Tag Archives: life in Norway

Happy bloody new year

Happy bloody new year. It can only go uphill from here, if this quite unpleasant new year’s eve is anything to go by. This day — and half the week leading up to it — has been marred by people thinking new year’s is a license to be inconsiderate jerks and discard common sense.

Let’s take the whole mess in order.

I’m used to the occasional firework going off in the days leading up to new year’s eve, but this time has been ridiculous. There’s been fireworks going off non-stop from sunset to two or three in the morning for the last three days. I don’t understand why you would want to dilute the special occasion like that, and I really don’t understand why you choose to be so inconsiderate towards neighbours who have pets, small children, or who simply need to get up early and don’t want to be kept up half the night by constant explosions.

Oslo has an official fireworks show off the pier on new year’s eve. While I’ve seen better fireworks elsewhere, it’s the best I’m going to get if I’m home for new year’s, and so I like to head downtown to watch and photograph it. So does the rest of the city, so lots of people in various states of drunkenness on public transport is to be expected. That’s fine. But a dozen people getting on the tube while smoking and continuing to smoke while in transit is not fine.

A young man in a suit didn’t think this kind of behaviour was quite antisocial enough, so he decided to graffiti the tube stop while the crowd was walking past. I’m not ashamed to say I punched him with my tripod as I passed.

There was a higher than usual number of police cars between the tube stop and the pier. Good to see the police keeping a good ratio of officers to assholes on the streets! I heard rumours about them confiscating illegal fireworks, unfortunately I didn’t see this myself.

As usual, people had been shooting up fireworks around the pier for hours before midnight, so the air was filled with smoke, obscuring the official fireworks. I really, really don’t understand why you want to ruin the good stuff with the very much un-spectacular store-bought fireworks.

Those floating fire lanterns are really pretty, but sending them up on the pier when the wind is blowing inland makes me think you are actually braindead. Why are you sending flying fire into downtown Oslo?!

The night bus home is going to be crowded and full of drunk people. Again, this is expected and fine. However, you being drunk and in a party mood simply does not change that the bus doors need a certain space to open and close. Shouting Money talks, muddafocka at the bus driver when he tells you to move out of this space for the third time is not helping anyone. What does that even mean? How does that statement make even a lick of sense in this context?

Ah well. It’s late, I’m grumpy, I probably didn’t get any decent photos (although that is my own fault), but I’m going to not care and go to bed. Tomorrow will definitely be better.

Winter shoes

My feet in the rare pair of well-fitting shoes

There are two parts to my hatred of shoe shopping.

The first is my wonky feet. They’re short and wide, like the rest of me. Shoes tend to be either short or wide — especially women’s shoes, as women are supposed to have dainty little feet.

If I choose shoes to fit the width of my feet, the shoes will slip and move as I walk, leaving me with blisters. As a bonus irritation, my feet will look humongous, and I can do without feeling like a clown.

If I choose shoes to fit the length of my feet, things get even worse. It’s fine for the first hour of walking. Or thirty minutes. Or at least the first fifteen. Then the soles of my feet start hurting. Hurting badly, as if there’s a fire under my feet. Then they start cramping. Then I have to sit down with my shoes off for a couple of hours, which makes this whole walking thing somewhat problematic.

The second part is the selection available to me. The stereotype of the shoe-loving women exists for a reason, and as such there is a silly number of styles to choose from. All I want in a shoe is that it’s comfortable, fits, suited for its season, and discreet. No bold fashion statements for me, please.

If you’ve ever walked through the women’s section in a shoe shop, I’m sure you can see the problem.

Living in Norway only makes it worse. The difference between the seasons is so severe different shoes are required for summer and winter, with most people needing a third pair to wear in between. This means the selection in any given shop is on a near constant rotation. Add that Norway has a small population, a tiny market, and you have high sellers only breezing through shops in three months.

What are the high sellers in women’s shoes? Bold fashion statements for dainty feet.

Before and after Hickies

But winter is coming and my previous pair of winter shoes is at the point of literally dissolving.

I’m getting better at spotting good candidates, and I found myself a new pair after only half a dozen tries. They’re two sizes larger than what I should wear (but only slightly too long), and they cost more than I feel a pair of shoes is worth (but cheap compared to most of the other shoes on the shelf), and the laces started fraying within a week.

My spinning shoes are white and pink, because why would a woman ever wear any other colours

As an experiment to make these shoes more wonky feet-friendly, I’m replacing the laces with Hickies. In blue, because “discreet” does not equal “boring.” Even with Hickies I have to skip the top and bottom pair of eyelets. Ah well, that leaves me with six spares to hickie up my spinning shoes with.

Now I’ll just cross my fingers for a winter of comfy feet.