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Norway, Morning

Unerring Pub Sense brings me to the platz at the top end of Karl Johans Gate, where I now have an outside table, cigarettes, and a glass of the local energy muck, Batteri. Cloudy and cool — a lot of people acting like it’s early summer. Folkie-hipster dude in an unfortunate hat is trying to sell a plastic-wrapped magazine to passersby. Quite a few tourists: Germans with insane moustaches, Danes in waterproofs, a shivering Japanese couple, an enormous black man in pink shirt and powder-blue tanktop photographing everything in the square. A plalanx of six women working the square with flowers, crooning ”Romani. Please give. Romani.” They have hard eyes, years past the point where you just resent people for having coins in their pocket. A lone military officer strides past, wearing one of those peculiar caps with the tassel hanging in front. The back of his shaven head prickles with the chill wind now driving into the square.

Published in mobilesignals


  1. no, correction. this is the best post of the week.

  2. I’m betting the magazine is the Norwegian version of The Big Issue, called =Oslo.

  3. Mopper Mopper

    Aaaarggh, that’s not the pub called “The Scotsman”, is it, Warren? If so, GET AWAY, FAST! I really mean that! (I hate that place, but I guess it’s OK in daylight.) Good luck with this weekend’s stuff.

  4. Gaute Gaute

    Yup. Probably =Oslo, and that would make the Folkie-Hipster dude a homeless guy or a drug addict or something like that. Unfortunate guy in unfortunate hat then.

  5. maingauche maingauche

    trenchant. brilliant. who needs a camera with words such as these? write and publish a travelogue, warren. maybe pair up with anthony bourdain someday and tear across shanghai or prague or foz de iguacou together – no cameras, just words.

  6. love the words and love people watching. When you’ve got the ability to jot it down like this it makes it all the more worth while.

  7. moty moty

    the photos…where are the photos?

  8. MrP MrP

    TOLD you there’d be beggars! And yeah, seconded (or thirded or whatever) on the unfortunate-hatted guy being a homeless guy/drug addict… But at least they’re doing something productive by selling said magazine!

    If you haven’t been there yet, and want to get another piece of Oslo before you leave, it’s worth taking the walk down to Oslo S, the railway/bus station/shopping mall. It’s an ugly place. Also, the docks. Now that it’s spring, there’s bound to be an opportunity for overpriced beer on a boat.

    Yes, I actually like Oslo, when I’m there. Closest thing you get to an actual city in Norway. Trondheim’s nicer, though.

  9. wichenroder wichenroder

    Make sure you appreciate the weather, it’s good right now.. and err.. head to grunerløkka or something.. or.. post where you are tonite and we’ll send down some heavies.

  10. lars lars

    Welcome to Oslo! When are you leaving? I’d love to buy you a beer.

  11. Gaute Gaute

    If you want to see the attractions head for the Opera building. Oslo’s new landmark and a big piece of Italian marble on the waterfront. You’ll get high culture and the waterfront in one go. Or head up to Grünerløkka and see the ex-Somali child soldier selling drugs along the river.

  12. Whether it’s the Scotsman or any other pub on Karl Johan, it’s going to be a horribly overpriced tourist dive. Don’t do it, Warren! Even the pubs in the side streets off Karl Johan are heaps better.

    But we’ll see you at the Comics Expo party tonight, yes? :)

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