Travel

The Internet Friend: Norway #1

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11:18
Today is the day I meet him. Friends for 5 years and we’ve never met, and yet today I am flying to a foreign country and meeting him. Worse idea I’ve ever had? Just about. Best idea I’ve ever had? Most certainly. I’m both excited and terrified, the normal new country nerves I get mixed into the fear of hating him. I doubt I will, but dad has been throwing stories of death and horror my way for the last two weeks.

My friend’s name is Larry, or at least the alias I’m giving him is. He’s Norwegian, a year older than me. From the brief conversation I had with her, he has a lovely girlfriend. I met Lars on Omegle about 5 years ago, both  bonding over the fact we were young humans trolling men exposing themselves to the internet and that, at the time, we were both bronies. We added each other on Skype and then never spoke again until about a year later when I was clearing out the creeps from my Skype contacts. Our conversations lasted through the night, often watching anime together as much as time would allow. Sadly our conversations have dwindled in the last few years, growing up and getting jobs, exams, school has made it hard to talk through the night. Our interests split, he into gaming and I into kdramas. My lack of social media did not help in the slightest, when snapchat stopped working on me phone our conversations dwindled to drunken messages on Facebook. We have the odd conversation here and there, ‘How are you? How’s your new kitten?’ etc etc, but not at the pace we had as children. It almost makes me sad. However, not long after returning from Florence, we started talking more often again. I realised I had a spare few weeks after my exams where the flight tickets around the world were cheaper, we decided to meet at last and I booked the tickets. After of course a long battle with mine fatherling over whether or not I would die in Norway. I won’t. I think. I trust him enough not to sell me off to human traffickers at least.

I have about an hour till we drive to the airport, I’m packed and waiting. Dad is being slow which means we’ll be setting off late. I’m just worried about what’s going to happen? What if he decides not to pick me up? What if he’s horrible? What if he hates me?! The last one is probably the one I’m most concerned about. I can put up with people I don’t like, but people not liking me? I’d be super sad.

I’m also pretty sure I don’t actually have enough money for this trip. I took out around £80 in cash, so around 800 krone… what’s the symbol for krone? Anyone? I have more in my bank, but not much maybe around the same again. Fingers crossed we don’t do anything that costs more than I can afford, anyone fancy helping a poor student out? Joking. Seriously kidding xD I’ll be alright, probs.

15:50
Oh. My. Fudging. God. The most stressful hour of my life has passed. RIP me. First off all. We set off from home at the absolute maximum time to get to the airport. And it only got worse and worse. Omfg. The situation deserves that fudging cause JESUS I was gonna die. I think I am dead. The deadest. We made a wrong turn… well we drove past the turn into Stansted because the sign was covered BY A FUDGING BUSH. So we took a 20 minute detour around a roundabout or 2. It’s an hour until my plane takes off. Round and round in topsy-turvy circles we drive searching for the Mid-Stay car park, seriously how many roads do you need? We FINALLY find an open car park when the free bus to the terminal screws off leaving me in the realisation that it would take another 20 bleeding minutes for another bus to arrive and drop me off in my required destination. I am in full jittery panic mode, on edge and about to jump out of the car window and run for it. I am also desperate for a pee and my tampon has been in for 6 hours. I need to get on my flight and I need a toilet. DESPERATELY. I convince my darling father to just drop me off in front of the terminal because the £3.50 fee is the better option then missing my £60 flight, more topsy turvy roundabouts. Are they trying to make me miss my flight?

When the drop off point is eventually found I have 45 minutes. Quickly I send my fartherling off with a hug and a kiss, I felt bad just abandoning him but I was L.A.T.E. Trembling a practically run inside the building and stop. I’d forgotten that liquid items needed to be in a CLEAR plastic bag, not the flowery washbag I have. Thank the heavens I put it at the top of my bag. Scanning the grim, grey tables for clear bags, I have to pull aside a young Irish lady to see if she can see any either. Clocks ticking. An American woman notices my panic alarms going and shoves a few bags in my hands. With shaking hands I stuff the liquids from my wash bag into the flimsy bag, they don’t all fit. Good bye suncream, hello sunburn.

