Sunday, March 10, 2013


This was probably taken during our first trip to Norway, in the park in Oslo next to where my paternal grandmother lived.

Norway has considerable advantages and disadvantages for a Canadian visitor: it's kind of like flying over the ocean to experience the same kind of weather: cold winters (natch) and dry, hot summers (that is, in years which are dry and hot) that are also short. But of course, one isn't in Canada, one's in Europe. Everything else, from the scale of the downtown to the cultural sense of self, is different.

The latter point is important. Living now in Seoul, I'm again in a society in which the cultural sense of self is strong. Being in Canada, on the other hand, is to always be a little bit hyphenated. Asia, then, is more "European" in this regard -- though of course the cities, in their scale, put both Norway and Canada into a rather pale spot.

We were in Norway for a month. We drove around though the mountains (not hot), but generally stayed in Oslo. Our grandmother made us start diaries -- an imposition for a teenager in the 1970s, even more nowadays ... though (as I tell my students before giving them yet another writing assignment) keeping a blog is just like having a diary! I had mine somewhere. Wish I could dig it up. Wish I could find Richard's, too.

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