Last weekend I went with my sisters to Bergen in Norway, a mesmerising city encircled by seven mountains. We went to visit my sister’s boyfriend and his friends, and it was the jolliest, most drunken weekend I’ve had in quite a while.
I was also rather excited to discover that the play I am currently directing, Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, was first performed at Bergen’s Den Nationale Scene theatre in 1885! I managed to scuttle off with one of my sisters and take a photo of this somewhat quirky Ibsen statue outside the theatre…
Aside from that one cultural excursion, we actually spent most of our time hanging out with real Norwegians rather than being tourists. Due to the inevitably chilly weather, frisky wind and snow, I chose to walk around Bergen in a huge sheepskin jacket which certainly kept me toasty. According to my sister it also made me look like a Russian dictator, so that was nice.
On the Saturday we were invited to sit in on a jamming session with my sister’s boyfriend’s band, which was fabulous. My sister had been drinking rum and coke since breakfast so she was particularly excited, and consequently spent most of the time ‘dancing’ around the microphone and treading on important equipment.
In the evening the band joined us for dins, and then we all went out to a house party until about 6am. My sisters and I asserted our spotify dominance fairly early on, and filled the night with Craig David, Miley Cyrus and numerous repetitions of ‘What does the Fox Say?’
In Norway, they are super healthy and all the shops stop selling alcohol after 6pm. We obviously forgot this rule, so our supply of alcohol was questionable to say the least. We started the evening on banana and rum cocktails and finished all the wine. We then spent the rest of the night drinking Cointreau and Fanta lemon twist (just awful) and a bottle of port we found lurking ominously in a cupboard somewhere. Wow, much merry.
I always like to learn some native words when I visit funky countries, so in Norway I learnt:
Hei hei! – Hello!
Takk – Thank you
Beklager – Sorry
I was also recommended some classic Norwegian literature by the drummer in the band (his name was Oddbjørn but we just heard Oddball. By the time we reached the port stage he was simply Ballbags). I’ve been told to read the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy by Sigrid Undset and The Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun. It will be fab to read something exotic and obscure, particularly when I’m embarking on a career in academia and will need to find something new and interesting to research…
It was a superb weekend in Scandinavia and we were all sad to depart. LUCKILY we can go back whenever we please, especially as my sister plans to move there permanently in Autumn 2014. Hoozah!