Geertjan's Blog

  • September 11, 2006

Hello Oslo

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
Late night taxi rides from airports to hotels, with the dingy outskirts of cities, with shrubs, distant lights twinkling like far off tribes in savage clusters, and a sense of random abandonment, always reminds me of the start of one of W.H. Auden's earliest poems (and maybe my favorite):

Who stands, the crux left of the watershed,

On the wet road between the chafing grass

Below him sees dismantled washing-floors,

Snatches of tramline running to a wood,

An industry already comatose,

Yet sparsely living.

Rest of the poem is here.

Cool things about Norway, where I am with Richard Gregor from the Java Wireless Toolkit team (and several others who I haven't met with yet)—Oslo airport oddly reminiscent of a sauna, with wood paneling everywhere; Norwegian coins have holes in them, which I thought only happened on tiny islands in the Pacific; TVs that swivel rock; films on TV are not dubbed but subtitled (is there a better way of ensuring that people learn English from an early age and that the local language gets bastardized at the same time?); Harrison Ford consistently finds himself in movies where he ends up running around frantically with a confused look on his face. (The latter observation has nothing to do with Norway, but is worth pointing out anyway.)

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