Thursday, 11 November 2010

The dusty road back to snow.

I'm still tired... Honestly! This is getting a bit bugging now. I've been in Asker a round total of 3 days, had three nights of fairly decent sleep, and yet the heavy eyelids refuse to go away. Might be the gloomy weather.

Well, I really should write about crew change! I'll skip all the bad parts and stick to the somewhat cool things! I am somewhat determined to make this sound not like a rant. (Heh, let's see how that goes :P.)In brief, here's what I survived to get off the boat: Overnight on a(nother) boat. Half a day in a bus through the mountains and bits of the desert. A day and a half in a hotel with a pool and a pool table (!\:D/!) outside a city (town?) that looked sort of big from a distance, but we didn't dare look any closer. Overnight flight to Jeddah and ensuing confusion thanks to intense fog over Istanbul. Flight to Istanbul. Sudden tap on shoulder while I was trying to explain to random fellow passenger that he'd missed his onward flight. Run-in with officemate (and eventual stand-in boss) travelling to OSL on same flight!! Last ditch attempt at securing a bed for the night thanks to suggestions from aforementioned officemate and free wi-fi at IST. Flight to OSL and train to Asker. Increasingly groggy state of being. Miraculously pre-booked hotel room (yay!!!). Herculean effort to drag even groggier self all the way to the pub for dinner (just to avoid the McDonald's next door). All systems down before 1930.Oh! Did I mention intermittent involuntary shivers thanks to the 30 degree temperature drop?Anyway, the cool bits!! So that bus ride?! It was pretty awesome!! Actually the ride was too long and cramped, but the view out of the window was awesome :). A landscape barren to an extent and scale that made it quite majestic! The rocks eventually grew less and less continuous and the sand started creeping up the sides and through the gaps until it was practically all over. With just two narrow ribbons of tarmac slithering along their winding way. Initially through the rocky passes, and eventually amidst the sand from horizon to horizon.
The rocks that remained, large, defiant and eroded, seemed scattered at random. Their nature changing quite rapidly, from pockmarked sandstone to straight-faced granite. Or what looked like it anyway. I'm not exactly your average rock geek, and neither was I about to step from the air-conditioned cab into the nearly cloudless bright blue-skied oven outside to take a closer look! And, not surprisingly, there were camels.The quick swim in the pool once we finally got to the airport hotel outside Tabuk was nice. Except that by then the sun was low in the sky and the water was pretty darned cold! The pool table on the other hand, posed no such problems, and some of us proceeded to make really good use of it :). Oh, and while on the subject of cool things, one mustn't forget the awesome chicken curry!The next cool thing really, was the 12 hour sleep I managed once I finally crash-landed on that hotel bed Monday night :).

Eventually got put up in a different apartment this time. No cool view of the fjord. A longer walk to and from the office. But it's a lot closer to the stores, restaurants and the Kino! Which is the cinema, btw. And tonight, the plan is to go watch Red, despite the sub-zero temperatures.

Oh, it's snowing! Well, it was snowing yesterday. I was a little pre-occupied while trying to find my way out of the apartment block on my way to work. Ironically the same building I mentioned here, lots of doors, hard to tell which ones to go through to get out :|.

The first snow flakes I noticed were the ones that hit me in the face :). It was nice and light. And only after I was safely inside the office building did it turn into a bit of a blizzard. I wasted a bit of extra time staring out through the big glass walls on my way to and from a few extra mugs of hot chocolate.

Like I mentioned elsewhere earlier, it's definitely been a pretty shitty few days to make me feel that good about the stupid snow. My proper snow boots I left at home, and none of the slopes here are even close to opening :(.Currently: hoping Dame Helen Mirren kicks ass with a sniper rifle!
Listening to: Pearl Jam - RVM live in Indianapolis

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