I'm sitting on my balcony on what has turned out to be a lovely warm day. (A bit sweaty, actually. 80 degrees seems really nice and cool when you are from Texas but when you don't have AC and it's a bit humid, it can get sweaty. Texas peep, don't hate.)
Anyhow, there's some strange shit going on in Oslo right now.
First of all, it's July, fellesferie time. Fellesferie means 'common holiday', it's the time when EVERYONE buggers off on vacation. Day care closes, so people have to take off work to care for the kiddos, so they might as well go to Greece or something. It's DEADSVILLE around here. I mean there is no one around. It's so quiet.
Which, if I'm honest, is AWESOME.
You don't have to fight traffic. You don't have to fight (much) for a place on the bus. The sales are on, so everything is 50% or more off (Norwegians hold DAMN good sales) and there's nobody to fight over the bargains with. Riding my bike (when it's not raining) is a complete and utter joy. Streets are quiet on weekend mornings. People smile at each other, kind of like "I know, right! Nobody's around, it's warm and can you believe it's just us here?" I honestly don't know why more people don't stay in Norway during fellesferie, it's the best time of year to be here.
Fellesferie also seems, this year, to be bringing the odd people out of the woodwork. Like, a few days ago, I noticed a woman at the coffee shop under my flat. She was wearing a bathrobe (striped terry cloth) and slippers, her hair wet, obviously fresh out of the shower. Yet there she was, in public, at a trendy coffeehouse, bringing her latte or whatever out to a table on the terrace, with her paper under her arm, obviously ready to settle in for a good morning coffee coze. I'm all like, "Dude, what up? This ain't your kitchen nook, honey".
I saw her again a few days later.
Then, yesterday I saw her again, same robe, same slippers, but this time with two other people, both of them in bathrobes, too. (Striped, terrycloth.) A guy (obviously with no shirt or anything under his robe as it fell open) and a somewhat younger woman. They were sitting at the prime table outside, the corner one, the 'see and be seen' table, drinking their cappucinos, reading their papers, slippers hanging off their toes, comfy as if they were in their living rooms. BUT THEY WERE NOT DRESSED FOR BEING IN PUBLIC!
Is this a trend? A flash (literally) mob? A protest? Performance art? A wry commentary on fashion, appropriateness and the cafe culture of Oslo?
I honestly don't know.
My mamma always taught me, a southern girl, that you never leave the house in house clothes, meaning sweats, flip flops, yoga pants, etc. So for me to see people sitting in their bathrobes out in public, honey, I swear, it gave me a turn. (Read those sentences in a southern accent, please.) There is NO WAY I will join that party. (Though I might ask them why they are doing it, next time I see them.)
Summertime in Oslo. I honestly, sincerely and completely love it.