Ape (“Welcome” in Norwegian). I have arrived. This ape stands guard outside the apartment block where I’m living, which I’m tempted to rename the Charles Darwin Block, for no other reason.

I’m sharing with strangers. They found me from an ad I placed on a Norwegian website, and let me know there was a room going in this apartment. They are two very nice, generous and helpful people whose names are almost-anagrams for one another. There is also a Balinese cat, and he is the one who is really in charge. It’s fairly luxurious, for cat or man, with balconies looking out onto a plaza. Inside, there are the various tell-tale signs that I am living in Norway: the two-prong plugs, the cigarettes in the fridge, and so on.
Unregistered and disorientated, yesterday I went to the University campus at Blindern for registration and orientation. The first other summer school student I met turned out to be a well known dude from the American comic books scene.
Of course, I also have friends from previous jaunts to Norway. Bjarne and Gro invited me over to their place for a “family” barbeque, i.e. them, their daughter, and me. We had some interesting discussions; they told me how sensible it is to keep cigarettes in the fridge, for example. Then, after midnight, Bjarne produced two bikes and initiated me into cycling on the right-hand side of the road, on a journey to the bars along the river.

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

Contact him here.