My bus arrived in Oslo at 830, but, it might as well have been any other time of day. At this time of year, the Norwegian sky never rises beyond a dull gleam. I managed the transition correctly this time, and boarded a city-bus, bound for a stop in an obscure suburb where my host had arranged to meet me. The ride lasted half an hour, ample time for me to ruminate on the wisdom of electing to book a room with a total stranger. The bus’ route alternated sharp left with sharp right turns, all the while going up a steep hill. As it did, I delved ever farther into the Norwegian countryside.
Or really the suburbs, but European suburbs are not a proper Suburbia. Sidewalks are rare, and they are never cream-colored concrete, but asphalt or gravel. They are also messier. Despite the Nords’ well deserved reputation for cleanliness and order, certain aspects of the American Dream elude them. The areas between the road and a property’s fence is often unkempt. The houses, while often alive with gay colors, seem discordant with the grey roads, grey sidewalks, and the ever grayer sky.
I found myself in this dim world, well past 9, on a Thursday night. Alone. Despite what I thought had been the plan, my host had left me to my fate. Of course my cell plan only worked in Sweden. And obviously I hadn’t bothered to draw a map from the bus-stop to her house beforehand, when I had had access to the glorious Google. Not that any of this was all that big of a deal. It was cool, but not cold, and I have certainly slept outside before. Although usually not while sober. Or I could not be a lazy, stingy fucker, gather up my shekels, and ride back into town to find a hostel. But honestly I felt safer roughing it in the ‘burbs. It’s Norway for godsake.
Right! Norway! I can trust pretty much anyone, and they’re guaranteed to trust me. After all, this is Europe’s Minnesota. So, for the first time in my life, I stuck a thumb out at a passing car. It stopped. I asked the driver–a grey-bestubbled man of about 40 years–if he would be so kind as to help me unfuck myself. He responded in crisp English, deducing where I was supposed to go from my meager clues. Armed with an address and idiot-proof directions, I cast aside my roughing-it fantasy and set out for the last leg of my journey.
Onnolee is a total SWPL. Just like my mother. Here I was, 5000 miles from America, and I met another middle-aged, middle-class woman who drinks wine, abhors violence, wants to protect the environment and is terrified of Donald Trump. Even her house looked like my mother’s. Naturally I was quite relieved. This meant three nights of not having to sleep spooning my backpack and its precious contents. But her SWPLdom has made for some funny moments. One morning, I noticed on the kitchen billboard a remarkably detailed hand-drawing of three WWII-era weapons: the MP-40, MG-42, and PPSH. I was impressed, and complimented the drawings’ accuracy. She apologized, and said it was her six-year-old son’s. “I hope it’s just a phase.”
Norway is more based than far-gone Sweden. The government is far stingier with healthcare, and less friendly to the Hadji hordes. The country looks like the America of my childhood–all white, except the inner city and certain unfortunate settlement zones. Like any white person, it has been my habit to avoid such areas.
So, a slave to habit, I spent my first two days in Oslo doing white things. Friday I walked around town for several hours and went to the Armed Forces Museum. Military history museums are great because 1) weapons 2) no faggots allowed. I was hoping for a full-wing exhibit on the SS divisions “Der Wiking” and “Nordland,” complete with a memorial to the fallen, a special exhibit on Operation Frühlingserwachen, maybe even a veteran meet-and-greet. Sadly that didn’t pan out. But I was not too disappointed. They had some pretty grisly-looking artifacts of Norwegian life in the bad-old-days.
And apparently Norway has had an on-going thing with Sweden. Who knew?
Oslo’s city center is like anywhere else in Europe. After a while you get bored of the trafficless thoroughfares lined with French boutiques, hemmed-in by street artists and flooded with Arabs. And I don’t mean the cosmopolitan, ancient-heritage Iraqi/Gypo kind. I mean the burqa’ed, make-up becaked Camel-trash that has enough petro-dollars to shop in to European cities that aren’t Paris. God they’re nauseating. But I don’t want to get sidetracked. The Oslo Muzzies will get an article of their own. So, having drunk my fill of the same-old-same-old, I resolved to find some food.
“Reindeer Meat and Whale Stakes” the sign said. In English though, so obviously for tourists. I was not expecting the authentic Norwegian peasant experience, this being 21st century Oslo–POZlo. I’ll take reindeer meat no matter the presentation. But as I perused the outrageously overpriced menu, I detected something remiss. The decor was somehow off. Each table had a rose–a fake rose. A lot of stuff was brown. The curtains were overdone. RUSSIANS! Sure enough, the hostess and the other girl were speaking Muscovite. I got up, put my menu back in the pile, and said “dorogoi”–“expensive,” making full use of Russian’s economy of words. The girl was lying back in a chair, smiling, nonplussed. I guess she was expecting that.
I walked across town again, finally giving in and paying $11 dollars for a damn beer. Consumer goods in Scandinavia sell for outrageous prices. Must be all the regs. I walked out onto the cobblestone street and took a bench. Oddly I was drinking more to remedy my thirst than my sobriety. As I did, I noted my (mostly) white co-imbibers. Ah, yet another reminder of home–bobos are the same the world over.
Stay tuned the next installment of Race-Tour 2016: “Oslo’s Muslim Ghetto: A Photo Essay.”