Speed walking to security, playing dodgems with the other travellers, I halt into the line, smoke curling from my feet. Nervous jitters tap my feet, my hands checking the time on my phone every second. 30 minutes. Security clears without an issue but it took 15 long and stressful minutes. Awkwardly shoving my belongings into bags I scurry past the slow walking turtles to the next level of this never-ending game. The Duty Free Zone.

The DFZ is possibly the most annoying thing I find when traveling by plane. Firstly is, although it’s duty-free, it costs a small fortune to actually purchase anything. Punishment for forgetting to buy your family and friends any gifts maybe? Secondly is the fact that it is designed to make you walk the longest route in the shortest space, blocking off turns with walls so that if you want to walk in a straight line, it’s made impossible. By the time I’ve navigated through this labyrinth of overpriced goods I reach the airport lounge. I scan for my flight number, desperately hoping that the gate is nearby…

“Flight delayed by 30 minutes. Expected departure 17:00.”

Oh. My. Fudging. Lawd.

I can have a bleeding pee. Literally.

16:27
Gate 42. Not quite the furthest away from where I had settled down… but still a trek and a half. I’m waiting in line right now, thanking whichever beautiful creature watching over me for this delay. I honestly thought I was going to miss the flight. Jesus.

17:19
On the plane waiting to set off. A headache is slowly creeping into my brain due to the warm air circulating from the mass of people. Wait. No. The air conditioning just came on, I might be saved! I sat next a lovely lady, Norwegian by birth but moved to England for a short while until returning to her home country a few years ago. She was a lovely woman, very nice but starting quizzing me about my trip. My panicked state from early was still pumping through my blood so I kept mixing up Skein and Oslo when I said stuff. Further butchering of the Norwegian language and their place names made me turn the conversation to her. Apologies if I seemed rude, however I’m still not in a completely clear state of mind… and strangers make me panic. Sorry~

18:50
Legit what if hates me? What if he’s actually low-key racist and it all gets filtered out in typing… kinda like how my awkwardness and general jitters is unseen over the internet. Like… I have a backup plan… but that’s kinda rude. Turn up. Hey I don’t actually like you, see yah. But that’s not gonna happen… right? Omg. If he hates me, what in sausages name am I gonna do? Meeting friends from the internet? Do not recommended. I’m totally going to run out of money on this trip, I can feel it in my gut.

This is simultaneously the best and worse idea I’ve ever had… and my tummy is rumbling. I need food~ Pear drops do not, apparently, contain the required sustenance to keep me going. I swear I’m riding on nerves and sugar right now. Again, do not recommend.

10 minutes to landing. I’m excited and terrified. Help. Omfg. Today has been a train ride and a half.

On the other hand, the film I’m watching is hilarious. A korean film called Masquerade, about a poor guy who is made to pretend to be king after the real king takes ill. Prince and the pauper feels, yah know? The teasing and playful music is gorgeous. I might review it.

Just gonna take a sec and tell all of you the Norway is gorgeous from plane height. Fudge me with a pogo. IT’S SO FUDGING PRETTY. ITALY HAD MOUNTAINS BUT THIS IS A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF GORGEOUS. I’M GONNA LOVE IT HERE, I CAN TELL. I’m most likely going to be like a lil puppy whenever we drive anywhere and stare out the window with big eyes.

I’m going. Scenery is way too pretty to miss. Omg.

19:07
We’ve landed. Less then an hour until I meet a guy I’ve known and talked to for 5 years and never actually met. Wish me luck! Pray for me! Whatever works for you~!!

23:20 (Norwegian Time)
We’ve met. He’s cool. I tried sneaking up on him and his friend because they didn’t notice me come through the departure gates… it went well… up to the point where I lightly tapped him with my foot and my bag got caught on a chair leaving me in some sort of weird diagonal starfish. Good first impressions. Larry greeted me with a hug, good hugger, and then we moved towards the car.
Larry had brought a friend with him, I didn’t catch his name until later but we shall call him Christian. Again. Not a very Norwegian name, fight me. Christian was funny, his hair was on point, very energetic. They seem like pretty good friends… however I feel like Larry + Friends = Bad driving.

