Newcastle: Making the jump
4th of January and no mention of valentine’s whatsoever yet. Wikkid. I’m afraid that’s going to change once I get to the mainland, though.
That’s right, boys and girls, Norway is our next stop. If you check the map you will notice that it has been my rough destination for quite a while, and nothing better has presented itself (would have been a difficult thing though) so soon enough I’ll be flying over and most likely staying there for a little while to catch a break with a familiar and fond face. How long will be left to circumstances and impulse, but who knows someone will wander along by that point who has a clean pair of shorts and no companion to fill them. If your life was as random as mine the last few weeks, that will make sense.
By plane, indeed. I pulled every string, tried every political tie, tried every trick in the book, exhausted all my resources. The only option I have is to grab a plane and fly over. How unprofessional. My host helped me book but my luggage (more on that later) appeared too heavy, so they (SAS airlines) decided to assist me and lighten my load 185 pounds.
Fucking ripoffs. It was just 150 the day before, I don’t even want to look how much they’ve gone up now. And the bitch is, I have no choice. I don’t have any alternatives.
I’ve been to Norway a few times before and I’m afraid to say I’ve pretty much fallen in love with it. There’s a sincerity to its people and a beauty to its geography that managed to captivate me. The downside is that it’s so damn cold. I tend to pick the most lousy times to go wandering in the coldest countries of Europe, all in spite my love for the sun.
This little bit is also a big mental step because from now on, I have a land connection to home. Doesn’t make a lick of difference when I’m staying somewhere, but from now on I’ll be able to get home, no matter what happens. I can literally lose everything and still make it, after all it’s only a 24 hour drive.
All in all, I’m a tad disappointed that no drastic event managed to change my plans. It’s become such a regular thing, I’ve cone to expect some thing or other going wrong which undoes most of your planning and forces you to start from scratch. And now, when I am ready to accept change with open arms… It’s tumbleweed quiet. Everything just kind of… happens the way I vaguely thought it might. How… common.
His local friend aside, my host has been almost unsettlingly nice to me. On one hand, you have the kind of people that kind of leave you to your own business and don’t seem very excited about you being there, while on the other you have those folks who want to be so friendly that it’s outright annoying and you want to tell them to get a grip. This guy… fits smack in the middle. He asks you if you need anything, when you need it. From food to the use of his bicycle or a ride to the airport. Just as I got to think "Hm it would be handy if I had a key so I" -"How about I give you my key so you can go in and out as you please?"
And this goes spookily far. This man shows a spontaneous care for me that I haven’t seen in a very long time. It makes me wary while at the same time kind of shyly accepting his offers. The food he makes is better than anything I have ever paid for, which is exactly what I told him. There’s just no end to it- Worried that the ticket price might make it difficult for me to make it home, he actually offered to lend me the money until I got back to Belgium. Do note, this is a stranger I had met 3 days earlier. I just kind of sat there… gobsmacked. The keyring he gave me? Has his carkeys on there. I’d declare him mad if he wasn’t the prime example to be followed if this world is supposed to be getting any better anytime soon. I’m going to have it really difficult leaving here.
I went and met up with a local I’ve known for 6 months (to the day, it appears) over the internet. A rather nice fellow who turned out to live right on my path, much to my delight. We met up at a town near the beach and did little else than talking. And let me tell you, it was a weight off my back. Even just being able to mention that there’s a sunset that looks quite nice (understatement often makes a good point) was a great relief, as previously there was little else for me to do than just look at it. We just picked a direction and began walking, yakking about everything but only a few things in particular. Sharing thoughts.
Which reminds me, apart from a phonecall or two I haven’t spoken a single word in dutch for a month now. I noticed I’m actually starting to think and dream in english, simply filling in the words I can’t think of instantly with the concept of it. Ironically, this is causing me problems to express myself, since I’m always miscalculating my active vocabulary. There are times when I can easily match mose Brits in fluidity and sentence structure, but every so often I keep tripping over my words and end up stammering like Porky Pig. It’s frustrating and embarassing, especially when you’re talking to an impatient bus driver with a queue behind you. Of female students, what else.
Close by to where I’m staying, they built a majestic and -in my opinion- rather nice monument.
Oh look it worked.
Originals are here.