It was clear and sunny as my plane landed in Oslo and everything was covered with a blanket of snow. The trainride into the city passed farms and forests covered in snow. It looked so pretty.
oslo sunset
My cab driver from the train station dropped me off at the Salvation Army and after some momentary confusion, Kristin from the Fafo research institute took me to the apartment where I’ll be staying. The place belongs to a Norwegian currently “somewhere in India” and was Kristin using it until recently when she moved in with her boyfriend.

My jaw dropped when we entered the apartment as it has a wall of windows framing the most incredible view. From the eight floor of the building, the apartment looks west over Oslo city toward the ski jump on the horizon. From the balcony, you can see the fjiord and then ocean to the south. The botanical gardens lie on a hillside just beside the building. The apartment itself is a studio with a nice kitchen and bathroom and a dining room table looking out the windows.

After dropping my gear I went in search of supplies. The apartment is 2 minutes from Fafo’s offices in Tøyen, a neighborhood northeast of the central train station. The area is known for its immigrant population and as I found my way to the local shops I was amazed to see white people asking Africans and Asians for money! Oslo has a bit of a heroin problem as evidences by its drug addicts.

The shops featured an amazing array of ethnic foods and fresh fruit and veges. The apartment has one element for cooking and a toaster should be delivered shortly so I made a salad. I watched the news in on TV and couldn’t figure out why a rather ugly man was doing the weather until I realized I was watching the Sami news. There are about 40,000 Sami , the northern “indigenous” population of Norway, of which about 20,000 speak the language. I knew I was on the Norwegian TV when the announcer turned into a beautiful blonde woman. By 6:30pm I could no longer keep my eyes open and fell asleep. For 13 hours…