Archive for May 2012
And of course when you’re interested in growth, you’re interested in the growth of those around you. They are absolutely interdependent. You grow only insofar as people around you are also growing and expanding and becoming freer. It is something that is interactive, something you give to each other.
(the extraordinary) Anaïs Nin
With the next couple of day’s heat wave hitting Oslo I thought it would be nice to take you to a spot that is constantly cool – Oslo ICEBAR.
I visited the original ICE HOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle, for three weeks in 2007 which was an experience out of the ordinary but I must say the ICE BAR’s around the world offer a pretty cool piece of the real deal. The ice is imported from the Torne River in Jukkasjärvi and everything is kept within the concept.
Sure, it is overpriced, but it’s not everyday you get to joke around in a cozy cape, sip on colorful drinks and not having to worry about breaking a glass.
Saturday night and I’m sitting in my little kitchen eating spinach and coriander soup, listening to Leonard Cohen. The window is half open and it strikes me how green the trees have become, how bright the evening is.
The chair I’m sitting on is one of those uncomfortable, cheap, foldable IKEA chairs and I can’t say the rest of the kitchen is very cozy either, although with time, pieces of us have began to personalize our home; Charlotte’s funny notes on the fridge, Maria’s little radio (there is no TV) my Italian mocha machine, expensive coffee beans, cheap wine.
And it strikes me how random it all is. Like my life.
Maria, who just got back from a (random) weekend in Paris, had a friend over for dinner tonight and after some really strong Chilian Pisco Sour cocktails they were ready to head out.
Me, I decided to stay home and get rid of my cold.
It’s been a few busy days with my sister and her boyfriend. No wonder I’ve gotten sick really, running around town in the rain one day, having drinks in ice-glasses in minus five degrees at the ICEBAR…
standing at the rooftop of the Grand Hotel in the chilly evening breeze and onto the beaming sunshine on the Opera House roof the next day…
and the crowds of people celebrating Norway’s National Day.
But it was worth it. I’m so glad my sister came to see where I live and what I do.
I wonder sometimes if other people think as much as me, about where they are, physically and mentally. Or if it just me that watch my own steps like a stranger, excited about where they have lead so far, and where they’ll take me next.
Do other people also walk home after a day at work and think, that it’s been an alright day in their lives? And do they observe their surroundings as if their eyes were camera lenses taking pictures for their “here, now” album?
I’ve gotten used to moving.
I know in a future not too far from now, I’ll spend my Saturday night in a much more comfortable chair…
But that won’t automatically make my life any more comfortable
than it is right ♥ now.
I feel sickness lurking under my skin, and behind my eyes. It started already yesterday with a sore throat and that low energy-less state where you just can’t pin-point what’s wrong but you feel a thousand emotions at the same time.
Conversations about happiness, dreams and aspirations gets mixed up with a former colleague’s battle against cancer and the news that my childhood friend took his own life. I wish I had told him that he was my first love, that I used to watch the curls of his hair from behind my desk and that my heart swelled when he chuckled. I wish I had told him how special he was, that he made a difference.
We say so little yet we talk so much.
Sometimes I wish I could flip my head like a trash can and empty it from all the scribbled words and scattered thoughts, notes and papers that pile up in the box of my mind…
…let a fresh breeze blow away all the dust from the archive of old ideas, truths that have lost their meaning and plans made in the past.
I’d keep nothing but the stillness of my heart in the moment when you and I lay silently smiling and share the one thing that can not be explained.
A journey of a thousand miles
starts in front of your feet.
The rain is pouring outside and all I want to do is eat chocolate in bed.
That’s not entirely true. I want to be curled into my man’s safe embrace, feel his firm hand on my breast and his warm breath in my neck while he feeds me with chocolate…
But I don’t have a man.
So I settle for the chocolate.
It’s been such a busy week at work, with the hotel being fully booked every night, just like all the other central hotels in Oslo, we’ve had to lay a new puzzle every day and work almost around the clock. May is apparently a good month for business.
To me, May means a lot of fun.
There is the annual Holmenkollen Relay Race tomorrow and I am one of 40 000 participants.
We are fifteen people from Hotel Savoy & Bastion running different laps around the city to raise money for Rainforest preservation. And to enjoy a free bar at the party afterwards…
Next week Norway celebrate their National Day at the 17th of May and no doubt they’ll do it in style this year as well. What’s great is that my little sister and her boyfriend will be here to enjoy it with me! Even though I have to work, I’ll still see a lot of them as they will stay at my hotel for three days.
The week after that I go to Gothenburg for two days to see my best friend Frida (and perhaps my sister again if there’s time) where we’ll stay at another Clarion Collection hotel, before I head down to the picturesque summer town, Båstad, where I graduated from a tourism and service management class in 2007. And now, we are having a reunion! Words can’t describe how excited I am to catch up with my old class mates and best friends!
It sounds almost silly, but I’ll head back to Oslo for only two days of work before I go on a three weeks holiday, starting May 31st in Stockholm!
Now I’ve lived most of my grown up life in Stockholm so the city always feels familiar, even though friends move or have families, there’s always a place for me to stay. My best friend Bibi has got a new flat so I’ll crash at her place for a few nights before my wonderful mother comes down and we’ll check into yet another Clarion Collection hotel (I get good discounts) for two nights.
