Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All the way to Oslo - 2010

[Memories of 2010]

After a series of bureaucratic transits and endless waltzing across the allies of airports we safely landed in Oslo. Oslo, being built upon the roof top of the world map, makes you take an essential hassle and tussle to reach. Yet the last descend justified it all. The tiny tube of E190 “ails-only” toy aero plane dropped over a fine mix of water and land, by means of islands, thin strips of peninsulas and fjords. It was like a childhood dream to float over them, looking down over the window in clear daylight.

Daylight is almost impossible to be missed out during summer in Oslo. When we landed it was bracing for yet another summer with 20+hours of daytime. Hence the mercury did not batter us deep. Yet the breeze flowing over those yet unknown mountains did so occasionally, whenever we dared to walk into the shade. Oslo has a pretty bad shade-to-sun temperature difference which makes you hate the chill on the dark side of your own shadow. However it was the best time to face the worst climate for the tropical species.

After leaving airport we carried on to the city, passing numerous farmlands with little houses in those prairies. Their big storage like buildings next to residencies housed the big machinery. Acres of different crops, laid on bouncy hills up to the horizon, separated the neighbours of the seemingly tranquil community.

Tranquillity was abundant in the City too. Yet Oslo looked lively and kicking. In contrast to our preparation to face the Northern chill, people were getting ready to face the upcoming sunny days. So was the city. Trees looked greener and getting ready for flowers. Sunshine was all over.

Roads bent over the sharp edges of city harbour. Tramps spoiled the smoothness of the Town. Sea water filled a series of inland canal-like formations [or Fjords] without breaking into big sea waves. It was calm, enigmatic, and as green as the deep sea should be. From the distance rose the yet unknown hillside. On the other side of the zigzag of fjord tips, slept the great blue ocean [which is yet again a fjord, for the record]. Some small islands added colour to the busy harbour with its flotilla of cargo ships, cruise liners and small boats of you don’t know what.

City’s architecture was a mix of times. Modern skyscrapers rose over the gloom of medieval looking gothic stone dungeons. Most roofs looked very much Nordic, with symbols, shapes and sharp inclines to which ordinary roof tiles may not be able to cling onto. The odd incline maybe essential to shake off the winter’s pileup, I theorized.

People pushed and puffed everywhere. Oslo life looked very much centred upon its Sentralstasjon, or the Central Railway Station. In every ally of any road in the busy surrounding, there was an entrance to the mammoth plaza on top of the railway platforms and ticket counters. Almost all the Oslo dwellers seem to set foot on the premises at least once every day. It was the grand centre of almost everything. A place of happening. A place of gathering.

One fact notable about the happening and gathering was that Nordic lifestyle has a big place for family. In contrast to mad bull liberalism, funk and the spike of the western world, I was embraced with a silent culture which the Norsemen [and their women] built over the centuries. It is undeniable and hardly unnoticeable from every passing group. I have landed in a deeply bound place which was knotted in the same fundamentals of humanity which I was so accustomed to. It was a great homely feeling.

I found myself home in Oslo.

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