I’m walking uphill, around the corner, Markveien towards Olaf Ryes plass.
It’s not exactly steep, but the direction is out of my immediate neighbourhood. I have been exploring too little too much, just like when you are in Rome for the first time and every little masonry detail looks for you like Michelangelo, until you’ve actually seen something by Michelangelo, and you realize the first things weren’t quite as fantastic. What a shame. Or maybe it was great, only there is so much more to see.
Why go away? Isn’t Oslo good enough? There are a lot of tourists here, expats from different countries even, they must be here for a reason. I’m walking in the rain, and people bow their heads as if they really want to be somewhere else, as if they’re hiding. We complain a lot about the weather, and of course, one reason is the completely concrete way of thinking that many of us have, as opposed to abstract, which means what happens right now goes pretty straight into your mind, and comments feed a lot on what goes on in the immediate surroundings. Nature used to have a strong presence in our minds, we were part of it everywhere, so it felt.
Anyway, the weather in Oslo is normally not that bad. During the summer I can’t think of a better place, it’s nice and warm, I think, fresh, 20-ish is normal, and I usually don’t freeze even during long evenings. White nights, that’s how then Leningrad sold their summer nights long ago when I was there, and it’s on about the same latitude as Oslo. We should steal that one, or invent something similar, because they are nice, especially in May.
An open baker! Cool, I need a bread. Spelt bread today, something dark for breakfast. Dark-ish, then, not like the Danish or German dark bread, but somewhere on a route from there to loff.
An old factory chimney can be seen in the horizon straight up the road, and gives memory of a time past, I was never part of it other than as a visitor from the suburb, drinking the beer that was produced here, also in Grünerløkka. The chimney I saw was not from a brewery, I think, but there used to be one just around the corner, at Schous plass, where today there are flats, the pop museum (the kids had some fun there, «making» a tune in a tiny studio), some sort of school, I think. Offices. Some of the old buildings are still there. Must be strange for the people who worked there.
I can remember the beer, not that special, maybe, but good, absolutely. In the old days, I drank even a lot of the old dark types, bokkøl, bayer. Eksport, or maybe it was export, wasn’t dark, but strong, I think it used to be nick-named «en lys en» – a light one. You got drunk faster, quicker fun, steeper hill.
I walk down Thorvald Meyers gate and pass the park from yesterday, and actually, the showy view is on this side, of course. There are benches and everything is sort of «in order». Still, I liked the other side too.
Yesterday was different, quieter. Today a tram splashed us down, me and an Asian girl passing by. That’s a new one. Honestly, let a tram be a tram, it’s supposed to be a calm thing for modern people, not a bloody speedway gadget. I don’t care if I get to work one minute faster, I bet that’s the margins they try to offer. Thousands of years of toil produces laziness, really, and the attempt to avoid all kinds of work, especially physical work, and I won’t say I’m not part of it. Efficiency, isn’t that all about working less, producing more? But it often comes out as even more work, for those who make even bigger machines that does even more of the work you could sometimes actually do by hand.
Well, efficiency is sometimes good, but not always, and it probably has a limit within all fields. Just like sports nowadays, it must be difficult to produce records these days, the human body is after all only so strong. They have to produce it as shows instead, which is ok with me, if you like it. But technique doesn’t impress me anymore, not in any field, really, I can’t even cope with the news about it, so I turn off as many channels as I dare in order not to become a complete loner, try to take what I need and leave the rest.
I try to live comfortably whatever goes on around me, we all do, but I think it’s right to say something too, when you have opinions, to try to form our environment, not only adjust and conform. The phrase «you can’t do anything with development», du kan ikke gjøre noe med utviklingen, meaning more or less the world, is far too common here. I never liked it, still don’t, it’s something instead of an argument.
The bread in my bag gives an argument for breakfast, though. I buy myself a package of juice at the Afghans’ grocery store on the corner of Leirfallsgata. It’s apple juice made from apples out of South Tirol, which surprisingly has become staple food, in my home, anyway. They didn’t have any at seven eleven nor the other shop nearby.
But the Afghans and I, we are posh, we carry the expensive juice.
Now I’m heading home. It has stopped raining, the sun is even saying, hello, it’s going to be a fine day, you doing something nice today?
And, being as simple-minded as everyone else, my feeling of well-being comes right away, and I say, yeah, why not?
I’ll think of something.