The weather here has become unseasonably warm, like it has been all over the world this spring, and I can really feel the positive energy surge in everyone around me. My German friend Sophie and I went to the next town of Ski, that is a bit bigger than Ås (where I live) if only because of their big mall, the Storsenter:
Yes, there is a McDonalds. Not even Socialism can shield Norway from big American (or European, or Canadian, etc.) chains. Aside: I had a professor say in class the other day "Socialism is good, my friends." after he finished describing how much money students get for their master's and PhD work. I tend to agree, at least so far.
Before we went to the Storsenter, we decided to tour around the smaller shops nearby to see what else Ski has to offer. We walked into a very festive square filled with music and people, a lot of kids, and saw that there was a kid's ski race going on. A ski race in Ski you say?? Unheard of. But there it was:
The snow on the track was undoubtedly trucked in, as most of the snow had melted by this time. It's completely gone now, except in well-shaded valleys. My guess is this is an annual event, scheduled for a time of year there is usually snow...except not this year. But the kids looked great--they say that Norwegians are born wearing skis, and some of the little ones here were clearly better skiers than me.
A shot of the man-made snow track that is melting:
They even had entertainment--poor souls (probably well-paid though) in cartoony suits!
Of course Norway would have a bear, but a monkey? Who cares! They did some cute dances to Norwegian kid's songs.
After a bit of shopping, Sophie and I stopped at a nice little cafe, with some nice Norwegians who took our picture for us.
It was good coffee, and strong! I like it strong, but I forget that the normal Americano is more than enough here and ordered a "dobbelt" or double, and proceeded to talk Sophie's ear off about bison and a range of other subjects.
De har veldig god kaffe i Norge!