• Judson Blane

A Pedacito Of Oslo, Norway

Updated: Jun 19

My choice to fly direct from Los Angeles to Oslo was solely based on price and practicality. I was ultimately spending 5 days on the island of Mykonos in Greece as I had been convinced that this was the last chance I‘d have for my Greek childhood friend to show me Mykonos before he moved back to the US.

Whenever I am traveling somewhere to meet someone, I usually get myself to another country or area nearby a few days earlier. I don‘t like to waste the massive time change for just a few days. So I got a crazy cheap flight to Oslo and it just made sense.


I want to stress that my choice had nothing to do with a girl I had dated who grew up in Oslo. Absolutely nothing.


A girl whom I did, however, run into a few days before my trip. Let‘s call her K.

We sat down to coffee and caught up a little and she concluded with "Yeah, let‘s be friends, it would be great to be friends with you“. I agreed.


We walked to our cars, hugged, and just as we were parting ways, it hit me. Maybe she‘d have some tips for me. "Oh hey, I‘m headed to Oslo in a few days, by the way."

Kapow. Graffiti in Oslo
Kapow. Graffiti in Oslo

She was a little shocked but was headed there in a few days herself. I had forgotten she worked summers back in Oslo and a colleague had loaned her their apartment. She mentioned that it was a two-bedroom and that I was welcome to stay with her.


Stepping into LAX international terminal, I had intended to carry my bags on, but glancing at the surly security line and realizing I intended to sleep every second of the flight, I said "Screw it, It‘s free, I'll check both bags and unburden myself completely." And thus sealed my fate.

At the baggage carousel, I waited and waited and once I was sure the absolute last person on my flight had picked a bag off the now empty belt, I moped into the office and filed a claim.


They had no idea how long it would be if they EVER found my bags. I had to give them an address where I‘d be staying ( which meant I‘d have to stay in one place) so I gave them the only one I had. K‘s place.

Oslo train system
Oslo train system

I found the train and headed to meet K. She was waiting for me at the terminal, we hugged hello and walked around the area a little bit before heading back to the apartment.

After all the delays and issues, it had gotten quite late, and not having slept I was exhausted, so I excused myself to the bedroom and tried to sleep. There was a problem though, it was still broad freaking daylight. At 11:00 at night!

I discovered that in this part of the world, at this time of year, the sun goes down for something like 2 hours. From 2 am to 4 am is the only time it feels like nighttime. That‘s it.


The next morning I woke up as K was about to leave for work. We planned to meet when she was done and have some drinks with her friends. At least I‘d have time to wash my one set of clothes in the sink.

Fortunately for me, this apartment had a great outdoor patio with a great view. I spent most of my first day there reading, chatting endlessly with the airline, and just checking out the view. By the end of the day, my luggage had yet to even be located.


I went out to meet K in the evening and we stopped by an H and M. I got a few pieces of clothing and wore a new shirt right out of the door.

We met a large group of people and I tried to keep a low profile as I tend to get embarrassed when an entire group of people has to change languages to speak around me.


At one point though, one of the guys heard me speak. "Do I hear that you‘re American" He was excited to practice English and a few others joined in. It was a really nice night.


The next morning the airline informed me they had located my bags. They were still in LA. They had never left the airport. The bags would be on the next flight the NEXT day overnight. I headed back to H and M.


At this point, I would undoubtedly not make it to see a single Fjord. I was just hoping to make it to Gothenburg, Sweden with enough time to do something other than going straight to the airport and board my flight.

What followed was a series of awkward days for me. I couldn‘t leave but I felt uncomfortable staying with K for too long. I needed my bags!


Things were mostly pleasant, though, and It was still good to have a tour guide. We rode bikes around the city and had a late-night broad-daylight sushi dinner on the city piers as people swam in the sea.

The next night K had a friend in town for the night and asked if it was ok if I did my own thing while they did theirs. Of course. I had my own night out on the town. The drinking culture in Oslo is truly something to behold.

As it happened I ran into someone else I knew. A Norwegian flight attendant I had randomly met at a concert in LA. Both baffled by the coincidence, We had a few drinks, caught up and I saw a very different side of Oslo. Because of the time of the morning, and public transit not running, I had to walk back, almost an hour in broad daylight.

I made it back to bed and slept a few hours before FINALLY receiving my bags. Later we headed to a friend of K‘s birthday party in a very posh area by the sea. We drank wine and went for a swim.

That night I told her I had a lovely time but I was off in the morning. Morning came, She told me goodbye and I headed to the bus station and was off. I have seen K once since then.

 

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