Vorspiel og Nachspiel

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The time has come for me to introduce you to a couple of very important concepts in Norwegian culture. Vorspiel and Nachspiel. These are in fact German words – I don’t know why – but they describe the first and third phases of a night out in Norway. Vorspiel means the “before party” and nachspiel means the “after party”. In between, you go out and buy expensive beer in a bar, concert venue or club. Perhaps that’s the origin of these essential parties: they reduce the price of going out in the most expensive land on Earth.

Okay, here’s how the weekend works. Friday night: vorspiel. Sit down in some chairs. Have some beers.
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Then at about 11pm it’s time to go out. Go to the cash machine. If you’re hard of hearing there is a minijack so you can stick in your headphones.
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Take out your money. Camera wobble.
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Then you go out. I didn’t take any pictures of that because it’s not important. No what’s important is…
The nachspiel! Sit around drinking with people you don’t even know.
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Test your drunkenness. Which of these three girls isn’t a twin?
Party till 6am.
The next evening, it’s time for the Saturday vorspiel. Another apartment. Some food, beer, wine.
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And this is Torstein, a master of the vorspiel and especially the nachspiel. What’s he doing over there? Let’s move in for a close up.
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Aha, he’s mixing drinks. Vodka. The broccoli is not strictly necessary.
Come 11pm, we all go our separate directions to different events.
At 3.20am I am in a bar that’s closing, and I get the predictable text message from Torstein: “Nachspiel?”
Then I organize that.

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

Contact him here.