16 January 2008


back in Norway again, where the weather is less scandi-wonderland than the country I left on Tuesday.

K and I drove to the airport in a sprightly snowstorm, and true to his Viking roots, K was more confident and optimistic about things than the car could deliver. we ended up shoveling ourselves into the parking space before departing, so the weather had better warm up a bit before we return or we need to make friends with a shovel owner.

Anyway, here I am in Norway, sampling Norwegian TV properly for the first time, and amid the old Friends episodes, the 1930s Norwegian movies subtitled in Swedish and full of treacherous looks across the dinner table, I find that sulky races are some kind of big deal. I'm talking about that specific and obscure sport where specially trained horses perform restricted gaits while pulling a tiny two-wheeled cart. Who knew that it had such a northern audience, but after seeing two consecutive nights of races being broadcast, once in a genteel snowfall, I have to believe it's some kind of cultural element here.

It may not sound like a great international learning, but I love it.

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