Monday, June 30, 2003

wow. don't log in for a week and everything changes. don't think i'm a fan of the new blogger layout though.. can't scroll through old posts while you're writing the new ones. bothersome.

at any rate.

so updates! midsummer's night was full of rain, so plans to go out in the boat and have a bbq party were dashed. indoor beach party with the hippie commune of sandefjord instead, which was still fun. lise and frode taught me some norwegian. so now i can thank everyone and their dog for the food in norwegian! success! or something...

planned to go to stockholm. met someone on the train heading to turku, finland, because apparently there was a ferry that was going to leave when we arrived in stockholm, and it was 2 hours from turku to helsinki (covered by the railpass, of course), so ended up going with him instead. turns out the ferry trip was free with the railpass, so got 2 nights free accomodation! saw Phone Booth on the way there (these are some souped-up ferries, i tell ya!), entertaining, i suppose. it tried too hard. arrived in turku, wandered briefly, caught the train to helsinki, found out that it's actually a really nifty place! some fascinating architecture. i was content to just walk all over the city and explore, lots of art nouveau, beautiful parks, fun atmosphere. and i had absolutely no idea about the architecture out there. but i couldn't stay there too long, seeing as i'll have to go back when sanni's actually back home. need to leave things left to discover. and hey! ferry ride back that night = free bed and shower!

met (another) friendly finnish person on the ferry, her friend's coming to vancouver at some point, so maybe i'll get a guest.

got into stockholm 7am, after dumping my stuff, started a-wandering all over again. linn, i'm jealous. bee-YOU-tiful city. saw people hanging out in their houseboats reading the morning paper. found me my own fjallraven backpack (after a huge amount of searching - saw them all over denmark, all over helsinki, but when i was finally in sweden, couldn't find them anywhere, and no one knew what i was talking about! it's a swedish brand of bag, for people who don't know. sanni had one that i really liked, although i got a larger size than hers is..because you care to know that..) at a store that was entirely staffed by native-english speakers (america, aussie, and british). found an awesome comic book store in the old town, and an even niftier music shop. found some great swedish music, and even got to relate to the person working there, when one song reminded me of an I Mother Earth song and he actually knew it, if only because he loves canada and goes to TO all the time to see hockey games. he was even wearing a Finger Eleven shirt (not that i care in the least for the band, but the fact that he was wearing it.. it amused me). wandered around in the southern part of town (definitely eclectic). met a photographer for the newspaper with a sweet-ass camera.

wandered back to the hostel but didn't really feel like giving up for the day, but still didn't know what to do. went to the grocery store to get something to snack on, when i walked towards the door some friendly (and vaguely drunk) swede walked out and asked me something in swedish, figured out i spoke english, pointed to the taxi and told me his friends were headed to the amusement park, would i like to come? i said i had no money. he said he'd pay. so i went! and when we got the entrance, after obvious hints and whatnot, he said,"the thing i want to know, is when we've played at the amusement park, you and me, will we get yiggy with it?" laughed and told him hell no. told him i was leaving in two hours because i planned on getting up early the next day. he said alright and paid my way in anyways. but it was his friend who ended up being more fun. kim (the first guy) ended up getting mad at him when i told him to tie his own shoes, but bert (niklas, who was rather drunk, but fun to talk to) bought me a beer, and took me wandering around the park, and told me that because it was the rollercoaster that i'd said i wanted to go on, we'd go on it, twice! bought us tickets, bought me the photo of us on the coaster afterwards (even though i told him not to), explained how that park and that ride epitomized and was the perfect metaphor for sweden (did i mention he was drunk?), and then we wandered around looking for his friends that we'd lost. never did see any of them again, but he told me about his two sons (he's 37 today, actually, so happy birthday bert!), told me about his girlfriend that he missed muchly (they were all from southern sweden, had come for the iron maiden concert, but they'd bought tickets before he'd hooked up with her, and he'd have given up the concert for her but she told him that he had to go and she'd be there when he got back) but that he was determined to have fun this weekend nonetheless... i liked bert. niklas. whatever you want to call him. {g}

other random images of stockholm: the kid with an actual harry potter-esque birthmark on his forehead, and the boy playing with his doll, then leaving wearing a (pink) baby-carrier toting his baby along with him. yay, lack of gender roles!

