Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
17 June 2006
Filed under:Personal,Travel at8:52 am

I visited Oslo to attend the first meeting of the Mediatized Stories network (which was a very interesting gathering of scholars from a wide variety of disciplines with a common interest in youth and digital storytelling), and have stuck around afterwards for a few days to see the sights. The weather has been lovely (the summer solstice is coming up) and the city is startlingly clean and prosperous. Nowhere I have seen so far could be described as run down – it’s like a whole city made up of the nicer bits of North American cities like San Francisco or Seattle. The people are also really friendly – I lost my Oslo Pass (free entry to museums and public transport etc) and all the people I explained this to were happy to let me enter their museum/bus/whatever without any fuss. And of course everyone speaks fluent English. I forgot my USB cable so my own pictures will be on Flickr early next week when I return. Meanwhile you can satisfy yourselves with other people’s Flickr photos tagged with Oslo.

On the other hand… first there is the weather. Actually it doesn’t get all that cold on average (if you are a Canadian). But there are 148 days under 0C/32F every year on average – and those cold days would be dark as well. And the real kicker is the cost of living. I am staying at a private “B & B” which is little better than a moderately well-decorated hostel (only Special K available for breakfast cereal, you have to wash your hair and body with hand soap as that’s all there is, there are only showers not baths and all of them are shared – you can imagine). It costs £50 a night. Just a main course (no dessert, starter or coffee – I quickly stopped dreaming of them) cost £20-30 at every restaurant I found. (At cafes you could get meals slightly cheaper). A half litre of Pepsi cost £2 everywhere I looked. My two day museum and transport pass cost £30. I could go on…

One of the small ironic pleasures of being a Londoner is going abroad and finding everything less expensive but Oslo was the exception to the rule. It feels even more expensive than Tokyo (mind you I didn’t try buying melons while I was there!)

Nonetheless, I have always been of the opinion that when you go on holiday you shouldn’t
count the cost as it ruins the fun. And I am trying not to! I wouldn’t want to put you off coming either. It is a great, relaxing place to visit as long as you don’t look up the exchange rate before you go…

1 Comment »

  1. Mediatized stories…

    Thanks to David Brake for linking to the “mediatized stories” project of the University of Oslo, which is working on “how young people use self-representation in digital storytelling to shape and share their lives.” There are a ton of links……

    Trackback by Tensegrities — 19 June 2006 @ 8:16 pm

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