Friday, 30 May 2008

Holiday kick-off

it's important to have something to look forward to. That way it's easier to cope with the everyday hassle. So when my friend suggested we have a holiday kick-off to mark that "the holiday is one month away, and we are getting exited -now!" my immediate response was "YEEEY! I'm in!"

As it turns out, the kick off is not all that different from an ordinary vorspiel with wine, good music and good friends, but I'm still exited. In exactly 27 days I'll be on board a plane taking me to sunny, joyful Greece. We are guaranteed sun, we are guaranteed strong drinks and we are guaranteed flirty, tanned guys - all important ingredients in a summer holiday!!

This year I'm travelling with a very good friend of mine - she is blond and pretty as most of my friends are..! We have never been on holiday together before, but I'm pretty confident I wont discover any weird habits I don't already know about (charming perhaps, but not weird). She has told me that she needs eight hours sleep but that she's willing to do parts of the sleeping on the beach (there's no need to take it out on the late-night-partying) and that she's not a fan of dressing up when she's on holiday. In return I have told her that my sense of direction is terrible and that I'm not a light packer, ( actually my sister told her these things...still). So far so good. These are all things we can work around, the rest we'll have to take as it comes.

None of us are new beginners when it comes to travelling abroad and we are strong, healthy girls with just the right amount of decency and good sense, so just because we're both blonds I see no reason to fear any big mistakes or tragic outcome..... still this is what I told myself and everybody around me last year and that didn't quite turn out the way we planned... want the story from last summer don't you. Fine, I'll tell you! Last year I went to Barcelona with another friend of mine. Also blond and very pretty. We got the warnings; be careful, don't drink to much, don't be naive to friendly strangers - a friend of us even called the Norwegian embassy in Barcelona telling them we were coming and to please keep an eye on us... (OK, he SAID he had done that, I haven't really got confirmed that it actually got done. Anyway). We took in all the friendly warnings with a sigh and responded to each and everyone of them: "Come on! What's gonna happen??" Now in the light of the afterwisedom (if that word makes sense) I see that they all had a point. Anyway.

Just to get the most out of our money and make sure we had a nice long travel, we ordered the trip with two in-between-landings. The first one went OK. Had some lunch at the airport in Copenhagen, did some long-distance-flirting with some Italian guys (what?? Come on, that's part of the trip and you know it!) and arrived safely at airport number 2 - Hamburg. We checked out the gate - number 21 - the flight was in route so we headed straight for the tax free. As we got caught up trying on various perfumes - we lost track of time and had to run to our gate. Luckily we knew exactly where it was so we had no panic even if all other passengers had entered the plane. We strolled to the gate and handed our tickets to the friendly woman at the gate. She smiles and in a friendly voice she asks "are you girls going to Barcelona?" , we smiled back and responded cheerfully- "yeah!". Her response "hmmm, yes, 'cause WE are going to Berlin" quickly got us back on the ground and we hasted towards the right gate. No panic - we made it in time and all was good.

When we landed in Barcelona our baggage arrived just as planned and we go towards the custom. My friend went first, and got right through. Me on the other hand was stopped by the elderly guard asking me " where did you come from Miss?" My head went totally blank - and all I could think was that the last airport started with the letter "H" - could it be Honduras?? ( yeah, geography is not one of my strong sides) The guy was starting to look at me strangely and in desperation I call out to my friend "where did we come from??" This ridiculous question (yes, you don't have to tell me, I know I should have known! ) just made her laugh and as she couldn't stop laughing and help me out, the guard decided to lend me a helping hand by offering me some alternatives (what a nice guy) He says: "Oslo?" "YES" i replied happily. This whole incident obviously convinced him that I was not able to smuggle anything so he let me pass.

Great start I thought, this can't get anymore embarrassing...Man was I wrong. We had decided that even if it was a bit hassle, we should take the buss to the metro and the metro to the hotel. We find the bus-stop, the bus arrives and I enter. I turn around to see if my friend needs help with her two(!) pieces of luggage (which her boyfriend had ensured her would be no more hassle than one- boy was he wrong) but as I turn around, the door closes and the bus starts moving. I'm yelling to the driver to stop and my friend is trying to push all kinds of buttons to open the door, but the bus keeps moving and I desperately see my friend get further and further away.

By this point I'm starting to panic a little and starts talking to myself in Norwegian - "What an idiot". "What is he doing" "This is NOT happening". Caught up in my own furie I hardly notice that the bus stops, and all passengers get off. Relieved by the outcome of this strange situation I start laughing and get of the bus. I run back to find my friend who is standing at the bus-stop laughing, laughing and laughing. I think we stood there almost ten minutes before we could stop laughing and stand up straight. And this was just day1...

