WHEN IN ROME
I've always liked the saying, "when in Rome, do as the Romans." On the way to the beautiful and smashingly isolated Eikesdal, there are traditions to keep up with. I'm a Roman, so I keep my own traditions. In Oslo, the Caribbean restaurant Lemon Grass is just great, and I always visit when downtown. The food is hot, and not adapted to some presupposed imaginary Norwegian taste. After Oslo, on the road to the wilderness, every time I go to a toilet, I look at the sky first, bow to the grass, and confirm it once more to myself: Norway loves me exactly as much as I love her. And until the end of the month, we shall have the pleasure of each other. In Eikesdal, the owner of the huge cabin I've rented, wants to know whether I've eaten anything. He owns 500 sheep. I told him that I'm good at petting the animals and eating them big time as well. He said nothing. He said very few things, but I could tell that he liked the idea that his place was going to be inhabited by loners. “What would you like to do?” he asked. “Oh,” I said, “nothing much. Actually, nothing. A few visits here and there, and otherwise, just sit and stare at Isfjorden until my eyes will hurt.” He nodded filled with genuine understanding. Every year I decide that I have a thing for Norwegian farmers. And as far as the country itself is concerned, in terms of my special relation to it, well, that's just cosmic. Here I just know things. And yet, I don't have to say it, or wait for others to say it to me. Norway is in me. I know it like I know myself. This, in the end, means, that I possess it. The Norwegian farmer is waving from his tractor, smiling. And I just know. Norway is my lucky star.