Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday - June 22, 2011

My last day here.

We woke, showered, ate, rushed, delayed, left notes, fought trolls (finally!), forgot things, were super-efficient, forgot more things, and rode on bullet trains. There was no looking back, and tears of
happy/joy, heavy on the joy.

These are the things I have discovered on my seventh day:
  • This train is for business, son!
  • Leaving is hard...
  • But, I'll be back soon...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday - June 21, 2011

Today was an epic day of productivity, that would make Clark Griswold weep in pride.

Up at the crack of decently-early-for-lazy-people, we headed off to the Naturhistorisk Museum of Oslo, or for you bloody English-speakers, the University of Oslo's Natural History Museum.

The entire place was beautiful, and it called out to my childhood dream of actually living in a museum (a dream destined to become highly ironic in a million years when my bones are featured prominently in the display case of the Lawgiver Bobo Memorial Branch of the National Museum of the Planet of the Apes). Two large buildings made up most of our day, one dedicated to mammals, birds, and reptiles (zoological), the other to fossils, dinos, and ancient creatures (geological).

The winning display, by a large margin, was the Doktor Proktor: Maybe Monsters, display, which featured made-up monsters you truly wished never existed. Giant-assed moon monkeys, man-sized amoebas that spew acid, brain spiders. All wonderful, all pretty gross, and very well displayed. I can't recommend them highly enough.

No wonder food prices are so high...

After that we went to Outland, a Norwegian comic book/gaming/nerd-oasis store. It was chiefly loaded with American comics, some translated comics, and loads of Disney Duckberg stories in the might-as-well-be native Norwegian. It was so surreal being so far away from home, but feeling right at home. God, the Otaku are everywhere!

Finally, some souvenir shopping, and some rest and relaxation at last. So much got done today that it can't legally be allowed to be called a vacation.

These are the things I have discovered on my sixth day:
  • Norway is great for raising a family: largely thanks to the discount rates for admission.
  • Nerds are oblivious all the world over.
  • Giant floating jellyfish are the source of all the frequent blackouts in the NYC area. That that, environmentalists!

Monday - June 20, 2011 (Part 2)

First off, the post for yesterday was super-brief. In reality, I did quite a lot.

The day began the way it does for all Norwegians, battling a small blond child. After having my ass handed to me on the physical front, I went off to seek my fortune playing high-stakes games of Ludo, where naturally I was the champion.*

As is custom, I attacked Oslo's famed "Fortress" like so many would-be nation conquerors before me. Once a Viking stronghold, it was rebuilt year after year, period after period, up until the Nazi's occupied it during World War II. The building were a fascinating mix of old world and really old world. There were stone arches for trolls to hide, and dungeons that led to the sea.

She discards all her Ludo-opponents into the Atlantic.

The day also featured playing with Legos, watching Norwegian Ducktails, and hatching robot-dinosaurs.

We ate the best pancakes forged by mortal man. The ultimate pancakes. The One-Ring of pancakes.

Yes, you are jealous.

*Legally I am required to admit that Anna did win as well, and Idun just let me think I won.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday - June 20, 2011

These are the things I have discovered on my fifth day:
  • The museum is closed on Mondays
  • The resistance is closed at 5.
  • Public sexuality/nudity is strictly enforced.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday - June 19, 2011

And on the fourth day, Oslo slept.

Most things are closed in Oslo on Sundays, except some food places, pubs, and the occasional portal to the Medieval/Renaissance Period.

As such, I spent most of the day at a Ren Faire.

Now, having never lived in said make-believe hybrid period, my guess is that a Norwegian ren faire is as authentic as they come. Afterall, these people basically live like they are in the dark ages anyway. (Button toilets and shift+7 for forward slash?? What the hell is this?!)

There was jousting, crafts, old-timey costumes, wooden swords, geeks, and tens of millions of children on flutes and penny-whistles. Instead of roast turkey leg, they had salmon. For.serious.

It's amazing how small a city Oslo is; with no exaggeration I recognized three faces in the crowd at the faire that I had seen in other parts of the city. Amazing.

These are the things I have discovered on my fourth day:
  • You don't need to pull on Russians, just rocking them back and forth will do the trick.
  • There are X-Men headquarters in the American Embassy
  • Children rule. If you are in a hymn choir, it's best to come to terms with that right away.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday - June 18, 2011

Because I'm an idiot, I had yet to transfer my American dollars into Norwegian Kruggers (they are way into 80s horror movies), so we went to do that today.

The upside was being able to see lovely downtown Oslo. There is a beautiful mix of modern and medieval in the slanty opera house and cobbled streets. Many building have enormous statutes hanging randomly off specifically reserved ledges, and the entire place is like neuvo-Gotham.

I finally was able to purchase some stuff on my own like a big-boy, but by late Saturday many places had already closed. It is for this reason that most of my friends will be given gifts from the duty-free shop at Newark Airport.

These are the things I have discovered on my third day:
  • It's Norwegian law that if you make a woman cry, a sea captain will harass you*
  • You can't look like a proper statute unless you go with the gold boots, honey!
  • The Oslo Opera House, like all European opera houses, have proper Captains that command the vessel, touring the seven seas, spreading high-culture.
*to the ends of the Earth

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday - June 17, 2011


I'm serious.

After grocery shopping at the ridiculously overpriced food stores, we took a walk to the bay and port to the Atlantic to see the tall ships. But first, apparently, we needed to force our way through throngs of Norwegian teenagers (or as I have dubbed them, Norwægers) who were there for the whitest hip-hop/pop fusion concert I've seen since Vanilla Ice and Snow had their ill fated concert tour: Gone Slushie.

The tall ships were beautiful, with The Dreamtrigger catching my eye immediately.

We found a tourest gift shop that sold reindeer parts, and avoided a Burger King and McDonalds that didn't.

As predicted, the severed seagull head was still at the street corner, now giving advice. Anna thought it had its caws interpreted by a psychic, I perfered the idea of it giving the same advice to all the locals that qued up; Don't lose your head!

These are the things I have discovered on my second day:
  • Trolls are Norway's 1980s era Smurfs, but they kick infinitely more ass.
  • Bands of feral cats clean the streets of Oslo every night.
  • How an umbrella works.