Even though–or perhaps because–Norway feels closer to Oregon than anywhere I’ve been since New Zealand–it makes me feel uneasy. It’s the first place that feels new in a long time. It’s to walk on the mostly empty sidewalk past occasional people walking their dogs to the giant grocery store, even though it’s much more like walking to shopsmart than, say, crossing the street in Bangkok.
Everything feels different. The air is so clean. I can drink really good water right out of the tap! People are walking dogs, but there are no strays anywhere. Some of the dogs are really big. The streets are clean and only the occasional car goes by. The houses often have grass roofs. Street names aren’t much easier to pronounce than in Thailand or Myanmar. It’s mid-June and it never gets close to dark. I look close enough to Norwegian that people speak to me as though I’m a local–and, jet-lagged as I am, it always takes me a couple of awkward seconds to realize they’re not speaking English.
The grocery store isn’t as expensive as I thought. The prices are about the same as New Zealand prices without the sales. The personalized cokes have great names like Bjorn and Inga. Bread comes unsliced but there is a slicer in every store. Turnips are a popular snack here.
I’m only in the suburb of Drammen for 1 day before we leave for the weekend to visit Trolltunga! But that’s the subject of the next post.