Oslo, exeunt…

Posted by jswt | Posted in Audio, General, Norway - Oslo | Posted on 10-10-2009


Thursday: The sun was out, and it was another fine day in Oslo, and when I finished up my work around 2pm, I succumbed to the sway of one of my favorite bad influences: There’s a couple bikes in the hotel lobby that are available for use, and I figured that Dave’s blog makes hopping on a bike and riding across continents sound so easy that I would spill the metaphorical 2-wheeled 40oz in his honor, and go for a ride. I mean, I don’t know the rules of the road here, I’m not accustomed to pedestrian overload and unexpectedly windy streets, I haven’t been on a bike in traffic in a good 15 years… So with the mantra of “Safety Third” running through my head, I put on some headphones and pushed blindly out into traffic. It took some time to properly orient myself, figure out that riding on the rail lines wasn’t the smartest idea, and then just sorta relaxing and meshing into the ebb and flow, but I found a groove. It was a lot like driving in Cuba – there aren’t really rules, but it just works. North American drivers are domesticated and completely reliant on structure when it comes to their driving – without a sign telling them exactly what to do, they panic and lock up (see: round-abouts). Here, everyone’s awake – aware of what’s around them, looking over their shoulders because there could be something coming, totally swarming with bodies and cars and trains and busses and construction in tight little roadways and alleys… but everything just becomes a big circulatory system that pulses and works as a whole.

So I threw on a fantastic Prins Thomas swave disco/funk mix and pedaled across the better part of Oslo. Rode up the main downtown greenway to the palace in the centre of town, and then just kept going beyond through residential neighborhoods weaving and wandering semi-aimlessly until I came to Frogner park (aka: The Sculpture Park) Words don’t really do justice to the hundreds and hundreds of amazing sculptures that dot the park and spring up out of the landscape everywhere you turn. It reminded me a lot of burningman playa wanderings – just mosey’ing around on a bike from artwork to artwork, and chilling at each for a while.

Rode back to the hotel, grabbed some dinner (mmm – catering!), bashed my head on a few hours of frustrating work, and when Chris got home, it was quickly realized that we needed to get outa the hotel room and pour some beers down our necks. I’d come across mention of an Oktoberfest being put on at the university, so we randomly threw ourselves on a train that luckily went towards where we were heading, and tracked down the Thursday night warmup of the campus Oktoberfest party. Walking up, we thought there was some sort of football game going on, but it was just the sound immense noise coming from one of the beer tents (complete with lazers shooting up into the sky). Once in, we bought our tickets (norwegian translation = “bongs”… as in, I’d like to buy 10 bongs please!”), picked one of the 20 bars each featuring a different brewery’s selections, loaded up and plunked ourselves down at one of the big long tables in the main beer tent.

Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in university, and tho I wasn’t the only one over 30, the majority of the few thousand sloppy drunk messes climbing over and under tables and eachother were students in their early 20s. I have no idea how to speak or decypher Norwegian, but I believe the Ooom-Pah-Pah band kept playing their favorite national anthem called “Stand up, sing along, and drink more f’n beer, bitches!” (or maybe it was a remix). The band would step off every 2 minutes or so and the DJ would strike up the weirdest mix of german sing-songs, norwegian metal, happy hardcore rave anthems, and oddball english tunes (seriously: They played ‘We Are the World’ and the whole place turned into a happy lovey arms-around eachother to hold off the gravitational onslaught singalong). It was a zoo. A big, crazy, sloppy drunk, retardedly messy, and wonderfully fun zoo.

Again had it hammered home that… Europeans are just plain better than us. I mean, take a few thousand North American students, and plunk them shitfaced in a tent. They’d be able to sing along with the regional songs, but play them a Norwegian song, and they’d have stares as blind as mine were. But here, they all speak flawless Norwegian *and* understand english perfectly. I mean, as I was getting beer, one of the clusters of drunken Norse hipsters asked Chris where he was from, and then said in flawless english “I believe it was Daniel Adams who once said that America is like a petulant 5 year old, while Canada is more of a mature 35 year old woman”.

Friday was a really productive work day for me, and I managed to get all of the pieces of the system I’m working on completed, and all that’s really left is to make it purdy and tie it together for a launch (hopefully by late next week – woohah!). Had dinner at the venue again, as the food *kicks ass* and it’s a lot cheaper to eat there than get killed by Oslo prices. Came back to the room and chilled out till Chris got off and brought back C for a drink.

“A drink” ended up the 3 of us finishing off a bottle of really really really tasty spiced honey polish vodka, and while C said she needed to crash out, we’d livened up enough to need some adventure and went out in search of a sleazy fagpub, and drank $20 beers and Jagers until we stumbled back to the hotel via a random block-long John Denver singalong.

Today’s my last day here, so I’m going to head out and do some more wandering, but since Chris works late, am anticipating a chill night of packing and relaxing before my 7am flight home.

This leg’s been a slice. I learned how to balance fun and adventure with a real-life, work-enabling routine on the road. Got a real feel for 3 different cities in 2 countries. And most imporantly, managed to eat bacon at *every single breakfast since I’ve been here*.

Looking forward to coming back and hitting up Copenhagen in 2 weeks, I do gotta say.

As I wind down and start my packing for home, here’s a nice song (via Mickey Moniker) from Brian Eno called An Ending (Ascent), and some random shit 🙂

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Comments (1)

i’ve got the ‘stand up, sing along, and drink more f’n beer, bitches’ extended jagerbomb kablam remix on vinyl <3