norway post #4

i’m sitting here on a rollaway bed in a hotel room in larvik, missing my girlfriend terribly, and half-watching “conspiracy theory” with norwegian subtitles in some dialect i’ve never seen before. there’s pretty much nothing to do unless you make something to do, and i’m in no mood to make my own fun, so here i am. no wonder f. melius christiansen left here to go to the united states.

now, some of you (including me) may be thinking “hotel? the choir was supposed to do homestays for the next couple of days!” well, you’re partially correct. we were, but something got screwed up with the housing. therefore, about a third of the choir is in host homes, another third is in a hotel/the hotel in larvik, and the rest are in a youth hostel just outside of town. i was in the third that got put up in the hotel, so now cole blume, george bagan, john grau and i are staying in what seems to be the bridal suite or some large, important room in the quality hotel grand farris in larvik, norway. fun.

aside from lots of really pretty scenery, the bus ride really wasn’t that interesting. i read a book, looked out the window, and listened to some choice tunes on my iPod, and everybody else on our bus either did something very similar or fell asleep. the scenery did give me a much greater appreciation as to why the norwegian immigrants to america were so reluctant to leave their homeland, however: it is absolutely beautiful here. there are trees everywhere, and the hillsides are just gorgeous. the only thing i’ve ever seen that even comes close is quite close to home, actually: if one goes to seven mile hill on the way to iola/scandinavia back home, one gets a view very similar to the norwegian hillsides. no wonder they called it little scandinavia.

i figured that seeing as i’m no longer in oslo, i should talk about something other than my experiences there. therefore, we shall now talk about something that is near and dear to grant’s heart: food.

my experiences with norwegian food have been ruled largely by frugality; the cheaper i can keep my meals, the better. for example, a group of 4-5 bandies (including lauren! yay!) and i went to a grocery store and split about 45 kroner worth of food. all in all, i paid about 10 kroner for dinner yesterday night. now, seeing as vegetarianism isn’t as rampant here as it is in america, finding things that i (and other vegetarians) can eat has been a bit difficult. my diet has consisted largely of dairy products – yogurt, cheese, and the like – fruit juice, fruit (when i feel like springing for it), and bread. tonight, we were treated to a meal of really good pizza (and they even made vegetarian pizza for us!), which was a nice change for those of us for whom $200-300 has to go a really long way. between food and museum admissions, i think i spent about $80 in oslo. anyway, between the requisite walking, the frugal gourmet, the pure, clean tap water, and the running i’ve done almost every morning, i think i’m starting to lose weight again. my love handles are shrinking, anyway, and this makes me happy. now if only nicole was here to appreciate it…

and on that happy note, it’s time to go to bed. peace, and behave.

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