nirinia: (Default)
I'm still, technically, in the void of no internet. But Father had to go back to Oslo today, for a meeting, so I went along. To answer e-mails from Lånekassen about re-applying for student loans, fume at idiot bureaucracy and figure when and where I have to show up to become a law student.

I had lunch at a café, rifled through books at Tronsmo and chatted to the proprietor about Bolaño, had coffee, looked at beautiful things I cannot afford, and got high on my tiny, welcoming city. I've never been patriotic, but today I loved Oslo. Oslo is mostly full of outsiders, from all over Norway, who move here to work and study. They never think of it as 'home', most of my outsider friends have never grown to like it at all. Getting to know Oslo takes time, but is rewarding.
nirinia: (Default)
Leafing through the Saturday papers, as usual, I happened upon an article about "Oslo-phobia", in "Aftenposten". People not from the capital apparently fear the natives, and would love nothing more than the general population of Oslo breaking into obscure dialects to welcome them. What on earth is this nonsense? I was under the impression that this country consists of vikings and mad-men from the great North, and they fear our tiny capital.

I am not overly patriotic, and do not hide the fact that I would not mind fleeing to England for pro-longed periods of time; Oslo, however, is not scary. While it is, at first, a bit imposing, a bit cold and unwelcoming, it is one of those cities one must get to know in order to appreciate. There are lovely façades, quiet parks and ridiculous streets. I would not mind being without some of the silly cobble-stones that make my heeled inclinations a nightmare, better public transportation - if you can avoid it, or have the conscenice for it, if you are the sort to care, avoid "Oslo Sporveien" like you would an obsessive ex - and fewer snarling idiots, Oslo has charm. Bjerke wrote something clever about it in a poem, I just can't remember what (oh, Darlings, I would love his collected works, if the need to buy me a present ever strikes you). And while Hamsun is an infectous idiot, he had a point about this city, particularly in autumn, it does something to you.

On second thought, it strikes me that perhaps Oslo-phobia is justified at times. We natives have a way of walking bruskly about when we do our shopping, or are going somewhere. We do not interact unless there's a delay, a catastophy of some sort, or someone is being such a remarkable git that it compells strangers to discuss it when the git in question is out of earshot. We do, however, occasionally disucuss something with clerks we encounter in particularly beloved stores. So, while one might encounter people one knows everywhere in a tiny city somewhere in the west, that is usually not very likely here. And most of us enjoy that freedom. Do people suffering from Oslo-phobia simply miss the comfort of knowing people? What perfect stupidty. (If I have yet to make my point clear, I think the article was daft beyond measure.)

It does, however, make sense if you think of Norway being ruled by the idea of the central, or urban, opposing the peripheral.
nirinia: (Default)
Leafing through the Saturday papers, as usual, I happened upon an article about "Oslo-phobia", in "Aftenposten". People not from the capital apparently fear the natives, and would love nothing more than the general population of Oslo breaking into obscure dialects to welcome them. What on earth is this nonsense? I was under the impression that this country consists of vikings and mad-men from the great North, and they fear our tiny capital.

I am not overly patriotic, and do not hide the fact that I would not mind fleeing to England for pro-longed periods of time; Oslo, however, is not scary. While it is, at first, a bit imposing, a bit cold and unwelcoming, it is one of those cities one must get to know in order to appreciate. There are lovely façades, quiet parks and ridiculous streets. I would not mind being without some of the silly cobble-stones that make my heeled inclinations a nightmare, better public transportation - if you can avoid it, or have the conscenice for it, if you are the sort to care, avoid "Oslo Sporveien" like you would an obsessive ex - and fewer snarling idiots, Oslo has charm. Bjerke wrote something clever about it in a poem, I just can't remember what (oh, Darlings, I would love his collected works, if the need to buy me a present ever strikes you). And while Hamsun is an infectous idiot, he had a point about this city, particularly in autumn, it does something to you.

On second thought, it strikes me that perhaps Oslo-phobia is justified at times. We natives have a way of walking bruskly about when we do our shopping, or are going somewhere. We do not interact unless there's a delay, a catastophy of some sort, or someone is being such a remarkable git that it compells strangers to discuss it when the git in question is out of earshot. We do, however, occasionally disucuss something with clerks we encounter in particularly beloved stores. So, while one might encounter people one knows everywhere in a tiny city somewhere in the west, that is usually not very likely here. And most of us enjoy that freedom. Do people suffering from Oslo-phobia simply miss the comfort of knowing people? What perfect stupidty. (If I have yet to make my point clear, I think the article was daft beyond measure.)

It does, however, make sense if you think of Norway being ruled by the idea of the central, or urban, opposing the peripheral.

October 2012

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