Scandinavia Days: Day 1 / by vanessa

14 hours, two planes, three ill-advised scotches, and 10 pieces of gum later, we are finally in Norway.  From the airport we took the Airport Express Train to downtown Oslo.  The whole of my knowledge of Scandinavia prior to this trip consisted of its reputation for good design and its population: tall blonde people.  Turns out the former is true, and this place is more diverse than I expected. 
To those observations I can now add the following:
  • Accenture apparently owns Norway, or at least its transportation modes. 
  • The Oslo airport is impressive: a fabrication of hardwood floors, slate tiling and glass walls.  The restrooms are private and clean.  (Ahem, India.)  Even the graffiti looks smartly executed.  Recycling is popular -- The garbage cans, outnumbered by the recycling bins 3:1, many are tagged with “What a waste!” stickers so that when I tossed my gum, I felt like a huge loser.  I wished there was a way to recycle gum.  (Any takers?)
  • Stuff is expensive. Train tickets are $28 a piece from the airport to central Oslo and $10 day passes for the Trikk (street bus).   Our dinner at a diner in Grunerlokka (which, as best I can tell, is like the hipster neighborhood of Oslo) cost about $80.  For a DINER. 
  • Norwegian girls know what’s up.  Spotted multiple times:  high-top Converse with black tights over shorts or a short skirt.  So cute.  I’ll be bitin’ that style when I return.  (I also now really, really want short, straight black hair cut into a pageboy.  This is when having curls sucks.)
  • Oslo reminds me of Portland – if Portland were in Europe, I guess.  Hilly, green, and ample city parks.  
  • Black metal is alive and well here, judging by the all Goth folk and shops we passed.  Hail sheep head, (or something)!
Given that it’s 1:15 a.m. (but not really if you count my body clock), it’s time to call it a day.  A seven-hour train to Bergen awaits in the morning.  
Me, after 14 hours in flight: