A few years ago, back in the hazy past – I promised a good friend of mine Trude that I would come and visit her and her husband Gunnar in Bergen, Norway. Her birthday (and my invite) provided the perfect opportunity.

I had 1 hour and 45 minutes to checkout, check in and change planes in Stanstead and my flight from Slovenia was delayed by 1 hour and 15 minutes. This caused a mild sense of worry and possibly a little more hair-loss.

Naturally, as sods law dictates – the customs guy decided I was dodgy enough to require a full (by full I mean baggage only) search. So, 10 minutes before my plane was due to leave I had the full contents of my bag removed, half of my toiletries confiscated (damn those new rules) and was made to wait whilst my toothpaste and sun-lotion were re-scanned by the x-ray thing.

Anyway, I made it to Bergen and had a great time in the company of Trude, Gunnar and lots of very Norwegian looking people. Apparently, in Norway “there is no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing” but thankfully, I wasn’t humiliated by my 2 t-shirts and old trainers as the weather was great. The speedboat-trip to a costal summer-house, the 30th birthday, Trude and Gunnar and the sea food at breakfast (??) were also great. The Norwegian word for ‘speed’ is ‘fart’ ha ha…

Oh, the amateur English customs guy had allowed me to keep my aftershave because it was in a clear bottle and half empty. Don’t worry though – the Norwegians spotted my potential terrorist threat and binned that too.

I got home on Sunday and most of you know what happened from there as I saw you. Anyway, the drivers that don’t beep, the toilets that don’t display your creations, common courtesy and the people (that’s you lot) were as great as ever. The weather, the prices and the public transport were crap as ever.

Back in Lj I worked hard at doing nothing all week and then let my hair down (yes, ha ha – I’m speaking figuratively) at the Lasko ‘beer and flower’ festival, in Lasko. It’s the Slovene version of Octoberfest and it goes on for 4 days. Unfortunately I was driving so I could only drink flowers. Unlike Octoberfest, you will be drinking just one thing – Lasko. I know this is cruel (so I didn’t take a picture) but the (presumably dark humoured) Slovenes had given traffic duty to a guy with one arm! He was waving traffic with a stump!?!

The taxi driver back to the train station was a Bulgarian who had lived in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and then Slovenia. He has a published book of poetry he wrote in Slovene and is one half of the first ever gay marriage in Slovenia.

What’s next? Well this is where it get’s exciting but I’m not sure I’m ready to jump from ‘no posts for a month’ to ‘posts about future plans’ just yet. Maybe I’ll write before I leave. Having just finished Nick Hornby’s ‘High Fidelity’ – I might make a top-five list about something instead. Watch this space.

Me, Trude and Gunnar

A view accross bergen

The Lasko daddy, watches over the fun at the Lasko flower and beer festival

Beer drinkers party Slovene-style to music that can only be described as Accordian-techno

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