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02 July 2005

berzerker and god of thunder

travel day to oslo, norway, through sweden, my bus was leaving at 1:15pm. checkout at the sleep-in heaven was 10am, on the earlier side of hostel checkout times. not much time to sleep in and the room wasn't very heavenly. blick, the three tiers of doom. packed up and left the room; chilled in the lounge reading an english language danish newspaper until about 11:30am. american president bush would be visiting denmark in a few days; security precautions were being taken. walk with the pack down to the bus station. the bus was waiting, a nice big 'oslo' sign in the window. kick. thirty minutes early. should probably ask the driver if this is definitely the right bus. i resolved to mill about for five minutes before asking the driver. milling time is important.

milling. a guy with long blonde heathen hair i'd put at 16 or 17 walked up to me and asked me something in [i assume] danish.

me: do you speak english?

heathen: [facial expression like he had to make some internal adjustments in order to switch over to english] are you waiting for the bus to oslo?

me: yes. is this the right bus?

heathen: no. i showed him my ticket and he said the ticket isn't for his bus.

showed me his ticket... exactly the same ticket as mine. joy. okay, where was our bus? [i never got the heathen's name, so i'll call him 'berzerker'. berzerker had just come from the roskilde music festival with his friend whose name i also never learned. his friend, who also had long heathen hair, didn't say much and was armed with a bright orange backpack and an acoustic guitar with a 'be a dick' sticker on it. very typical when i meet two guys: one does the majority of the talking; the other is silent, only speaking in his native language to the other. i'll call berzerker's friend 'god of thunder'. both were from norway, about 90km south of oslo.]. berzerker said god of thunder had asked the driver about our bus and that it was supposed to arrive soon. said he saw sabbath at the roskilde festival. i asked him how ozzy did... 'sick'. i asked him about the metal situation in norway... must be an evil death metal scene? berzerker said the metal scene in norway sucked and that most good shows happened in sweden. kick. i decided that berzerker and god of thunder both rocked harder than hard.

our bus finally arrived. got on and then waited for a late bus with connections from paris to arrive, about thirty minutes after our scheduled departure time. blah. depart. bus driver spoke mostly in english. very funny guy. very dry sense of humor, he spoke slowly, monotone.

one hour to malmo, sweden. swedish customs officer boards and conducts a person to person interrogation. 'i'm american. i'm going to oslo.' end of interrogation.

i lost the 'must.stay.awake.to.avoid.missing.any.scenery' attitude during this trip. i inflated my travel pillow and soon got comfortable. i had no norwegian doom metal loaded on my treo, so drifted in and out while listening to metal [damn those are some fine jeans]. the swedish countryside wasn't very different from pennsylvania.

stop at a swedish rest area. i asked berzerker what currency they would accept. god of thunder said they would take danish money. i only had a few danish kroner remaining. bought a coke, a kingsize twix, and an orange using my credit card.

berzerker and god of thunder got off the bus at the stop before oslo. stradsborg. berzerker extended his hand. stay evil, ye lords of norwegian black metal. |m|/

arrival in oslo one hour and fifteen minutes late. bus driver: 'and of course we're an hour and fifteen minutes late. sorry. but what can i do? nothing.'

i should have peed on the bus, but who wants to use one of those bus bathrooms? in the bus station... bathroom, bathroom... ah, there it is. GRR. 10 norwegian kroner to use the facilities. i needed to get money out of the atm regardless. hmm, the atm didn't dispense any 10 kroner coins, how unusual. okay, i didn't have to go that badly. i walked out of the bus station and began scanning for public transportation. i knew i had to take tram 17, but i didn't know where the closest tram stop was, the cost of a ticket, if a could pay with a 200 kroner note or if i had to have exact change... okay, yes i did have to go that badly. i needed a 10 kroner coin, pronto. back into the bus station... no open stores. across the street in the train station i found a convenience store and bought a coke. there it was, like one of wonka's golden tickets... the 10 kroner coin. rush back across the street... insert coin... open door... some guy pushed in behind me before the door closed, freeloading on my 10 kroner coin. damn you. i didn't care. more important matters to attend to.

okay... transportation. back over to the train station where there seemed to be more action. ah, tourist information booth. got the transportation information as well as a use it oslo guide [if you remember from a previous entry, i found use it's copenhagen guide extremely helpful]. located the tram stop. a very nice couple [i'd put the accent on scottish] helped me navigate the ticket dispenser [no english labels; only norwegian] as well as find the correct tram [the first tram i boarded was going in the wrong direction]. thank you nice people. tram -> correct stop. a sign pointed the way to the hostel, seemingly into nowhere. without my gps i would have wandered for much longer than i did. i'll refrain from going on and on [again] about how much time my gps has saved me. got into the hostel at midnight; they didn't have my reservation but had an open bed. two were already asleep in the room. i unpacked quietly, went back to the lounge and read the use it guide... finally to sleep.

posted by paul on Sat 02 Jul 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)


a norwegian once told me that the most insulting thing you can say in norwegian is "your mother is from malmo".

paul, your mother is from malmo.

posted by calvitron on Wed 06 Jul 2005 at 15:12:40 est (-05:00)

my mom reads this, calvitron, and she has a kickasserole in the oven with your name on it. POW!

posted by paul recon on Wed 06 Jul 2005 at 16:24:07 est (-05:00)


posted by Jamie on Thu 07 Jul 2005 at 09:23:57 est (-05:00)

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