some clothes recently, and their smallest sizes were still too big for me. Especially pants. Damn my stupid asian short ass legs.

We stopped by Monica's apartment to drop off our stuff, and went out exploring. Exploring basically just meant we went out to the nearest bar. The plan was to stay up until night, to hammer through the jet lag, which by then was really taking hold. The only way we thought that would work is if we just started boozing as soon as possible, and continue through the day in through the night. Great idea.

The rest of the day is a blur, especially the last couple of hours where I basically went off into the spirit world. Not sleeping for more than 24 hours and wanton boozehounding makes for an interesting experience. Not to mention that even at 12 am it was still light out. That kinda messes with the brain a little...

So, basically, as written in the beginning, I became really really shit ass drunk. Well, I guess some would view it as me being really really drunk, but really, I think I was just being adorable. Drinking in Norway is very expensive, so everyone met up at Monica's place for drinks beforehand, and then went out to a bar that I have no memory of. After hearing all the stories the next morning, I am glad that I am not dead, and that I still have all my money and my passport.

Currently, I am back in Oslo after two days in Stockholm, Sweden which were a lot of fun. Tomorrow, hopefully I can go climbing. Supposedly there is a really good climbing gym in the area. After that it's off to Denmark until the weekend.

Oh! One thing I need to mention. The tap water here is awesome. It's so good. Which is hard to explain since water doesn't really have taste, but there is a noticeable difference in the way Norwegian tap water tastes. I'll just have to bring back a cupful for everyone to try. I don't have any containers so I'll just hold it in my mouth, I can probably skip customs if I do it that way too..

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