Friday, July 17, 2009

Stengt vs. Closed (it's all the same to me!)

Last week I returned home to Stavanger from my summer sojourn in the States (say that three times fast!). After spending some time in a place where I could visit Wal-Mart at 3am (not that I did, but I could have), my memory must’ve fogged over about Norway in… dum dum dum… July.

July in Norway is like a black hole. You know it exists, it can be scientifically proven, but no one actually knows what happens to things unfortunate enough to fly into it. Some guide books warn you with innocuous little phrases like “Some tourist attractions may have limited hours in the summer months.” Lies, I tell you. Let me give the real deal when it comes to July in Norway.

Everything. shuts. down.

Last week I popped into my office. I was met with the wind whistling through the hallways as there was not a single other person there. Where were they all? Not at work, that’s where. Hey, it’s July!

After a lonely morning at the office, I decided to pop by the fruit and veg market for some dinner provisions. I parked the car, hopped out, and was met with a cheerful handwritten sign informing me that the market is on ‘summer hours’ so closed at 1pm. It was 1.15*. Hey, it’s July!

Growing a little more frustrated, I went home and decided to catch up on personal errands. I called my doctor’s office to make an appointment. Good thing it wasn’t anything pressing as Doc is away until mid-August.** Hey, it’s July!

My iPhone met an untimely death several weeks ago (due in one part to my own techno-stupidity and two parts to the evilness that is Apple). I took it in for repairs in June. June. Did I mention it was June? Repairs couldn’t be made, so I had to order a new phone. I hadn’t heard anything about it, so I rang the shop. “No, not here yet. Maybe a few more weeks.” Hey, it’s July!

The moral of this is that July = stengt. In some ways it’s a great break as long as you plan accordingly and don’t actually need anything beyond the usual groceries and gas. Dive through that stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, attempt to watch all of The West Wing from the beginning (my project of choice this summer), and just kick back and enjoy any good weather that might blow this way.

Hey, it’s July!

* What I actually did in the face of that cheery sign was to let out a little screech and kick the orange crate next to the door in frustration. Too bad I was wearing flip-flops. Karma is, indeed, a cheap tart.

** In the interest of not misrepresenting the Norwegian medical system or Doc’s office, I was offered an alternate appointment with another doctor.