AS the morning sun settles into place over Oslo, a weird gobbing noise sounds from the window outside the hostel. I catch the eye of the French girl who's just moved in to share the moment, but she just looks at me with her sad, French eyes. I suppose she was too busy being existential.
|'The park is worth it for the view'|
ELLIE and I make our way over to the National Museum to see a Tori Wranes exhibition. By now, I've decided that I quite like contemporary art (which Ellie informs me is not the same as modern art). Wranes' dream world is fascinating, and I can almost believe I'm in one. The security guard sitting outside halfway between the dark cavern of the gallery and the white brightness of the fountain outside looks beautifully bored in his strange placement, almost asleep. I suppose you will get bored if you stay anywhere for too long. Next, we travel to the Vigeland Scultpure park, which is packed with people (both real and sculpted). The sculptures themselves aren't really that interesting imho, but the park is worth it for the view - the highest point looks out across houses and hills and greenery and tarmac, which is fine for me as I sit at the bottom of a huge monolith of stone bodies and gaze into the distance.
An American woman has just told me to move so she can take a photo. Typical. I almost refuse on the grounds that she's not going to take a better photo than the hundreds of professional ones that already exist of every bloody thing in this park, but I don't. On the topic: maybe I've been away too long, but I pass two girls with the most fake sounding English accents I've ever heard. Is there a place in Britain where people sound like bad American actors that I've just never been to?
|'A boat takes us to one of the islands that run along the fjord'|
A boat takes us, along with Sofia and Anja, to one of the islands that run along the fjord. It amazes me that taking such a boat costs the same amount as the tram or metro. It's beautiful, and the monastic ruins that characterise this particular island are overrun with teenagers playing a complex game of what appears to be hide and seek tig. We sit on the beach, eating an assortment of food and scuffing our shoes in the sand.
BACK at the hostel, we chat to Ana, an affable, affectionate, and amusing girl with a head of curly brown hair, one strand of which is dyed into a rainbow. We sit on the roof and talk about scenography. On a less picturesque note, I can't believe that:
a) You have to ask for a key to use the toilet at reception.
b) The way they remind you to give it back afterwards is by plastering the door with old memes such as 'one does not simply keep the toilet key' and 'I don't always use the toilet key, but when I do, I remember to give it back.' This has the effect of making me almost use said toilet for vomming in.
c) The graffiti in the cubicle ranges from standard ("I love scandinavia") to political ("Fuck the Tories" "Yes mate vote UKIP") to bizzarre reviews of the actual hostel ("Don't order the breakfast. Very disappointing.")
With Anja, we sit in the half light, drinking tea while it rains outside and discussing anything in the world - the annoying way academics write, creepy guys, and the pros and cons of different education systems. She's so nice to talk to. Everything instantly becomes both personal and philosophical.
|'We sit in the half light'|