5th of June we’re flying to sunny Sardinia.
Sooo….I think I can stand a little rain…
I want you and you are not here.
I pause in this garden,
breathing the colour thought is
before language into still air.
Even your name is a pale ghost and,
though I exhale it again
and again, it will not stay with me.
Tonight I make you up, imagine you,
your movements clearer
than the words I have you say you said before.
Wherever you are now, inside my head you fix me
with a look, standing here whilst cool late light
dissolves into the earth.
I have got your mouth wrong,
but still it smiles.
I hold you closer, miles away,
inventing love, until the calls of night jars
interrupt and turn what was to come, was certain,
The stars are filming us for no one.
by Carol Ann Duffy
I will admit that when I hear the original song by Carly Rae Jepsen played on the radio, I change the channel. I don’t know why the wicked Ben Howard and his band chose to cover it, but I’m glad they did. And with such playful passion!
Can’t wait to catch him live again in August at Way Out West!
It’s the first of May and I’ve worked at the Hotel Savoy for exactly one year.
And ironically, exactly one year later I tell them I’m leaving.
Here it is:
I’m going travelling from September to March next year!!!
It’s not all planned and probably never will be, since a real journey always takes its own route, but tickets have been bought and some ideas have begun to grow.
I’ll start off in Indonesia, arriving Ubud, Bali on September 4th, where I’ll look into staying at a yoga retreat for a while, find inner peace and who knows?
Oh and celebrate my 30th birthday on September 15th with a kick-ass party!
From there I’m off to Singapore and hopefully head East to where Malaysia meets Borneo and a friend I met in Mocambique lives with his fiancee. He’s been saying that the island of Sulawesi is a nature’s paradise but that some parts aren’t completely safe, so I’m not sure if that will be on the go or not.
Otherwise I’ll head up Malaysia on to the pleasure of Thailand, and from there through Cambodia and/or Laos to Vietnam. The idea is to take good time in travelling the coast from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi but again, things may have changed by then.
All I know is that I should catch a flight in Hanoi on November 10th for Delhi, India.
Now, India is a chapter in itself and a place I’ve been wanting to go for a long time. But being an insanely large and diverse country I have realized I should focus on one area and with the advice of others, not plan too much.
But because I arrive in Delhi, the Taj Mahal is definitely on the list and probably the classic “Golden Triangle route”. But after not too many days I’ll head south to the beaches of Goa and the backwaters of Kerala.
I’ve gotten very interested in the holistic health approach of Ayuerveda lately and I’ve understood that there are plenty of yoga ashrams and ayuervedic centres in southern India and Sri Lanka, the problem might be to find a genuine, reliable one. I’ve also heard good things about the south east area of Pondicherry. Recommendations are much welcome! I’ll see how things evolve and how much time I have but…
I don’t want to miss my flight from Mumbai to Cape Town.
Arriving to the Mother City on the 18th of December will be nothing less than a heart swell!
I spent the best year of my life there in 2008 and I had a wonderful re-visit in December 2010.
And now, December 2012, during the days that the modern World is assumed to end, I will reunite with my best friend Lorena who lives there with her boyfriend, my room-mate Maria who’s coming in from Oslo, my friend Moa from Stockholm who will be there to study, all my good friends from the past and perhaps even two colleagues from Hotel Savoy! And we will celebrate Christmas and New Years together and if the World ends I will be at a good place.
By then, I will have been away for four months and I have no idea how much money I will have left or what my needs and desires will be, but my hopes are to have enough cash to visit the Masai Mara in Kenya.
But I’d also like to take a round trip through Nambia and Botswana to the Victoria Falls where Zambia and Zimbabwe meets. I won’t plan this yet and if anything I’ll organize it with friends down in Cape Town.
I can stay three months in South Africa on a tourist visa, so why go home sooner? I booked my ticket home to Scandinavia on the 16th of March 2013. Ironcally, that’s almost excactly four years after I left in the first place.
Now, as for Hotel Savoy and Oslo, that chapter isn’t closed yet.
Had you asked me a year ago I would have said I came to Norway to save money. But ask me now and I’ll tell you that I absolutely love my work place and my colleagues and I’m very grateful to have such an inspiring and supportive manager so if all goes well, I can come home and start work again. I know I can still learn a lot from this place and these people.
I can’t say what my thoughts for the future will be at that point, and since life is what happens while you’re busy making plans, I won’t worry too much about that now.
I want to seize this day
I woke up with a strange sensation of happiness this morning.
At first I thought it must have been a beautiful dream I had.
But then I realized it was my life!
And the sun was shining outside my window. I opened up and let a fresh spring breeze into my room. There is a big tree just outside and for weeks now I’ve watched the greenery grow. Today it felt like it fully blossomed.
Although it was a long winter, way too cold and with way too little snow, I managed to create some memories worth taking with me when I leave this place. Which I know I will one day.
I’ve enjoyed this morning in the company of The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Michael Kiwanuka, The Shins, Fibes Oh Fibes and Of Monsters And Men, while having coffee and rooting through my wardrobe for something to wear tonight. And I thought that 2012 has been a goddamn good music year so far. I should update my 100 Great Albums’ list
But first, a run along the river.