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[personal profile] hurricanelaura
So Norway! What an amazing country!

I think no matter how many times I fly, I will always be petrified during both takeoff and landing, especially takeoff. There's just something about first being lifted into the air that feels frighteningly unnatural for me, like it just defies my very basic understanding of physics. Maybe it's because I have the irrational fear that the plane can't hold my weight. Maybe it's the fear that this, THIS particular flight will be the one in the newspapers the next day. I don't know what it is, but every bump, every noise and every shake makes me want to tell my mother that I love her just one last time.

Like most fliers who have been around, I very much prefer the non-American airlines and airports. The planes are always roomier, the staff are generally much friendlier, the baggage policies are far more generous and even security, while being as vigilant as it should be is far more civilized than what you'll find in the States.

After 24 hours of flights (WHY is going there and coming back such a convoluted pain in the ass? Cool country and totally worth it, but damn.), my very last plane for a week descended onto Bergen. Norway being its windy self, the plane was batted around with the turbulence from the strong gusts. The two very nice Norwegian guys next to me noticed my nervousness and asked me if I was okay. I thanked them and told them that I'm still a bit of a white-knuckled flier, and joked that I hopefully wouldn't need the barf bag during our descent. But with the drastic change in altitude I started to feel it triggering a vertigo attack, and I fought like hell to keep my brain focused and calm.

I didn't need the barf bag, much to the relief of the nice gentlemen next to me.

As the plane landed, I got up and grabbed my luggage. I immediately spotted my friend Bertrand from last year a few rows ahead of me! Yay! Betrand is very cool, an Irish-born Frenchman who had lived in Norway for about 6 years until returning to France. He looks more like his Irish roots, though, with his long red ponytail, cheerful blue eyes and fair complexion. His accent, a mixture that is stronger with Irish than its traces of French, is instantly calming and downright endearing with every other sentence ending in "darlin'". He wasn't volunteering at the festival this year, instead just paying the full admission price to be a patron and enjoy the shows. Smart man.

He walked with me to the luggage carousel and as we waited we caught up with each other quite a bit. I mentioned that I was about to catch a cab back to my hotel, and he was like, "Oh no, come with me! I'll show you to your hotel, darlin'! Don't be payin' those bastards!". His two friends, Michael and Jennifer - a couple from France who were longtime friends of his - approached and we went on our way to the bus, not only a fraction of the cost of one of those gauging cabs but I also got to hang out and talk with Bertrand for the entire ride. He pointed out places of interest, where he worked, where he used to live ect. The bus dropped us off almost directly in front of my hotel, and I thanked him and went upstairs to collapse on my bed in exhaustion. I had entertained some fantasy about hitting up the Garage for a bit later on, which is the main metal bar for festival-goers and metalheads alike, but sadly my body had other plans, all of which involved not being awake.

But I do have to say, I had a great hotel room for such a long-awaited sleep. Like last year, I booked at the Scandic ├śrnen rather than the Grand Terminus where all the bands, festival-goers and volunteers were staying. Part of me wished I had booked there so I could more easily hang out with my friends, but I'm also old and like sleeping well and the Scandic was a much quieter and overall better option. Plus it is a newer, nicer hotel and it offers much better views of this beautiful city. The beds? Never have I slept in a more comfy hotel bed, not even in that killer room we had that one time in Edinburgh at the Radisson Blu. And I know it's weird, but the heated bathroom floor is not a detail that goes unnoticed by me as I have perpetually cold feet.

But you will hear about the best experience I had in this hotel in a bit. Hey, not that! Get your mind out of the gutter!

The next day was filled with shopping for ingredients with a high-strung British guy, cooking MacGyver-style, getting our asses randomly smacked while we were cooking by a naked band member, four of us girls getting schnockered in Heather's hotel room and stumbling over to the Garage, where four Norwegian metal guys started a random consensus about how much they liked my face. I thanked them, though it was a bit awkward. I ended up standing outside bullshitting with one of them about the metal scene and nightlife in the States vs. Norway (they have more metal, we're open later hours ect.). I complimented the Venom patch on his jacket, and he grabbed me and kissed me, telling me how "adorable" I am. He went inside and I walked back to my hotel.

So that happened.

I'll rehash more later. I need food.
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August 2016

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