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Heading to Civilization

Today we got up at 5:15 AM to catch a boat to Tonnes on mainland. It was a short trip on a fast boat, about half an hour. Then, we waited in a smelly hole in the wall for half an hour for our bus to Stokkvågen, another hole in the wall. We changed bus there and headed for Mo-i-Rana, the closest thing to civilization around us. The boat from Rødøy left at 6:10 AM, and we arrived at Mo-i-Rana at around 10 AM. The bus stopped at the train station at Mo, which is good because we could put our two gigantic suitcases in lockers and proceed to walk around and do a little shopping. We had a nice breakfast at a cafe and went around to H&M, Jula (which is like a Home Depot and Costco combined), and 1001 Night, a small ethnic grocery store.

I know this is all very boring to most of you. But you see, sitting in a cafe sipping a latte is an experience that we had not had for a couple of months. So it should’ve been very exciting. And H&M? Home Depot? Buildings with more than one floors? Traffic lights? The problem is, it was very boring for me, too. Alright, the latte was not bad but nothing like what my Rancilio Silvia can whip up back in Boston. The thing was, nothing really registered as special. If I were teleported directly from Rødøy to the middle of Manhattan, I wouldn’t bat an eye and I would just carry on. The underlying neural circuitry for procuring food, avoiding danger, getting shelter etc would’ve been completely changed without me noticing it consciously. I didn’t expect this and I’m at a loss explaining it, except that I’m an old man.

We caught a train at Mo-i-Rana at 3:30 PM to come to Mosjøen where Kristin’s parents live. It was a train designed with Stalinist sensibilities. We’re spending Christmas here and then we’re heading to Oslo to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary: We got married on December 29 in Holmenkollen Chapel, a famous traditional wooden church. Oslo! A real city! The last time we were in a real city was the summer in Paris. I’m truly looking forward to it, not because of civilization, but because it’ll be our anniversary.

Jula, Home Depot Plus Costco

1001 Night, An Ethnic Grocery Store

Fish Sauce at 1001 Night

  1. Stuart #

    Have one of those great marzipan candy bars in the pink wrapper for me.
    Hope you are bringing lots of cash with you to Oslo.
    Have you been to the new opera house?
    God Jul!


    December 21, 2011
    • We have not been to the new opera house. We will stop there for sure. Oslo is the world’s most expensive city now, so yes, I’ll need cash. Cash, especially, since I left my wallet at home. In the US before I leave the house I always do a wallet and cellphone check automatically. But on the island those habits were erased.

      December 23, 2011
  2. Richard P #

    Merry Christmas Winston and family!

    December 23, 2011
    • Thanks Richard! Same to you. How about another game o Words With Friends?

      December 23, 2011
  3. Merry Christmas and Happy annivirsary Winston, Kristin and the whole family!

    December 24, 2011

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