Tuesday, 17 November 2009

One-Week Stand In N.Y.C.

Hm, this is almost starting to look like a a pattern: In the autumn every eighth year Torgny goes to New York to meet pretty girls. About a month ago I visited Manhattan for a week, and I was very pleased with the stay.

The first day we walked through an autumnal Central Park amidst Americans dressed in suits and sneakers. Afterwards we visited the Guggenheim Museum, filled up with a disproportionate amount of Kandinsky paintings. The next day we took the ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty, and then went on to Ellis Island, the main gate for immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A fascinating document from days of yore.

On the third day it was about time to visit the Empire State Building. From the observatory on the 86th floor we had a great view of the whole city (and several of its neighbouring states). In the afternoon we visited Madame Tussauds, socializing with celebrities like Lou Reed, Albert Einstein and Barack Obama. Later in the evening we joined a sightseeing under New York's moon in an open double-decker bus. An interesting, but rather cold experience. It's quite windy on the Brooklyn Bridge at night.

After having done some of the main attractions, we took it easy the next days. We went in the park, strolled along 5th Avenue, experienced the crowd around Times Square, and went to free evening concerts in Bryant Park. (Interesting, but a bit cold, there too.) We also visited the TV & Radio Museum, which could offer re-encounters with half-forgotten tv serials from the 60s and 70s. And on our last night together, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at our newly discovered hang-out Tony's at 43rd St.

The stay in the stronghold of Western urban life exceeded all expectations, not least since I also experienced the mysteries of the East opening up to me...

XTC - Statue of Liberty

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Searching For A Dwelling

I've finally decided to try to get an apartment of my own. This week I've been to my first public view, and also had councelling appointment in my bank concerning (oh, horrors!) a prospective house loan...

I sort of dreaded them both a bit. Ringing the doorbell to the view, I felt a bit like going to a house party with people I didn't know that well. But the estate agent was a nice guy who let me look around without feling much too stupid and green.

And let me just say it right away: I liked the apartment a lot! There was virtually nothing I did NOT like about it, and that's pretty unique for someone like me. In most cases I think things are ok... BUT! And then I get caught up in some minor detail.

Something tells me I probably won't find an apartment I'll like more than this. But at the same time I ask myself if it's such agood idea jumping at the chance so soon, without checking out any alternatives. Besides, some acquaintances of mine have actually warned me against buying a flat in this area.

Susceptible as I am, this kind of things instantly makes me a bit uncertain and disheartened. But at the same time I almost feel a bit in love with this 50 square metre beauty. And as you know, love is blind - and deaf!

To be continued...

Thursday, 12 November 2009

In The Garden

Recently my class and I had another excursion, this time to the Botanical Garden at Tøyen. This is usually a popular trip. (I took my previous students to the same place both last year and two years ago).

The students seemed to enjoy it. They photographed each other like crazy in the autumnal garden. I have liked all my classes, but this one seems even livelier than the somewhat indolent ladies in shawls and sandals. (It also doesn't hurt that there are several fun Thai ladies in the class.)

After an hour's walk in the garden the students had got a bit frozen, but they soon got warm again in the tropical hothouse, filled with exotic plants. Afterwards we visited the Zoological Museum, exhibiting stuffed animals from both Norway and more distant skies, as well as the rock collection and the dinosaurs at the Geological Museum.

Afterwards the Thai girls invited me and the other students to a restaurant with delicious food from their home country (and also gave me some suggestions of which of Oslo's Thai restaurants you should/should not go to). A pleasurable and savoury conclusion of a nice excursion. I've realized that I'm never in a better mood than when I'm with my students! :-)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

I'm Only Sleeping

"I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray" (Prince)

Lately the days have passed without many exciting experiences to write about. In bed, at night, however... (HAR-HAR! wink, wink...)

Nope. If you think I'm going to share juicy details about nocturnal experiences, you'll have to think again. Or maybe not. Except these experiences have taken place while I've been asleep!

Ok, I guess most people think listening to other people's dreams is just as exciting as watching paint dry up. But this is MY blog, and here I'm the boss! You other guys will just have to look another way for a while. :-)

Digression: For many years The Beatles (despite their indecently long hair) were a nice and neat boy band who mostly sung about holding your hand. One of the first signs that something was about to happen, might have been John Lennon's far-out "I'm Only Sleeping" on the Revolver album (1966). In retrospect most people consider Lennon's sleep a metaphor for - hm - certain "psychedelic" experiences (the guys are known for having drunk rather strong tea at the time...). But reportedly, the song simply reflects the fact that John loved lying in bed! And who doesn't?

Sometimes I wonder where all the dreams come from. And not least where all the PEOPLE in our dreams come from. On various occasions I've got a crush on people I've met in my dreams. And then woken up, only to discover that their only excistence was in Slumberland! :-(

I recently had a very vivid dream. I seemed to be on some kind of pleasure trip to Denmark with my colleagues. There was sun, summer and long, white beaches. I have no idea where all this came from. I haven't been to a pleasure trip in ages. And never to Denmark. And certainly not with my colleagues. But there we were, all the same.

Everything wasn't pure bliss, though. One of my colleagues - a grumpy and stupid hag - noticed something I've written, and blatantly criticized "my poor handwriting" (she was particularly dissatisfied with my Norwegian Ø's). I was taken totally by surprise (and got pretty annoyed, too), but tried to explain that this was just something I'd scribbled down in a hurry.

A bit later I was down on the beach, and was approached by a rather impertinent, but at the same time dangerously alluring lolita with long, blond curls... (Un)fortunately I woke up before I got the chance to do anything I might have to do time for... Even though you naturally can't be held responsible for the contents of your dreams, I felt (as Sting says in his creepy, clumsy and pretentious way) "like the old man in that famous book by Nabokov". Or like Roman Polanski.

Ok, this may not have been the world's most exciting dream. (Don't tell me I didn't warn you!). But with its epic course it was very vivid. I still have both the beach, the thick colleague and the Danish maid under my skin. But none of them exist anywhere else than inside my own head. You might say this is the REAL Torgnyworld...