Whenever I come back from a trip, I feel renewed and full of energy, and the daily grind back home doesn’t bother me as much. Everything has a glow to it- the coffee carts, the newsstands, the honking cars. I even smile and say hi to people on the street not expecting one in return. Whenever I return from a trip I come back changed in some way. From Italy, I had a new appreciation of lattes and the Renaissance, from France it was cheese and shoes, from Africa, it was water conservation. These feelings of renewal and rejuvenation usually last up to several weeks, but it’s been six days since I’ve returned from Norway, and I’m still really pissed. I don’t know why- maybe it’s the sudden drop in temperature in this otherwise mild winter, but I really can’t seem to get out of this funk I’m in. I’ve been short and impatient at work, I’ve been shoving fellow commuters aside during rush hour with more fervor than usual. I’m hoping that this grumpy mood of mine will lift soon.
I don’t know how to describe my experience in Norway. The one way you look at it, it was pleasant and people who were supposed to be friendly to tourists were friendly- like the clerks at the visitors’ center and the cashiers at the museums, but there were a couple of surly men that I really don’t care to mention that were just downright awful- I nearly got felt up by one of them on the train ride from Oslo to Bergen. I have lived in New York City for over seventeen years and I have never been felt up. They make the men here look like distinguished gentlemen, but that may just reflect the women here who would NEVER put up with that sort of behavior.
It’s the unevenness of friendliness, that is to say, about Norway which is so different from what I’ve experienced in other countries, like, Austria, where everyone was friendly. Even Copenhagen, if they weren’t friendly to you, they were indifferent, at worst. I only spent an afternoon in Sweden, but they were nice as well. You would expect such a small town like Oslo to be more friendly than it was, that’s all, but I still don’t know why I’m still so pissed. Maybe my expectations were too high, maybe because the food wasn’t very good, and maybe because the best meal I had in all of Norway was my last meal there- it was at the airport, and it was breakfast. It had REAL eggs- not that crappy neon yellow pasty gel from powder they served at the hotel. I could never do a travel blog because, well, have you read any of those things? It’s always so cheery and positive, and it’s always advertising for things you can’t afford, like five-star hotels and jewelry and fur and caviar and crap, and it has all these pictures of the food they ate and the hotel they stayed at and the shopping areas they pretended to shop at.
I’m all about: How well did you treat me?