A newly found online friend insisted to know more about Norway and whether it met my ‘high expectations’. I am not sure I had any expectations really. But let me see.
Norway seems like my kind of country: forested and cool; but then, maybe too cool, viz. unseasonally cold. I am not talking about the people, though: Norwegians were smiling and laid back; they look like they know how to have fun and show it. Throwing in an example for the sake of comparison, consider the Danish (hello Hyperborean Hunter! hello Ritta!): are they having fun? are they bored? do they look nonchalant to save face? are they mortally insulted? impossible to tell in the first 30 minutes (or more), just by reading their ironic-expectant facial expressions. Norwegians are not like this.
In a way, Norway made me both nostalgic of the British buzz (can be too subdued) and made me pity the British mess (things work, quite nicely too).
I am not sure I have more details to give. During most of the trip I was preoccupied with other matters and in Trondheim I mainly watched TV in my hotel room, trying to make sense of people talking on Swedish, Danish and Norwegian programmes (I still prefer the Danish intonation — Swedes thought I was nuts, Norwegians were plainly enraged).
I guess the experience was also spoiled because I flew there and back via Amsterdam, where I had long layovers. I found Amsterdam even more rundown and even more pitifully in the hands of crappy tourists: mainly American kids after lotsa weed, you know, to get high, and Mediterranean kids after some sex, you know, for a change. Still, I once more realised I adore this country (well, the Randstad) and will continue to, the way it goes.
(Quote of the day: “But isn’t it offensive to call them Turks?”)
(Placename of the month: Hell, Norway and the nearby Helltunnel.)