and then back to sandefjord. railpass expired yesterday. out in the boat today, went back searching for the anchor we'd lost the week before (long tale, but we blame cthulhu), still couldn't retrieve it. i caught a cod worthy of eating, but we'd already that today was sport-fishing only (and yes, i do feel some guilt in that, but that's for another entry). lise and frode came out later on and we chased the sunshine. found an awesome cove to bob in for awhile, until the wind picked up. dropped those two off, had to get back to the boatdock, tried fishing some more but the wind got way too strong, nearly died in the waves (but OH so much fun... i love the ocean), and now pasta for dinner.

tomorrow, catching a plane to london. anyone have any suggestions where to see? [long lament about not wanting to leave here omitted...]

Monday, June 23, 2003

this is a trip of firsts:

first time french braiding AND braiding my own hair (and it looked rather good, i must say!)
first time finding out what touching an electric fence feels like (accidentally too. nice shock.)
first time casting out a fishing line
first time catching a fish (pollack, apparently)
first time watching a fish gutted
first time eating monkfish (tasty)
first time seeing whale jawbones
first time finding out what sea-sickness is like (although apparently the ocean was super-choppy yesterday, and today i was perfectly fine, so hopefully that won't happen again...)

...and so on.

down south of oslo, a town called sandefjord. going out in the boat in fishing. improving the tan. eating some awesome seafood.

in all honesty, i would much much MUCH rather stay here for the rest of the summer. i like the sound of norwegian more than german, learning german's just an excuse to stay in europe. but to stay in a town by the sea, especially if you know someone with a boat and fishing poles, going town to the harbour most days anyways, fresh sea breeze, mostly sunny days, beautiful scenery...

course, my image of where i'd stay in germany is one from january, when everything was pretty but largely dead and frozen, so maybe i'd fall in love with that place too.

it's just been so long since i've been by the ocean, it's really nice to be here now. especially eating fresh seafood.

aiyaa... i'm a complainer.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

conductor: [looking at my ticket] where are you going?
me: hell!
conductor: ah! well, have a pleasant trip! or.. something....
me: thanks!

{g}

today i went to Hell and back. accompanied on the train by children from Hell, who were all quite sweet, really. you go through this cute little tunnel through the rocks and past some beautiful scenery before arriving at the train station of Hell. when i got there i noticed a few hellfires burning, though that could have just been weeds people were destroying. saw the Hell Taxi, the mullet from Hell (actually, it was one of the worst i've seen), made a phonecall from the payphone from Hell and told the other person that really, he should go to Hell someday. and then i came back.

really, a rather pleasant way to spend the day! Hell's a nice little village, technically they have a mall a little ways away, but i didn't go near it. just stayed to the tree-lined dirt roads of Hell. and the best thing was, considering i had no idea what was actually in Hell, turns out they have some nifty old rock carvings there as well! though couldn't read the information posting, seeing as it was all in norwegian. i'll get it translated sometime.

and then came back and relaxed in the park for the rest of the afternoon. have i mentioned how much i like this place? and if you do ever come to trondheim, go to Hell. it's only a halfhour train ride away, and really, even if there's absolutely nothing of excitement there, it's a nice place!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

i have a favourite cafe in trondheim now. only been in there once. went in by chance, because i asked the owner a question on the street and she offered me the store phone rather than having to fight with payphones. and then offered me free coffee and asked with genuine concern if everything was alright. and they were playing calm louis armstrong the whole while, which set the perfect mood. matt would have loved it. so when you go to trondheim, visit the dromedare cafe. it was good coffee, too. i just should never be allowed to have coffee after 11:30pm. sat and chatted with finns until far to early in the morning, chattering away because of the caffeine keeping me going. well, Tatu didn't seem to mind, at least. and now i've got a source for finnish music suggestions as well. hurrah!

