Well, strike one for Norway. I mean, seriously. We got on the train this morning and were chugging along across some truly stunning scenery - I don't think we went more than 5 minutes without passing some lovely body of water, and the rest was verdant and green. But then about 90 minutes from Oslo, we stopped to do some hooking or unhooking of cars (Alix is doing her best to learn Norweigan, but is still on page 13 of "Teach yourself Norweigan," so we can only understand so much from the announcements). Anyway, the 5 minute wait stretched out, and then stretched out, and then it turned out that there was some problem with the track that they had to fix, and more waiting, and then we all got off the train to be taken to Oslo by bus, and then waited, and then got BACK on the train because the track was fixed, and then had to switch trains for the last 5 minutes of the journey. It was hilarous, but alsto unnerving - things like that happen in Norway? I mean, it's not very efficient. It was as devastating as finding out that glass does break in Sweden. Not very ideal, if you ask me.
But then Oslo is lovely. Itæs super tiny, in both population and size, but it seems more populated because it is denser than Stockholm. It also has such a young population, and feels very edgy, that Alix and I are loving it. We wandered basically the whole city and found wonderful Indian for dinner, and then proceeded to give up on finding affordable - today I spent 7US on a Sprite and 10US on a bottle of cider, among other things. We just gave up and had fun with it.
But then in the cheapest bar in town (8US for a pint! Practically free!) we happened to sit next to two typically fantastically nice Norweigans, and got offers of jobs and housing for Alix, an offer of a place to stay if we needed it, a hook up for a spin class tomorrow (really not kidding) and some interesting discussions on American soldiers in Kosovo and the economic basis for the Euro. Norweigans are amazing.
So despite the disillusionment of a train being LATE, Oslo rocks hard core. If I could afford it, I almost wish I were here longer. I'd only have to sell my kidney on the black market. Do they have a black market in Oslo?