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Bergen, Norway

Last night was my last night in Bergen so I went out. Bergen FilmKlub showed the Trollmann fra Oz – There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home. I think it was the first time I’d seen that film outside of the Christmas period. Then I went for a beer in a bar, then a hot dog (Norway’s favourite fast food it seems), then wandered along by the port and heard live music coming out of one of the bars. As I peered in past the doorman, seeing a room full of people deancing to a Norwegian rap band, a woman handed me a rolled up piece of paper. What’s this? She said some things, in Norwegian I think. I didn’t really understand, but eventually realized the paper would get me past the doorman, which it did. So I had a beer there and watched the rest of the band’s set, which ended before I’d drunk half my beer and the placed cleared out within five minutes. So I went to another bar over the other side of town (10 minutes walk away), a “rock bar” – a mural featuring the Ramones (or possibly some other band of people with long hair, but to me it looked like the Ramones), and posters with words like Metallica on them. In there I met the woman who gave me the ticket into the other place, and some members of the band. The woman was the aunt of two twin brothers in the band. They didn’t look like twins. One was married to a Brazilian woman who now spoke perfect Norwegian. When I told them I was getting on a Hurtigruten boat the following evening they tried to explain to me what Hurtigruten means. Fast window. Hurti means fast and gruten means window, but the way they were explaining it it was more complex than that. Gruten also means route. That made sense to me. I could understand why a shipping company might call itself fast route, but not fast window. It’s a joke the aunt said. We’re playing with words. Her nephew said that some words in Norwegian mean more than one thing. He also blamed the Vikings for the violent nature of the Bush family.

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