actually, that's one thing that i'm quite impressed with here in norway: the amount of norwegian music that i hear played on the radio and on tv and the number of norwegian bands that seem to be incredibly popular. when i asked, no one seemed to know of any sort of can-con-like rule for norwegian broadcasting, people just happen to support their own bands well enough that you're more (or maybe just as) likely to hear a norwegian band on the radio than an american one. or at least, it's extremely well-balanced. people just support their own music without having to put regulations in place to maintain it! which really makes me wish that canada would get rid of the can-con rule. or at least modify it some, so that it becomes something more along the lines of limiting the big american bands, because you know that that's why it's really in place. so long as you're playing bands that aren't so well-known, or music from all over the world rather than predominantly (mediocre, more often than not) popular american bands (which yes, are popular in canada too, i realise that, but there's a lot more out there than what's regularly played!). even the not-so-known american bands, as long as it's good music (oh i know i'm living in a dream world there). but make it so that you play the not-so-known bands more often, and maybe (maybe!) there would be more support for canadian music, so that we don't have to rely on a regulation to hear a goodly amount of it! i mean, once people know it exists, everything's dandy, no?

as though people haven't complained about that many times before.

off to enjoy moby dick at the park. it shall be a pointless day, but a good one!

Addendum: apparently dromedare is a chain. so the one closer to kristiansten. that's the one that's the good one. the other one didn't look near as inviting, anyways. it did remind me, however, that i haven't seen a starbucks store in ages. that makes me happy...

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

i saw a muskox! it was goin like this: *chomp chomp chomp*...

norway's kinda nifty. {g}

though what was even better was the train conductor coming up to me a little while later, shoving his face in front of me and, with a gruff norwegian accent, asking, "did you see it??" i must have looked a little confused (and perturbed?), so he clarified, "the muskox! did you see it?"

nice guy. i liked him. {g}

so left oslo (and free lodging - doh!). bounced all over. russian brass bands (they played Brazil!) and fish markets in bergen, hiking and relaxing in flaam (cuz i don't think the proper letter will show up), nifty free-afterhours open-air museums in lillehammer, hanging around aaselund (jungendstil town! so gorgeous.. and free laundry!), beautiful waterfall and friendly aussie in hellesylt, amazing ferryride to geiranger (hiking behind waterfalls, though i think norwegians walk a LOT slower, because the hike that should have taken an hour one way took me 45 minutes both ways, if that), hitching a ride from someone through the mountains to aandalsnes, picnicking on the grass by the trainstation with czech travellers in dombaas (oh becherovka, how i missed thee..), and now here, trondheim. university town. really nice atmosphere. norwegian landscape reminds me a lot of BC landscape. and of course it's magnificent to see, but at the same time, i think i'm almost not appreciating it quite enough, simply because in a roundabout way, i'm sorta used to it. except that at the same time, it feels so familiar that it's quite nice here. i'm just being lazier here than i've been elsewhere (ie: not hiking near as much as i'd have thought i would have). i just wish i knew norwegian. everyone assumes i'm from here, s'just a shame that i can't ever answer them when they ask me questions. but anyways. beautiful country. even from train/bus windows.

got an email from my german connection (it sounds so much more interesting calling him that) saying that i'd be more than welcome to live with them for as long as i want, nanny a little, travel a little, borrow their car whenever i want, learn german... so i'm thinking i could do distance courses for the fall semester. although then i'm wondering if my exchange credits would go through properly, or if that would just become a huge mess. though i don't see why i would have to deal with those sorts of things in person. and as for knee surgery, well either i'd just stay until the end of august and then be back in time for that, or i could postpone it a little more or find someone in germany to do it. possibly. possibly not. advice pleasepleaseplease?

the only problem is money. because i wouldn't be making any. so maybe i should go home for the fall. get surgery. get a work study position. get some sit-down job.

and any thoughts of going to cuba for my birthday might be lost if i stay. though random searches today is making me think that it's not really an option anyways, unfortunately. why can't travelling be cheaper? it's such a worthwhile experience, it shouldn't cost a fortune to see the rest of the world!

