Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
44Trip End Aug 03, 2008
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Anyway, they were friendly but not overly talkative. Perhaps it was because I was only half-awake, or my BO (no shower yet, and it was a hot, sweaty night), or my morning breath (no teeth-brushing yet!), or perhaps they saw me on Spain's Most Wanted list, for assaulting senoritas with cheesy lines.
Or maybe it was because I need to stop proposing to random Spanish women
I took a much-needed shower before heading out for the day. As I walked into the bathroom, I saw the Julie Delpy lookalike senorita - she flashed a beautiful Spanish smile and said "Hola!" I secretly hoped that she would offer to scrub my back but alas, it was not to be ... As I showered, some couple was getting it on in the stall next to me. Good morning to you, too! At least somebody got their back scrubbed this morning ...
Went to the train station in search of a grocery store for breakfast, but they were all closed as it was Sunday. My stomach went hungry for a bit this morning, but not my eyes - the three senoritas from the hostel were waiting for their train. Secretly, I hoped that they would all offer to scrub my back for me ...
Johan's Gate was dead this morning - too early, I guess. I ate a couple of granola bars and then found a grocery store - bought another one of those super-expensive pizza buns and some juice. Off to the National Gallery - there were some Gustav Vigeland sculptures outside - he had visited Rodin's studio, and you can see a bit of that in his work
The National Gallery was nothing exceptional, but offered some decent art. The highlight was Edward Munch's "Scream" - everybody has seen this painting before, but I had no idea that it was painted by a Norwegian. Apparently, he completed four different versions and on one, he scrawled a message across it, graffiti-style " This painting is the work of a madman. Today's society is reverberating within me, making me want to scream." Wow ...
I never knew this until visiting the museum, but there really are many elements to the painting that go unnoticed. The lonely, screaming figure is isolated from everyone else, and is alone in his terror and anguish. There are two figures in the distance, but they seemingly cannot hear or simply don't care. The pain in his expression is obvious, but it seems almost as if you can't hear the scream. Pretty powerful stuff, once it's given some context. But I suppose this is something true of almost all artwork.
Funny sight of the day - I was in a gallery with a number of nude paintings and a bunch of older male Asian tourists had big smiles on their faces and made a beeline toward them. They were laughing and joking around; I wished that I could understand what they were saying!
There were some nice sculptures inside; it's too bad that photos weren't allowed. The Historic Museum was next - also free, but fairly boring. The best part were the cute security guards
The sun seems to be very strong up here and really saps your energy, so I found a nice shaded bench in the park and took a nap. As birds flew overhead, I remembered how one crapped on me a few days ago, and I pondered how it was possible to crap and fly at the same time. It would be a problem for me to walk and crap at the same time; I'd probably trip and stumble into a ditch or oncoming traffic. Maybe the strong sun or lack of food the past few days that is making me have such delusional thoughts. Or perhaps it's because I AM delusional!
It was a beautiful nap on a beautiful day, in a beautiful city. Feeling energized, I went to see city hall - apparently in northern Europe, it's the city halls and not churches that are the architecturally dominant buildings. It's because the people here are so happy with how their governments run things - is it possible that such a utopia exists? Next thing you know, they'll start saying that there is a land filled with beautiful little brunettes. Wait ... that does it exist - it's called Spain!
I wandered down to the plaza between city hall and the harbour, where it looked like there was a big party or festival yesterday
Down to the harbour - I really should have worn shorts today! With the strong sun reflecting off of the water, it felt VERY hot, despite the temperature probably only being 22 or 23 C. People were suntanning on the grass everywhere I looked.
The fortress was pretty boring - the Resistance Museum inside might have been interesting, but it was just too nice of a day to be cooped up inside so I walked towards the Grunerlokka district, stopping in the very serene Var Frelser cemetery. I couldn't find Munch's plot, however.
The nearby River Gorge park was gorgeous - lots of shade, with a couple of waterfalls. A perfect place for a nap, picnic, walk, or all of the above. Beautiful! I finally arrived in Grunerlokka - a hopping part of town, it's where most of the yuppies hang out. Tons of cafes and restaurants, it's another great place in Oslo to pass the time
I actually ran into Solange on my way back to the hostel - this was good, because it was a long, tiring day. I suggested meeting a bit later at 19:00 so that we could rest beforehand. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to nap because of the chatty Aussies in the room. They finally left and I tried to nap for about 20 minutes.
We met up and Solange's mom was too tired, so we went off walking. Johan Gate, the harbour ... Bogstadveien is supposed to be a nice, lively shopping area but was dead since it was Sunday. We walked for a few hours then decided to grab a drink. We had an awesome chat - love, life, and everything else. We'd totally be friends if we lived in the same city. I'm definitely rooting for her and this Swedish guy to work out. Chase this light, right? Well, I hope she finds it!
It's funny because I found out tonight that she's actually a little bit older than me - I never would have guessed this but should have known. How can an Asian not know that Asians are always younger than you think? Especially the female ones!
I walked her back to her hostel - it's a bit of a sketchy neighbourhood at night, and what would her mom think if I didn't deliver her home safe and sound? On the way to my hostel I helped some lost girl from Maine find her way. Grabbed a burger from a place called "Smak" - it was like a kebab, but with a hamburger patty instead of lamb. Not that I'm complaining!
Tonight was the final of the Euro cup - Spain won!!! Imagine the party in Spain? I wish I could have been there for it - the women are probably groping and kissing random Canadian guys ... sigh ... I wish ...