I have reached these days the shore of the North Sea, right in the middle of a keen frost that I have never felt in Norway. I did feel it now. Me and my bones. And all of my insides. Lucky me I have a tough immune system and I am fine after half a day outside. Now I can still brag that I haven’t got a cold yet here, in these Norwegian surroundings.
It wasn’t completely random that I got to see the sea at the beginning of the winter. And I wasn’t on the shore just to take a profile picture for Facebook (bragging again: so that the people can see how cool I am). Instead, I came with some friends (Jørgen Rodem, Emil Strand, Esben Tipple, Kristoffer Forfang), who also came with some of their best friends: their surf boards. A white one with a red pattern. A pink one with animal print. Haha, I like this guys’ taste in colours, I love pink. And it’s quite daring for a guy, that’s why I like the board more now. The other two boards, I can’t remember if they had any specific patterns, but whatever the brand or the colour they had, I was fascinated from the beginning. I couldn’t wait to see them into action.
When we first reached the shore, it was slowly raining. I told to myself the guys must be crazy for wanting to do this, but I didn’t say this out loud, of course. Because deep down I felt a sort of admiration. But why crazy? I have three reasons: arctic frost, cold annoying rain and the water, well, colder than I have ever imagined. I only needed one second and one finger to test it and I felt it was enough. I said to myself I can’t bear more of this water, what the hell, I don’t have viking blood rushing through my veins. But there is fourth reason as well: their suits. I watched them carefully while easily forgetting about their warm clothes and getting inside those thin and funny suits and I couldn’t believe my eyes: those costumes really work, it they are wearing them. At first I was joking inside me: they will get out of the water soon, I have to take my pictures really really fast. Hehe, no signs of that.
I was sitting quite well on the shore, literally buried in two pairs of stockings, one pair of jeans and some other waterproof pants that one of them gave to me. Big thanks, Esben, for those pants, they helped a lot! Next. A blouse, a pullover, a yellow jumper and another waterproof thing (“a cool jacket”), given to me by Emil. He probably saw my tiny jacket and must of said to himself: “Poor girl, let me help her!”. At first I thought I came with some proper clothes, but definitely no. If you want to learn everything about real warm clothes, then Norwegians are the best teachers. Let’s add a warm head ribbon, two hoods, proper boots and gloves and we have the perfect wrapping for a day outside in Norway. (*overstatement)
I was watching them riding the waves ( the Norwegian translation for “wave” would be “bølge”, thank you, Jørgen) and how they were easily tricking them, like they would be surfing since the first day they were born. I took 600 pictures of them. I didn’t have time to get bored. Seeing people surfing for the first time in my life and actually having the proper equipment to take pictures of them was simply amazing (thanks to Volda University College).
I tried my beginner skills in taking pictures for four hours, I guess. In the same time I couldn’t understand how the boys can swim in that bloody cold water for such a long time. I was thinking every ten minutes that they must probably get bored soon of doing the same thing, if it’s not the cold the reason they should go out. But no. Just like in my case, there was no boredom involved.
They took a short break, just enough to drink some water and rapidly eat a sandwich. Then they went back into the water, leaving me alone with my thoughts again. From time to time, whenever I was taking a good picture of one of them I was screaming like crazy from the top of my big rock I was sitting on. I did this for them to hear me, and understand that yes, I caught that moment.
At the end of the day they told me what’s up with handling the cold water through that suit. That’s for stop thinking at this cliche with the viking blood. I am tired of cliches, just like I can’t handle anymore another question about Dracula (yes, we, Romanians, own Dracula). The whole trick with the water is that you let it enter your suit in the beginning, and after that you will warm it with your own body. Poor me, of course I knew there must be a proper explanation, but it took a while for me to find it. So no viking blood in this equation, I guess.
Late at night, back home in my warm room, I was chatting and feeling pleased after such an experience. Jørgen tought me how to say “wave” in Norwegian. “Bølge”. It is not the first word I am trying to learn here in Norway. But with this complicated language, I can definitely say I will learn it only if my life would be threatened and I could only use Norwegian to save me. As long as I can use English abroad and feel like a fish in the water, why bothering?