Like I said - what could happen?? Obviously a lot, but as long as it ends well there's no harm. And, not to forget, we have lots of good stories to tell our friends. I mean we spent two whole weeks in Barcelona and didn't get robbed once! I think that's pretty good. And the part of the holiday where we got drugged by some strangers are all forgotten now....! Really!

Man I can't wait for my next holiday!!


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Have you guys been smokin'?

I laugh to much. This may sound strange, but I do. And it's not an easy going, soft, cosy kind of laughter, it's impulsive, it caches people off guard and it is LOUD! I have always set my pride in having an impulsive laughter, not the controlled low-key laughter that some people have. I have always wondered how that is even possible. I often hear or see funny things that makes me burst out in laughter and I often think to myself there is no way I could control that from happening. And that's the way it should be I guess.

Still, there are times where I really wish I could control it though. Like the time me and a couple of friends attended a quite stiff event with dinner and entertainment. Under a classical trumpet solo I find myself thinking that it's not often I attend cultural events like this, and even though I could use the cultural training, this really isn't my kind of music. I realize that me being in this situation is quite strange and that's when I look up and see my friend sitting across the table with a smirk smile on her face. I just know then and there that we are both in deep trouble. If you haven't experienced the uncontrolled urge to laugh yourself it's hard to understand. To me it just feels like I'm about to burst. Bubbles are made in my stomach and they want out. I look down, take a deep breath and try to think of something sad - war, children starving, me being over 30 and still single, but it's out of my hands. Even though I'm not looking directly at her I can see that my friend is in trouble - her whole body is shaking and she is staring down at the floor. She is not making a sound and neither am I but we are fighting, really fighting to keep from laughing. It's so embarrassing and yet we are unable to stop it!! The other people at our table are starting to look at us in a strange way and I can tell what they are thinking; Stupid girls, they should know better" Still, there's nothing we can do except wait for it to pass...

As my laughter is quite loud I often bring unwanted attention to myself when I laugh. And there is one incident in particular that made a mark in my soul. Not to long ago I went on a company trip to Aberdeen. Three days of shopping, sightseeing and bar-hopping. Like any company trip with respect for itself there was a lot of alcohol involved and the last day we ended up at a nachspiel that lasted until seven in the morning. As we had some last-minute shopping to do before returning back home, we were "forced" to get up at ten o'clock so naturally we were a bit tired. But while some of my coworkers (who had taken an early night...suckers) had terrible hangovers, I felt great. In fact I think I was still a bit drunk when we entered the plane and so was my fellow passenger seated next to me, and just so happens, we were seated all the way in the back of the plane - kinda like the bad-ass kids at school.
As we get up in the air the mood was rising, we were making jokes, reminiscing about the last couple of days and of course we were laughing. In the middle of a great laugh a stuard comes over to me and my colleague and says " have you guys been smokin'?" As I look up at him I see he's holding two fingers up to his lips pretending to smoke a marijuana cigarette. A bit thrown off by the unexpected question we just respond: "!" His followup comment is even more shocking: " Really?? Cause when people laugh like that, they've usually been smoking some... and here he does the sign AGAIN!! We just look at each other and laugh a bit nervously - not so loud this time as we are a bit anxious we will get thrown off the plane...! We decided to slow down a bit after that and a couple of minutest later my colleague was sound asleep. Me, I was still a bit shocked. I knew my laughter was loud, but not smokin'-loud!

I was later on told by a colleague who seated a bit in front of us on the plane that the two stuardes had been discussing "the two loud passengers in the back". One of them had apparently said: it's so loud, nobody laugh like that - they are grown ups!" Well, I guess if that's being a grown up I still have a lot of growing to do. And I can't say that I'm sorry about it, 'cause MAN if you can't just roll on the floor and laugh out loud sometimes, you are really missing out! Seriously!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Doc almighty

I just had a trip to the doctor. The reason why is not important (a visit to the doctor is a personal thing, you shouldn't even be asking!) but I always find it a bit amusing. I really respect those who chooses to become doctors, because I think it's admirable that they want to spend their life helping others, and also I just assume they are very smart as you need good grades to get into That's why I automatically assume they know everything and can solve every little problem I may have just by handing me a this-will-solve-your-problems-pill. BUT, this is not always the case. I find my doctor a bit funny - he doesn't mean to be, but I'm still amused by his unclear answers to whatever I ask. Nothing is certain, there are always a number of different reasons for my problems and just as many things that can happen after taking the medicine he gives me. Still I always leave feeling better than when I came. Confused, but better.

