Thursday, June 24, 2010

The actual journey.

I'm at the Oslo airport and within 10 minutes of arriving there I saw more fit people in an airport than I've seen in the past collective 10 years. I'm starving, and all around me people are drinking beer and white wine, artfully dissecting salad with both their knife and fork in that way Scandinavians tend to eat. I'm straight up fingers and forks in the states, even arm and sleeves when lacking a napkin (I did not just admit to that, did I)? I want a snack, and I'm still so proud of my new vegan stint that I can't bring myself to succumb to the delicate Norwegian salmon rolled out before my eyes at every turn. I go to one of those airport convenience shops, the one's with magazines, books, comedically (though unintentionally) horrible greeting cards, and refreshments. Combing through row after row of flavored sparkling water then landing on "Lemongrass," I can't help but notice a shop girl busily stocking children's meals next to me. These "kiddie packs" or "barn bags" if you will (barn means child) have an apple, veggie filled baguette, and even a stuffed animal inside.

I can't believe my eyes. I have come from the land of magical, Disney-princess in a cardboard box that is turning soggy from the grease of fries as a kid's meal! I look for the adult choices, tragically not springing for the 3" tall stuffed cow, and also not wanting to appear strange (not just yet anyhow) I take stock of the other options. I can choose from 2-packs of 3 different kinds of apples, fruit salad, actual salad, candy, or a bag proudly displaying the word “ROTTER!” It’s a bag of carrots, delicate, small, fresh, peeled carrots.

The obesity crisis in my part of the world seems to make a bit more sense given that if stranded back in any of these sorts of airport shops at Austin-Begrstrom or even Newark I’d have been given a wall of king-sized candy, Coke, and Us Weekly. Around me I realize that the answer may not be as clear cut and simple as I had originally thought. Healthy looking people are queuing up at the Pizza Hut kiosk and yes, they’re drinking Coke’s (save for the other half which is the beer-before-noon crowd, and my kind of people). So maybe it’s not that they make such great choices but at least have good choices? Case in point my “vegan” in flight meal from Austin to Newark was a cheeseburger, roll, and potato chips (obviously not vegan as requested and definitely not consumed by me). My actually vegan in-flight meal from Newark to Oslo was much better, but that’s just because they had a 110 calorie vegan cookie and $4 French champagne bottles for sale. In America do we make such bad choices because we are rarely afforded the opportunity to make good ones? All of this Scandi-praise aside, I must confess a few annoyances in my travels thus far. First, the screaming child who kept throwing her stickers at the English businessmen next to me and trying to climb over the seat on top of us (alternated by bouts of crying) did not sleep until the flight was over, then the lay out of the Oslo airport…. Rather, the signs saying “Flight #220 is at Gate: 41” (then 38, then 59, then 21, 56) even changing minutes prior to boarding. Trust me, in writing this, my laptop has been slammed shut and I’ve taken off running more than once after some Norwegian words were quietly muttered on an intercom and I noticed all of my fellow passengers were gone.

In closing? I've finally arrived. Seen a sports bar, a 'Champagne Bar' on the 7th floor of a familiar building, and my favorite Sodermalm fashion spot, "Monki." It's Midsommar in the morning and fresh reviews on this fabulous place:


  1. Love it already! As I knew I would. Can't wait to read the next ::happy butt wiggle::

  2. Wow, some amazing food champagne and sunsets!