I’ve been traveling solo for over a week now, so I’ve accumulated quite a few thoughts that I need to share, so here you go.
never underestimate the April sun
The weekend before Spring Break I was in the south of France, it was the first time I had seen the sun in any sort of meaningful way in months and I immeadiately freaked out and bought a very large, very expensive tube of sunscreen. I didn’t get sunburned and when it came time to leave for Break I didn’t bring it, I was going to Scandinavia early in the spring after all. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that sometimes the sun doesn’t realize it’s supposed to be lying low. I now have a sunburn along the part of my hair and my nose is the sort of red it doesn’t usually achieve until late May/early June. I now remember why I always buy make up with spf properties.
Ah that most elusive of spices! As I’m sure you’ve heard me complain about by now, it’s impossible to find in Paris and all over the place in Scandinavia. I’ve gone to several coffee shops here in Oslo, at the personalization bar, you know where coffee shops have lids and sugar and stuff like that, they all have shakers of cardamom and cinnamon for your coffee! Also all the coffee I’ve had here has been seriously A1, better than some of my good Paris cafes even. Scandinavia is definitely secretly a great coffee destination.
Every country in Scandinavia has low birth rates, to the point where the governments are worried about it and promotions like this exist. But you wouldn’t know it walking on the streets. Baby carriages and pregnant women are all over the place and I think every kindergarten in Oslo takes field trips every day. (This is super adorable by the way, everyone has a partner and they have to hold hands, and all the kids where highlighter yellow reflective vests with the kindergarten’s name and phone number on it). You also see a greater number of dads pushing prams around in the middle of the week than you do in France or the U.S., all the Scandinavian countries really try to emphasize paternity and maternity leave and it’s accepted and encouraged (and in Sweden mandatory) that new dads take time off of work. It’s really great to see actually.
I have not had any alcoholic drinks during my travels this break. (I sully the name of Spring Break I know) but it’s just too expensive on my budget, think $10 for a beer. However walking around (which is right in my budget) it is not uncommon to pass tables with wine or beer on them at ten in the morning, even the French don’t do this but I am really enjoying being back in that Germanic drinking area. It’s just fun to see people having work meetings with beer in the mornings, and it’s basically the antithesis of US drinking morés and therefore my favorite.
I will take any opportunity to talk about pastries, I am definitely buying a really great cookbook when I get home. I have several Scandinavian cooking and baking cookbooks that I *ahem* acquired on the Internet, but I’ve been having some really spectacular pastries that aren’t covered in those books, so onto the specialist books! I will be sure to share any exciting developments from them.
So those are my tidbits of reflection, I’m heading back to Paris on Sunday so there’ll be both a week in review and a trip in review then! Have a good weekend everyone!