Friday, April 20, 2007

Norwegian Mood

The more I think about it (and no, I don't know why I am anyway), the more Norway annoys me. Those stupid little O's with diagonal slashes through them, those vile little open circles above letters, like the ones that teenage numpties use to dot their i's, those stupid burrrdoy-beeedish-beeedoy voices. Bleurgh. I've been to Norway, twice by the way, to a city which occupies an entire island, Moss. It's between Oslo and Fredrikstad. If you ever get the chance to go there, don't. Spend a more entertaining week in a remote campsite in deepest east england instead. Norway stinks. I flew into Oslo and got mugged at the airport bar immediately. Two small bottles of beer - a tenner. Norway, makes you bleed money from every orifice, open your purse and watch kroners fountain out. Fancy a tube of smarties? Ok. Three QUID. Want to take home a bottle of wine? Ok. First, go to the goverment controlled Vin Monopolet (wine monopoly - I'm serious. Something with more than a whiff of communism about this... take a ticket from a roll by the door, take a leaflet printed with the wine list and go stand in the queue. Inch forward, two paces per five miutes. Wait for your number to flash up on a screen, move past the locked (truly, locked)cabinets of Blue Nun and Leibfraumilch, and hand it over to the man behind the counter who has a smiling mouth and the eyes of a serial killer. Wait as he disappears into the back of the store and returns with your bottle of basic three quid plonk. Hand over twenty five quid. Do not wait for change, there will be none.
Walk back to your house, and do not expect to see anyone on the streets as there is no such thing as cafe society. Take in the boutiques along the way. Gawp in astonishment at the leather dresses in shop windows, complete with tassles, beads and feathers and marvel at the utter lack of any fashion sense whatsoever. Notice the one and only nightclub in the whole city, Whiskey Shack, and imagine to yourself the visions that must fill it on a Saturday night. Go out later for a meal with your PartnerAtTheTime - share a large pizza and a couple of beers, and find yourself signing a credit card chit for £170, the tears pouring down your cheeks mingling with the fountain of blood spurting, chopped-artery like, from your purse.

No one SMILES there. Well actually that's not strictly true. Like Vin Monopoly Man, they do smile, it is just that the smiles are like muscle spasms - they flit briefly across the mouth, do not reach any other part of the face, and leave ... no one laughs, no one shouts. It's like an enormous Village of the Damned.

When I flew home the London bound plane taxied along the airport runway in Oslo, then screeched to a halt. "Noooooo!!!" everything inside me screamed, "I HAVE to leave!". Two lorries pulled up, hosed the plane down with de-icer and then the plane took off almost immediately and practically vertically.
What a relief.

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