Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Easter, Monsieur Poirot!

I apologise for being absent for a while... it's been busy lately and I have to say I am very happy for it: I got a job a month ago.

Apart from this, there are some other things that have changed in the past weeks. The snow has disappeared from Kristiansand city and spring has finally arrived. For me as a Central European, winter was unbearably long, dark and cold... Anyways, before I give up my winter whinings definitively, I would like to share one last winter story that happened to me on a cold February evening.

Alphonse Mucha - Spring
We got a dinner invitation to a friend who lives in Posebyen (the old town of Kristiansand), in one of these charming little white houses I was writing about here. It was pretty cold but still I didn't understand why our host had to put three oil radiators in the middle of the living room. Well, it happened for a reason. His place didn't have any heaters on the wall. A home in Norway without any heaters. Excuse me??? Apparently there were no built in radiators in the whole house.
So if you want to rent a place in the summer time, even if it's sunny outside and the birds are chanting, you want to make sure heaters are included otherwise you'll be surprised some months later... :) What a funny thing.

I'm quite stunned actually that not everyone is fed up with winter yet. This crazy little nation of Norwegians tends to say that the last time of the year where you can go skiing is Easter time. They call it påskerenn. Indeed, "Norwegians were born with skis on their feet". Some weeks ago I started to have the impression though that this statement is craving for clarification. Norwegians were born with skis on their feet... yes. But also a crime novel in their hands.

After the lent has started, all the libraries and book stores have turned into some kind of crime novel supplies advertising Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, Unni Lindell, Camilla Läckberg, Stig Larsson etc... Påskekrim is the name of the phenomenon and it started in 1923 when publisher Gyldendal advertised the crime novel Bergenstoget plyndret i natt (Bergen train looted in the night) of Jonatan Jerv in some daily papers with huge headlines, giving the impression that the Bergen train really had been looted in the night which scared many people having relatives and acquintances on the train.

Påskekrim in an Oslo book store
Now this is what I call marketing... Book stores really seem to make a profit out of this little local tradition. However, a crime novel would be probably the last thing that comes into my mind when I think about Easter.