sobota, 5 września 2015

8 Reasons why Bergen is #osom

I am heartbroken. Yesterday I got back from Bergen after almost 4 months of one of the best holidays ever, full of swimming in the fiord, climbing the mountains, partying like there is no tomorrow, trying to ignore seagulls' mating habits at 3 am, trying to ignore my flatmate's mating habits every weekend night, just behind our paper-thin walls. I'm trying not to be sad and be awesome instead, frantically packing stuff for Japan, but then I look at the stuffed moose in Norwegian sweater, I got as a goodbye gift from my boss, and I melt. Bergen, it's not you, it's me. We need some time apart, but we'll be back together soon, I promise. Can we still be friends? I think you are #osom, and that's why:

#1. Parades. Parades everywhere.
You see, I have a thing for uniforms and brass bands and parades, so whenever I see a miltary orchestra having a parade, I'm hyperventilating. Bergen happens to have an extraordinary amount of parades, like every sunny day (and sometimes on rainy days as well), there is Sjøforsvarets Musikkorps (Norwegian Royal Navy Music Corps) marching along the Fish Market. Add Buekorps, ancient, paramilitary youth defence organisation, with their drums, and occassionally a whole bunch of other parades and here you go: a Bergen parades' frenzy.

#2. Spoons in yoghurts
I know that it's an all-Norwegian idea, but still, there is a tiny foldable plastic spoon added to every yoghurt. Whoever got this idea, was a genius. In some miserable central European countries you have to carry your spoon with you.

#3. Sea AND mountains
I was able to go for a 6 hrs hike, and if the weather was good enough, I could cool down by jumping into the fiord, from a pier called Balastbryggen. And then try to get out of the water, climbing the ladder covered with small broken seashells. Whoever stepped on Lego doesn't even know half of the pain of stepping on broken seashells.

#4. Foghorns and seagulls
You are woken up by foghorns, you can't sleep because of the aforementioned seagulls. Bergen is all about sea, and for someone born 400 kms away from the seaside, it's magic. It is, and it always was, a window to the big, wide world. There are tall ships with weather beaten seamen, there is Royal Navy, there are traders from faraway countries. You can spend the whole afternoon sitting at the wharf and imagining what it used to be like in the time of Hansa. Probably there were less tourists and more bubonic plague. (At least we know, that Crusaders, who visited the city in 1191, were impressed: Stockfish, also known as dried cod, there is in such large quantities that it cannot be measured or counted. Ships and men come sailing in from all four corners of the earth.)

You may also notice, that someone has casually parked a big ass cruise ship in the end of your street. #justbergenthings

#5. You can get everywhere just walking
Bergen is tiny, especially if you live in Nordnes. It takes 20 minutes to get to Lone's commune in Mohlenpris, and 10 minutes to reach Elena's and Laura's place in Fjellet Nord. Torjus lives 5 minutes from our house in Hennebysmauet. This is the main accelerator for the local social life. It must be the only place, where when you invite people for a party on Facebook, 20 people confirm and 40 people come.

#6. You will never appreciate sun as much as Bergensers do.
With the annual precipation of 2250 mm Bergen beats even London (594 mm). No wonder that every time when the temperature rises above 20°C and there is a slight chance for sunny weather, Bergensers take their engangsgrills and occupy all possible green areas in the city. The whole city changes, people smile for no reason, you may even have a chance for a chat with a stranger, a truly heretic idea under the usual atmospheric conditions.

21,5 degrees! Whoa everybody! Grab your sunscreen!

#7. It doesn't seem to change much
Legendary Hennebysmauet:

Hennebysmauet A.D. 2015...  
...and 1914

#8. It's lovely
Someone took that extra effort to carve the window frame. Someone else takes care of the flowers. your landlord re-paints the house every year, your neighbor's window panes are in a colour corresponding with the house on the opposite side of the street.  It's neat, it's harmonous, it's tidy, it's pretty, it's pure kos.

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