I’m sitting right now in a bar in the Oslo airport, enjoying 0.6 liters of Carlsberg. It’s the morning, but I’m leaving Norway and in my entire time here — more than a week — I did not go to a single bar. This may count as an effort to artificially inflate the Bars of the World Tour statistics, but there you have it.
As I sit here let me add that there are worse places on the planet for people-watching. Here in the international section of the airport there are weary travelers moving slowly while the odd breed called “morning people” weaves among them. Airport personnel have large scooters, including cargo scooters with a platform for carrying goods up and down the concourse.
There are, of course, some fine examples of the female of our species, for which Norway is justifiably famous. There is a softness to their curves that makes them appealing in a way unlike the czech women I will be appraising in just a few hours.
It is raining outside, and as I sit here in shorts, an aloha shirt and a baseball cap, long-haired and bearded, enjoying a morning beer, I seem to be just as interesting to the people passing by as they are to me.
I had a good time here, if not a particularly blogable one. I
And that’s where my battery died. Should have gone ahead and bought a new one while in the states. Right after that two girls jogged past, late for their flight – a sight to warm even the darkest heart. Then came the guy who walked like a chicken. Like I said before, good people watching.
So, then onto the plane (Czech airlines, which still serves free beer and snacks; in this case in some sort of cooperation with Korean Air. It was a fight much like any other.
As you know by now, I’ve been skating rather tenuously around the new tourist visa regulations enforces across much of Europe. One of the reasons for my side trip to Norway was to cross a legal threshold. Still, my last trip I had stayed past the legal limit, and I didn’t know if that would lead to trouble. I didn’t think the Czechs would mind, but now they have to follow the same regulations as their rather more officious neighbors to the west. The two main terminals in the Prague airport are now configured so that one handles flights from within the Shengen zone, while Terminal 1 handles the flights from outside. Mostly.
Norway is not part of the Shengen zone, so I was a bit surprised when the plane turned off the taxiway by terminal 2. Huh. I got off the plane, walked through an empty hall that had once had passport control, and there I was. Not only was I not hassled about my previous overstay, but they don’t know I’m here. Since all the rules are based on the date of entry into the zone, it’s going to be difficult for them to hassle me.
So, I’ve got that going for me. I’m sitting in the Little Café near home, sipping my first czech beer (Staropramen, unfortunately). Franta bought me some Fernet. Others are coming later, but I don’t plan to stay long. It’s going to be nice just relaxing the quiet of my little apartment tonight. Also, I don’t have much of the local currency.
Here I am, back in Prague for a long stay for perhaps the last time, sitting at LCNH (the weather is near-ideal, but I’ll drink outdoors tomorrow). There’s a new bartender, of course, there always is when I come back from traveling. The joy with which Franta welcomed me suitably established my regularness, I think.
For those keeping score at home, my transport today went: car, train, airplane, bus, metro, tram, and a little bit of walking.