norway post #13

good morning. i’m writing from the lovely seaside/fjordside town of molde, where we delivered a joint concert last night. i just got back from a run and realized that i didn’t record the day’s events or any of my thoughts last night, so i’m going to do that now before getting in the shower.

yesterday, we woke up bright and early at the ungodly hour of 6:30, had a little breakfast, got back on the buses, left loen at 7:00, and fell right back asleep. well, most everyone slept. i nodded off a little bit, but i’ve never really been able to sleep on buses or planes for some reason. anyway, we enjoyed a nice, peaceful bus ride with scenery very similar to what we’ve been encountering for the first 3 hours of our ride.

once we got up into the mountains, however, the landscape changed a little bit. the deciduous trees started going away, and the snow started to be more prevalent. eventually, we were driving right through the snow, and although the roads were clear the snow was 8 to 10 feet thick in places. when we stopped for lunch at a little tourist-trap at the top of the mountain, i had my picture taken both next to and on top of 6-feet of snow that is about 15 feet thick.

after lunch, we did a little… adventuresome driving. there is a road on the route that we took that goes down the mountain in the only way one can go down this mountain: very steeply, with about 8 hairpin turns. i have video on my camera of a couple of these turns, and our bus driver working them marvelously. we sang the bus driver song at the bottom, because we were all happy to be alive and because ola deserved it.

we eventually got to molde, checked into the hotel, and rehearsed a little bit. after rehearsal, we had about an hour and a half of free time before the concert, so a few people decided to wander around and see what there was to see. i went to the grocery store, bought some resupply items for my little portable pantry, and came back to the hotel to watch some tv and relax a little bit before dinner.

the concert went well last night, and the church was absolutely positively packed to the rafters. after the concert, all 265 of us went on a ferry ride that showed us some absolutely beautiful country. when we returned, i fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.

now, on to some observations (seeing as i haven’t recorded any of these in a while) these might be a little random, so just bear with me.

norwegians are an incredibly generous people. our ferry ride last night was on the largest passenger ferry i have seen yet, and they had more free food and drinks than i have ever seen anywhere at one time. the cool thing was that all of this was sponsored by the lutheran bishopric of molde and the municipal government. not bad for 45 minutes worth of work. now, the thing about norwegian generosity is that they will give you everything of what they have, but if they can’t afford it or don’t have it, they won’t kill themselves trying to give it to you. for example, because wine here costs in the neighborhood of $50 a bottle, most families don’t really buy it unless there is some sort of special occasion. therefore, for the average homestay, you won’t get offered wine. however, if the family can afford it, they might buy a bottle or two just to add to the atmosphere.

paprika-flavored potato chips have got to be the best damn things since sliced bread. honestly. they have just the right amount of spice and sweetness and they’re not dipped in some artificial flavoring agent. they rock my fuckin’ socks off.

norwegian/european soda is so much better than american soda. first off all, they use real sugar, which is less harsh than that high-fructose corn syrup shit the americans use. second, they don’t add 3 pounds of sweetener per bottle. third, there are a lot more mom and pop regional bottlers, which means that you have the chance of encountering a type of soda in one town or region that you might not see anywhere else in the world. if i can, i am going to bring back several bottles of it so that y’all can see what i mean.

anyway, i should get in the shower and pack my suitcase sometime before we have to load the bus for kristiansund. peace, and behave.

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