Some things in Norway are wonderfully different than the states. I'm not sure about economics. I'm not sure about economies or perfect societies (which any utopian society book proves that there is no such thing). What I do know is that this place is beautiful. Their public restrooms are ridiculously beautiful. Everything costs a ridiculous amount. I also saw, in the fish market today, a man put a lobster on a grill. He spread it in half over the flames. The legs on thing were blue (illegal from what i understand in the states) and it was full of eggs (definitely illegal in the states). I was having a bit of lobster-rights fit in the walkway by the grill, when my dad said, "This isn't the states. They do things different here." I'll say. They take care of their own. They pay for college. They make sure the mentally ill are well treated and don't let them go homeless. They might tax a person who makes $100,000 50%, but they make sure that those who are here get treated well and that's important to me.
As some of you might have seen from my FB post, there were a ton of yowling babies on the plane. i really wanted to sleep. I wound up knitting and listening to a murder mystery. Only the mystery pulled my attention and I wound up un-knitting (or tinking -- knit backwards) than I did going forward. I shouldn't knit lace while listening to books. One needs to count way too much.
When we landed in Amsterdam, I was happy to go to the smaller plane, there were no babies on the flight to Bergen. I asked the stewardess for a pillow so I could sleep. She brought me one after the, "this is how to handle a plane crash," advisory. I put the pillow on the traytable in front of me, as soon as I was allowed and conked right out of the whole flight. I woke up with a clogged right ear, breathed deep and held my nose. With the slightest pressure, it popped with a loud squeak. After that, I wanted to go right back to sleep.
We met up with the tour as we got off the plane. What was shocking was there wasn't any customs to go through in Norway. My new passport now has an Amsterdam stamp, but not a Norway one.
We boarded a bus, came here to the hotel and put our luggage in storage until our room was ready. We went right out and had a tour at the leprosy museum. As the lovely tour guide was talking near the end, I started to sway back and forth in order to keep myself awake. At one point, Dad looked over at me and said, "Go sit in that chair with arms. If you fall asleep, you won't fall out of it. I don't want you to collapse." I would normally have thought he was nuts, thinking I would just fall asleep and go down. But no, in this case? That was a complete possibility.
They were going to drop me off at the hotel and let me sleep in the bar area, where I am right now. Only then, there wasn't a wedding going on, like there is right now. Right now, there are all these people in tuxes and suites and ties standing around with their cocktails, flirting and smiling at one another. I know that meeting someone at a wedding is a good way to start and there has been a ton of joking about me brining home a Swede, but I'm in Norway and, let's be honest, I don't think anyone has even noticed the girl on the side of the room typing onto a bluetooth keyboard and using her iPhone as her screen. Both of them are in my lap and I'm sure I just look like a nerd.
Anyway, the room was ready and I happily went up and crawled right into what was clearly my bed -- a cot along one of the walls. (I get my own room tomorrow night, WEE!) Dad and Carol collapsed too and when we woke up a couple of hours late, we took ride up the feniculator and had the most amazing view of Bergen.
We ate dinner as a tour group and then went off to bed. I feel asleep sitting up, reading one of my guide books. Dad asked if I wanted to go to sleep and I mumbled I was waiting for the bathroom. He said that I could just get under the covers and go to sleep. I said that wasn't possible for me and he walked away. A little while later when the bathroom was free, he insisted I enter it and get ready for bed. It was about this time that Carol insisted on looking at her pictures from the day and conked out while holding her camera. Dad said he had a lot of fun talking to both of us last night when we were for all purposes asleep and he was the only one awake, but we were all talking together.
Today we got up and joined the tour at nine. I had some musli and a hard boiled egg for breakfast. There were some weird options I didn't go for. One was brown cheese. That's what it was called and it was the color of a dark latte. There was mackerel pate and marinated tomatoes. I didn't go for any of these and just had a quiet breakfast.
From there we went to Edvard Grieg's home and museum. Fascinating individual, that Grieg. He had a stuffed troll and ceramic pig that he kept on his bedside table and said, "Good night," to them every night. He also carried around a ceramic frog in his pocket that he rubbed for luck before performances. When he was traveling, he didn't take the troll or pig with him; they were too cumbersome, so he brought a picture of them instead.
We also went to a Stave Church that, though they are never used as churches, they keep them persevered to prove that they will never forget how to build a viking ship. The stave church we saw only had one box of nails in its construction. The rest of it was built to support itself. The nails were only used to hanging lighting fixtures and the like. During this talk, the church was so comfortable and the smell of pine was so deep, I was relaxed all over. Being a couple of minutes into the talk, sitting in a dark section of the church, I just conked right out. That was lovely, actually. A small cat nap.
We hit an art museum today, filled with modern art, a bit. Most of it was Norwegian art. Edvard Munch was prominently featured. Not a fan of modern art or Munch's Scream, I was completely won over by his breakdown (which is the content of The Scream according to my step-mom) and subsequent promise to only paint the real emotions of life -- fear of death and getting older being one of the common themes. I can now say, I don't want Munch in my livingroom, but I have a far greater appreciation for him.
From there we went on a tour of the Hanseatic League's establishment. Lots of dried cod there. Lots of money that didn't trickle down either. Not a lot of light either. They were in "business" from 1300's to the 1700's and they never used matches or wood in their buildings, so scared were they of fire. Apparently Bergen, Norway has burned down more than once or twice.
Had dinner in a fantastic Indian restaurant. Dinner was hot and yummy. I love their desserts as well. We got back to the hotel and I started this blog. I then met a man, his two stepchildren. The man got me a drink and then everyone left, leaving me and the step-son together on the couch. The drink, quiet yummy and powerful, is still having an effect on my head. I would still be down there chatting with the cute guy if it weren't for my stupid full bladder and my need to be up too early in the morning to go see fjords.
As much as it might be nice to snog a boy again, and a nerd at that, I am here to see fjords and I have to keep my priorities straight. Seriously. It could have been a ton of fun to stay down in the bar and see where the night led, but ... let's be honest. That's never really been Kim Beam. Granted, that could be why Kim Beam is still single. But so much is different in my life in the past 12 months or so. So much. With that has to come balance -- weighing out if I want a one-night stand added to my list of one. And, to be honest, no. I want it to mean something. But that's always been my story. I want it to mean something.
Here's something else too. I want it to mean something to him too.