either way though, whenever i do go home, still have the stopover in Toronto, during which time i'm still hope hope hoping to work in a bus trip down to Mint Manor if i can. because that would be oh so much fun. and then i might learn how to knit, too! {g}

oh, and last night i met someone from New Caledonia (she had the map ready to show where that was, i think she gets the blank stare when she says its name a lot), who's actually had the same knee surgery i'll have to have. sorta. except that she says her knee still pops out when she moves it in certain ways. which frightens me. although she also said that she should have had it done somewhere other than new caledonia as well. but she was walking properly in a month and running within three, she says, so.. maybe it won't be so bad? (i'm pretending to be optimistic.. it's all i can do..) then again, i've gotten rather attached to my brace these days, feel near-invincible wearing it when i'm running up and down rocky mountains, and can't ask for much more than that now, can you..right?

maybe you can. bah.

on the plus side, the canadian dollar's risen against the norwegian crown! hurrah!

weather's splendid. i should be outside.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

sarah got to see the cowboy bebop movie in the theatre last night! in japanese. with english subtitles. in oslo. !?! apparently there's not a huge audience for anime out here at all, so why it was being shown, i do not know. but it started the day that i arrived here, and it only seemed proper to see it. and everyone in the theatre liked it. hurrah!

but that was only to be expected.

also, the day after i arrived was free music fest about town. norwegians dance funny. and vancouver really needs to get some proper free music fests like that one.

debating whether to go to that music festival alone or not. it starts on thursday, so if i go, i have to skedaddle. dunno, though... i'm sure i'd make friends, but still. is it better to go or to save the money, considering how exorbitantly expensive everything is here (with my super weak canadian money)?* hrmm.. got a credit card, so have money again, though. it's nice to not feel completely poor anymore. may not have a lot of money, but i have a little bit again! {g}

at any rate. oslo reminds me of vancouver, strangely enough. i like it. don't know if it's the climate or the atmosphere or the people or the mishmash or architecture or what. though it's quite fun wandering around with the most pessimistic tourguide in the world. friends are grand. {g} course, the strange amount of python, young ones, black adder, zim, and other non-norwegian references being made astounding. and good fun.

thinking about trying to figure out if i can stay out in europe longer more and more at this point. don't really feel like going home at this point. all that's really urgent there is school and knee surgery, and one (or possibly even both) can be dealt with out here, if need be...

i promise i'll come up with a more interesting post some other time.

* not complaining about the costs up here, i knew it was expensive coming here, although still. it was still a bit of a surprise..

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

because it made me nearly laugh out loud in the library:
I will mauled by a mob of midgets.


How will you die? Take the Exotic Cause of Death Test

also, it's hard to feel depressed when you start skipping. might still feel vaguely unhappy for whatever reason, but not depressed.

also, i think tavie and gina were in my dream last night. but i don't remember why.

also, the canadian dollar converts into fewer danish kroner than i thought. damn, i feel poor.

also, i think i figured out where i knew that song from. suddenly hit me on the train today. is that on the gonzales album? which i don't actually own, but just have a bunch of music downloaded (evil!). i think that's it...

also, i keep having the same stupid thought every time the train goes through a traffic intersection, have since i started taking the train, prolly always will: "wow, aren't we lucky to get the green light!" and then i realise how stupid a thought it really is.

also, starting each tidbit with "also" is such an unimaginitive thing to do. but look at me not care.

also, i'm hungry. must search out the elusive "cheap food" in aarhus.

Monday, June 02, 2003

currently on aero island in denmark. and it's absolutely gorgeous here. it's so nice being near an ocean again. having mucho fun. biking a lot. got a nice tan. which reminds me, gotta remember to buy sunscreen (the one thing i never even thought to bring along...).

found out what happens when you lose your wallet. didn't need to know, but at the same time, in the end, it's not such a big deal. it's just a pain. and somewhat costly, considering which cards i have to replace now. and i really did like that wallet, too. fortunately, i may have scored a free place to stay in northern denmark, so i can spend the money i'd have spent on lodging on replacing cards instead. YAY.

still. enjoying denmark a lot. just wish i knew the language. or at least how to pronounce a few more of the letters.