We drove through gorgeous, scenic, rolling hills covered in trees, listening to some low-key heavy metal. The two boys talked in a mixture of Norwegian and English (for my benefit I assume) laughing and joking. Plus telling some giggle worthy stories, I like them. They cool… even if they having some dangerous driving skills.

We dropped Christian off at his house, in England I would say that it’s a pretty decent house. Tbh, I want to know what a rich humans house is like if these are what they consider average. Larry said his house was enough for one person maybe two… This is a two bedroom apartment…. with balcony. Meh idk.

After that we drove back to Larry’s home town to get food. Turns out both of us are super quiet when without friends. Interesting. We talked a bit about life, the general layout of his town. He seemed a lot more chill away from his friends, which is fair. I do that.

For dinner we went to..I don’t know. I guess a diner type place. Larry ordered something in Norwegian, paid and then left me to fend for myself. I can’t order food in England let alone order from a foreign menu from a guy who apparently spoke English. Using all of my skills in life I pleaded for help from Larry and just pointed to a normal looking kebab on the menu. Realising I didn’t know the guy spoke English Larry backtracked and helped me order. I’m such an awkward turtle omg. Send help.

The kebab was excellent. My first bite, however, left me looking like a goat with too much grass. The lettuce caught me off guard. I make excellent first impressions on people I meet. Have you guessed? Larry had ordered burger and fries, he offered my fries but the kebab bigger then my head made me deny the generous offer. People who share their food are good people indeed. As delicious as it was, I couldn’t finish my kebab. Noticing my struggle Larry pointed out that I could wrap it back up and take it home. It shall be my lunch tomorrow, save me buying something else instead. I don’t know how much it cost but it was definitely pricey, gonna have to lean on the picnic option when I can persuade them! I have not brought enough money in the slightest. Gonna see if my card works tomorrow when I go wandering around the town. See if the ATMs here are free, they better be. Probably aren’t. Ffs. Should have brought more cash with me xD

We drove round back to Larry’s flat, whilst he pointed out the colourful characters on his street. Apparently a crazy women with axes (I put money on her being an axe murderer), a drug dealer two doors down and the bat-shit crazy family opposite. It’s not the stranger from the internet I have to worry about. I’ll be fine.
We were greeted at the door by his new kittens, Logan and Loki. They are the cutest lil things I’ve ever seen omg. The youngest, Loki, just fell asleep on me. I am the chosen one, fear me. After a quick tour of his ‘average’ flat and a brief period of.awlward silence (hi stranger welcome to my house would be slightly awks whatever the case), we settle down to watch Suicide Squad, which I have not seen before. 20 minutes in Larry had to go to bed, he has to wake up at 4am to go to work. Poor sod. He’s letting me roam free tomorrow because he’s in Oslo for the day, which should be an adventure. He returned briefly to give me a gift he’d forgotten about. An ornate cheese slicer, beautifully designed, because apparently cutting cheese with a knife is uncivilized. Jokingly of course. Another hug in thank you, this time the all time promised back-breaking hug I had promised years ago… my hug game has gotten weak. I hug a lot less than I used to, resorting to just leaning on people because their comfy. In retaliation he gave me a MASSIVE hug and lifted me off the ground. Dude has awesome hug skills and I’m jealous.

Suicide Squad just finished, leaving me to squeak loudly into my room and sort my stuff out. I should have done this earlier. Pretty sure I woke up Larry. Sorry! It’s past 1am now in Norwegian time so I should sleep. It’s surprisingly light out despite it being a small town, I don’t know if it’s sun light or light pollution. Either way I hope the curtains don’t make a massive noise when they close.

Night people. See you tomorrow for lonesome adventure in a country I don’t speak the language. Send help.

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