I slept well and got up around 9 am showered and out for coffee just after Sissel left for work at a State Liqour store.
|My Humble Room|
It was a balmy 7% …around 45% F. I had my long underwear, shirt, sweater, coat and hat on but the cold just went right into me. Tomorrow it is suppose to reach a high of 8% C.
The Espresso House is one of the finest coffee houses I’ve ever seen.
|Built in 1890|
I settled in with some yogurt, latte , etc. and my Smart Phone…emails. First “IMPORTANT” Contact the VA to change your appointment. It is for tomorrow…sent the 16th then forwarded and arrived the 23rd …now the 24th…and the appointment is the 25th. If I don’t make it, the VA assumes I don’t need to and cancels my benefits. I finished and returned to call 3-4 times with no answer! Oh, it’s 3 am in Phoenix. I have to wait until 4:30 pm my time..another 4 hours. I think I’ll stay close to home and get this out of the way ASAP.
The season for the On Off Bus Tour ended last week. There is some activity going on Thursday when everyone walks 8 kilometers down the river walk like fast! This is in the evening when it’s around near freezing and is to celebrate the start of Autumn. I would be an icicle. These people are out on bicycles riding around like its the middle of the summer. They sit outside of the Cafes sipping their coffees. The Cafe does provide them with blankets..like in lounges outside on ships you see sailing across the Atlantic in old Black and White movies. Why I don’t know. The mental health index is good in Norway. They are the fourth richest country in the world and produce more gas and oil then anywhere except the Middle East. I would be vacationing in Hawaii or even Arizona, if I was Norwegian.
|I would like to light the fire!|
Though this was one of the first Capital Cities in Northern Europe it has been restored and new dramatic buildings added to give it a very modern and clean look. Yes there are homeless people freezing on the street…and no they are NOT Norwegians. It is the most Democratic country in the world. Their people are fiercely independent yet have a Socialistic System that is unequaled outside of Scandinavia. Reading and drinking Coffee is popular but so is Skiing and riding your bike until is snows.
|Even Practice Skiing in Autum|
That’s when they turn on the heat in the homes..when it’s freezing. Like most Europeans, few people own a microwave to heat coffee, warm pie, soup? So I got to find pot to warm my coffee then do the dishes. Spoiled me.
I know the big question going through your mind…if Norway is so rich…is it not expensive and if it’s expensive, what the hell are you doing there. Well I knew it was a rich country but Pizza and Asian food is pretty cheap? First night I think I blew over $100 just for a snack and a couple glasses of wine but at that point it hadn’t sunk in that a dollar is worth about 1/2 dollar here and a Snickers Bar is over $2. A jar a peanut butter over $12. A beer $10. Coffee and a Mini Muffin with a Greek Yogurt…$15. Bombay Gin for $80..the same liter I bought for $20 at the Airport Duty Free. Hamburg and Fries…$25. You get the idea…I’m going to starve, drink lots of water, and eat hot dogs for 5 more days. I’m blessed the room is free.
I went for a walk around the neighborhood then was back to call the VA but no answer. Then I realized I wasn’t on WiFi for my Skype. Sissel had put the pass code into my computer but not my cell and I had no idea what it was. I went to Espresso House and tried calling on their network but no luck. Skype wasn’t connecting on an open network.
So I went to 7/11 to buy a Norwegian Phone card but because I was a Foreigner I had to buy it at the phone office in the Center with my passport but there was a Lycamobile across the street and they might help.
They did and took my passport info, installed a Norwegian SIM Card and told me the company would validate it in an hour or so. On the way home I remembered I have a Google phone built in to my computer. They charge my Google Wallet and that’s it. It worked like a charm and my appointment was made and there was NO Charge for the call! All that stress for nothing but a lesson learned. I don’t need a phone…I have google.
Now to get some Thai Take Away for dinner and try and warm up! I am shivering. The food was great and a deal for about $22.
|Pad Thai..shook up on way home..like the package.|
Sissel returned from work and dinner with her friends. We chatted a bit about tomorrow. It is her day off so I thought I would take the day to myself instead of having her show me around. I’ll go to the Sculpture Park and a museum or two if I don’t freeze. It should be 1 % warmer tomorrow but sunshine.