This time I was prepared. I didn’t hand over any more than 88 NOK for a beer. (Still €10.57!!!) It was a “large” beer though it was gone in a couple of gulps. I tried to make it last but to no avail. Admittedly it was delicious but I didn’t get another. I went back to the hotel. Sleep is free in Oslo.
There was free champagne at the “Strawberry Party” I had to go to at Oslo City Hall. That was good. There was free grub too. I stuffed as much of it into me as I could. Typical journalist. But it was good shit! These hobnobs know how to treat themselves. I had to desist from the champagne until I was finished work and by then the novelty had worn off. I had a glass and left. I reckon the only way survival is possible in Oslo is by getting invited to parties or events where drink and food are provided. Otherwise you need to lick the pavements for sustenance.
I hired a bike and cycled around as much as I could. Tove, a native, very kindly gave me loads of tips and brought me to the cemetery to meet all the interesting locals. The most interesting people in any city are invariably dead, occupying graveyards. They’re interesting for the stuff they did before they died of course. Now they just rest on their laurels.
And in this way I met Henrik Ibsen, Johan Sverdrup, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Henrik Wergeland, Christian Krohg and of course Edvard Munch, among many others…
They weren’t very chatty but Tove told me their stories and why their deeds warranted their honor of burial among the rest of Norway’s finest.
I worked the rest of the time, looking at fit people trying to run faster, jump higher, leap further, and fling a spear longer for a greater distance than anyone else ever before. These athletes are mad. They could be sitting in a pub. There was food at the athletics meet so I can’t complain. It kept me alive a little longer.
Oslo would be quite a cool little city if its prices weren’t exorbitant and despite its lack of abandoned or derelict buildings. It’s got plenty of candlelit and cozy little café bars – like Berlin only ten times the price. I don’t know how any of them had any customers. I gazed in at them in wonder with my face pressed against the glass. Then I left. Sleep is free in Oslo.