I should have written this before. I actually wanted to write about “Joys of Being Back” in my first weeks in Oslo. But love is felt at its most when it’s time to say good-bye, ironically – and as I sit on my return ticket I feel more for expressing it now :)) Plus there is such a lovely sunny day in Oslo. Plus I had such an amazing night yesterday, meeting one of my best friends for dinner and going out to dance salsa later.
Before it is too late – I want to share my reasons to love Oslo. Now or never :))
A little post of love for Oslo, or as they do it on Instagram – hashtag oslove 🙂 On a sunny day which luckily falls on Sunday there are so many reasons to love Oslo. For example:
you get to see happy faces everywhere
people enjoying the last coffee or beer on the cafe terraces
lively atmosphere in the park Birkelunden with the flea market, and all around the streets of my hipster neighborhood
the wonderful light and shadows’ game on the facades and in the windows
guys playing basketball on the open field, with the Oslo skyline in the distance
hands holding take away coffee cups
every hipster taking their camera out for a walk
And I took mine and went on a short photo walk, high not on alcohol or caffeine – but on this pure joy of luckily catching sun on a careless Sunday afternoon. I did not intend to, but this time I collected reflections. They were just everywhere, popping up in the generous autumn sunshine. Come along with me!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in the end my summer will be Scandinavian. After much back and forth, it looks that I will still join my husband who is working in Oslo this summer (first, the idea was that I go with him, next, that I stay in Barcelona, and in the end he got a bit emotional because two months apart is too long. Just to give a little idea of how our family works 😆).
I didn’t know what to feel. Happy to escape from the heat and noise of Bcn (and to hug my Oslo friends) or sad to leave the summer for the Norwegian weather unpredictability? But then I decided to look at the brighter side of things – took my journal and jotted down all the things I am looking forward to do in Oslo.
This is one very natural question I get from my friends. I would ask it too. “Do you miss Oslo?” And it would be more polite to answer that yes, of course, I miss some parts, but how can be I honest then? If my sincere reaction is: “Miss what? Snow, icy sidewalks, that long dark period of year called winter? Empty streets, lonely evenings, gray skies and gray faces?” Well, it is different for everyone, but this is the first thought that comes to MY mind. So nope, I don’t miss it, I just can’t :))
In the end, it is all not about finding the perfect place – since it doesn’t exist. But to find the place that is right for you. Your place under the sun. There are people who would love the introverted culture of Norway, who miss this chance to spend long days and weeks alone, without anyone asking them a question. I just don’t happen to be that person. So I am not able to appreciate it either. I am more of the Southern soul, who loves a spontaneous dinner date, a chat with the the neighbor and the cashier man in supermarket. So I found my right place. Even after some weeks here I felt more at home than after years in Norway. There is nothing right or wrong with any of these places. It is just that some are more like you, and some are less.
Even though I am a color lover and always prefer to search for color, there was a day when I got attracted to all black-and-white and couldn’t stop finding it everywhere. You know this thing, when you turn your attention to something particular – and then you keep on seeing it everywhere, don’t you?
So I decided that since there was so much black-and-white in my view, then that will it be. Here is what I found on that particular day. It was in October, so yes, it is totally non-representative of how Oslo is right now in terms of light (though there is even more black and white in it now :))
I may not be the first person who came up with this title. But I haven’t seen it before – so I use it 🙂 Devoting this post to my favorite neighborhood in the whole Oslo (and, let’s be honest, in the whole of Norway). Grunerløkka which we locals call shortly and affectionately “Løkka”.
It is interesting, how we talk about a thing, using the same word – but we have different meanings behind it. And still we think that we are talking about one and the same thing! Take October, for example.
I say October and we think about different things, maybe. Some say, pumpkins and Halloween, some say, rains and hygge. Somewhere in the Mediterranean they still go to the beach in October. While here, in Norway, it feels like a Barcelonian winter: chilly and wet.
October has arrived and I definitely feel it. There is no slight glide like between August and September. When it is still all late summer/early autumn, with blurry borders like the tree shadows in the morning light. October is more distinct. It is getting dark around 8pm and we all know for sure: winter is coming, and darkness is coming. It is getting cold, and we pull out our warm jackets and solid scarfs. There is no more wardrobe flirting that September does: one day – light leather jacket, another – no jacket at all. October doesn’t fool around. Jackets and coats, please.
Good news for collectors who want to lead a more minimalistic lifestyle. I am that one. I love collecting things but the life lately is giving me lessons of minimalism. Yesterday I discovered this: going on a photo hunt and finding items that match my search theme can give the same good feeling as when I do lucky shopping. It is not always about things, but about that happy hormone shooting through my brain. Maybe, it is the same mechanism – the joy of the collector’s reward :))
Yesterday I was on the color hunt and I hope to share my findings here soon. Today I want to share my collection of numbers gathered around Oslo. This is a feature of such collections – I want to display them. Luckily, the blog can be that spot. So, no more words – just numbers!
It takes only three days to be away – that I come back as a total Oslo patriot. I suddenly discover this: I love this city. I am even surprised. With all the sadness and hardships I had to experience here, with all my negative reports about Oslo – here I am, calling it one of my favorite cities. Well, hello!
Last weekend saw us driving to Bergen. 500 km over the mountain, as they say it here. In any other country 500 km is a fast, boring and anonymous ride on the motorway. Not in Norway. No way in Norway. Here it takes 8 hours. Yes, 8 hours of roads through villages with funny names (and speed limit of 40 km/h). Up on the mountain plateau, Hardangervidda, which is also a national park. Beaten by the rains, down through many tunnels, along the fjords, next to waterfalls, sharp rocks and rocky rivers. Mysterious and breathtaking landscapes.
Here I understand why the notion of humble (ydmyk) is so popular in this culture. Living between these high mountains, dangerous rocks, deep waters and dark rains – how does it feel to be a human? Well, humble. Where would the arrogance come from when you are reminded every day about how tiny you are. This is the Norwegian nature at its best. It is not about bunnies and flowers here. At times it can even feel overwhelming.