I would like to share with you some of my favourite doctor Rufus's quotes:

- "it's not dangerous, so it's nothing to worry about, but if it's any consolation - this is the worst case I have ever seen"

- "Well, I guess this could be a bit uncomfortable, but we are not 17 years old any of us, so it should be fine" - spoken as I enter "the chair".

Dedicated to Doctor Rufus - my hero.



17th of May

The 17th of May is Norway's national day. People walk in parades holding the Norwegian flag high, they dress up in their beautiful national "costume" bunad and they eat ice cream until their stomachs turns. At least this has been the traditional way to celebrate. But the times are changing. I love to observe people and notice little oddities that most people don't bother seeing or find amusing at all. To me these observations are what makes a day fun, and the 17 of May is a great way to observe my fellow Norwegians.

One of the things that has changed, is that the Norwegian flag seems to have been replaced by the much more popular gas-balloons in various shapes, colours and forms - all ugly and all in miss-match to the bunad most people wear. My favourite from yesterdays parade was a motorcycle-shaped gas-balloon. The little fella holding the balloon seemed quite happy though. Bless his confused heart. Another little fella was fighting his way through a buss packed with people with a horse hanging in a leash behind him. It was quite funny watching this little person marching out of the buss totally unaware of the chaos he created behind him with the balloon getting caught up in peoples purses, clothes and flags. He made it though, both he and his brown gas filled horse got out safely.

It's no secret, gas-balloons and public transportation (or any transportation really) does not go well together. A couple of years ago my sister and I observed one of the guys selling gas-balloons trying to get home. He had not managed to sell all of his balloons, and watching him trying to get himself and his 12 gas-balloons into a cab was quite amusing.

I realize MY celebration of our national day has changed to. Stuffing myself with ice cream isn't the main-goal anymore. This year i watched the parade (looking for good-looking men in their best clothing - this has become a tradition ever since I became single... ) I had a nice meal at a Mongolian restaurant (!) and ended the evening at a masc-ball. I lost my jacket and had a bit to much to drink, but it was still a great evening. And who's to say there's only ONE way to celebrate the national day??

Of all the good looking up-dressed people I saw yesterday I choose to dedicate this column to the guy I observed at the buss -stop. He had a perfectly fitted, grey suit on, a bow on his jacket and a grey bicyle helmet on his head...! He had me laughing for several minutes.


Saturday, 3 May 2008

Siss - my musical influence...

Every since I went to the U.S. WONDERFUL-A about ten years ago I have been addicted to the R&B/ hip hop genera. And ever since, my sister has tried to influence me in another direction. Exposing me to different types of music and trying to convince me that expanding ones musical horizon is a wonderful and necessary thing.

Well, so far I have been fighting her all the way. As the little sister who has been "bossed around" all my life, I didn't wait more than a second after entering "adulthood" (if I in fact can say I have entered it) to become very independent -nobody can tell me what to do!! (unless they are my mother of course, but those are the rules) And that includes what music to listen to.
So, instead of welcoming her well-meaning input I have done the only thing natural to me - I have mocked her for her "weird and hopeless" music taste. And I have to say, sometimes with good reason. I still firmly believe that the Balkan orchestra she speaks so highly of will not be a natural part of my CD-collection, not now, not ever! Still I should give her more credit. Because more than once, when I've given "her" music a chance, I've actually liked it.
Last night is a proof of that. She took me and a friend (lets call her doc - because...well, she is one) to my favourite hangout-place "G" for a concert with a Norwegian folk-group. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - folk music, how much fun can that be? But I'm telling you, this group rocks! They do thing with their violins I've never seen beeing done before, and the result is pumping, youthful and fun. Check out my link on the right hand side: Valkyrien Allstars and let me know what you think.

Thursday, 1 May 2008


YES, I have got the cold. Not all that exciting to write about perhaps, still, this is also a part of my life, even if it's dead boring.

I once overheard some young students sitting behind me on the plane talking about having the cold. The guy who did most of the talking had just seen a tv-programme about this where they had convinced him that we all have millions of little people inside our body keeping us healthy. You know how students can be, they've just started their new life, full of excitement, eager to experience every little idiotic thing. Therefore having a cold was enough to keep this guy going at least half the flight about this topic. And the biggest question he had was that if it was in fact true that we had millions of little people keeping us healthy, than who the hell was on post when he got this coold???!!!

Well, he might believe this to be true. Me, on the other hand, well I'm not that convinced. I wish I could blame Pedro, Miguel or Paulo (yes, in my head they are all foreign and very good looking) but fact of the matter is...I did not dress according to the weather when I went out last night - and this is the price I have to pay.