Noorwegen, Norway: Noruega for my mom

When I was a child, we had a tradition, my mom and me. On a regular lazy weekend afternoon, we would pass on a piece of paper back and forth in which we would draft down little notes to each other. It would read something like this:

“You are like a beautiful flower”;

“You are the brightest of stars”;

“You are the sun in the sky”

(and so on, and so on)

This would last for as long as our creativity allowed. In the end, we would have completed a long note of love, which was a sweet exercise of language creativity for a 7-year-old. When you’re 7 (or the mother of a 7-year-old, for that matter), the concept of “cheesy” just doesn’t have a place in the world. You can imagine that, as you grow up and start to find a whole lot of things ‘ridiculous’ and ’embarrassing’, this freedom of speech and affection goes through the sharp razor of censorship. By labeling it ‘uncool’, you make your poor mother wake up from the dream and go through the pains of feeling rejected by this being she so unconditionally had been devoting herself to, not to mention having carried it in her own womb.

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The miracle (or the illusion) of motherhood at The Vigeland Park

Obviously, no adult remembers how it felt to be a puber or an adolescent. For you though, ‘cheesy’ becomes “a thing” to avoid at all means, “a thing” you keep in the box of strictly prohibited behaviours to display in public (or to display at all), until you finally come out of the closet, a decade after if you’re lucky – it might take longer for some, and there are even a number of humans who never seem to be able to get over it (the ones who scream PDA! every time you get as close as 1 meter from them).

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Munch’s ‘The Scream’ at the National Gallery of Oslo

<———- Public Display of Affection! AHHHH!

Anyway, I was on the phone with my mother the other day, telling her about Norway and she directly requested pictures. I hastily replied ‘yes, yes’, and I got quite restless at the thought of all the work it would demand of me (while I already have one hundred thousand and seven blog posts to finish and photos to edit and shit). And then, while I was walking to the local bar that old feeling of “you are the brightest of stars” suddenly took over me and I decided right there I would write a blog post especially for her.

Porque tu continuas a ser a estrela mais bela, mãe.

SO. If you’re learning Portuguese, go ahead and try to read what is to follow (okay, okay, I will draft some notes in English as well).

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Praca de Youngstorget / Youngstorget square

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Vista a partir da Opera House / View from Oslo’s Opera House

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Este é daquele tipo de paisagens que faz com que, de repente, fiques a compreender a pintura Norueguesa. / And then, all of a sudden, you understand Norwegian painting.

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Como esta pintura do Dahl, de 1839, chamada ‘Larvik by Moonlight’ (e que está na National Gallery de Oslo) / Like this Dahl’s 1893 work, called ‘Larvik by Moonlight (at Oslo’s National Gallery)

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Ou esta: ‘Winter Nights in the Mountain’ (1914), Herald Sohlberg (National Museum of Oslo), com uma moça que parecia estar a posar, de propósito, para mim. // Solhberg’s painting, with the bonus of a beautiful stranger.

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Eis o céu de Oslo por volta das 2 da manhã. Como vês, no verão, o céu nunca escurece por completo. / Oslo’s sky around 2 am. In the summer it never completely darkens.

E por falar em arte, esta é a Câmara Municipal de Oslo, um edifício lindíssimo que foi trabalhado por artistas autóctones, maioritariamente sob a forma de pinturas e murais que cobrem todo o interior, desde as paredes, passando pelo chão e o tecto. É um edifício que tem uma série de referências à classe trabalhadora enquanto base da organizacão social Norueguesa, entre outras obras de arte relativas à cultura e à história do país. A cerimónia anual do prémio Nobel da Paz tem lugar aqui. // Oslo’s Town Hall.

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Esta é a vista de uma das salas da Câmara Municipal. Um sonho. // View from the inside of the Town Hall

Cá estão os murais da câmara municipal; aqui tens a interseccão entre parede e tecto. Incrível, não é? A fotografia seguinte é a prova de que sim, tenho-me alimentado bem. // The intersection between the wall and the ceiling in one of the City Hall’s rooms & the proof that yes, I’ve been feeding myself properly.

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Em frente à Câmara Municipal tens, nada mais nada menos, do que este espectáculo. // View right in front of the Town Hall.

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O metro nr. 1, que a dada altura faz o percurso todo à superfície, e que nos levou ao cimo da colina, a Frognerseteren. A viagem é, em si mesma, uma sucessão de paisagens de postal. // Metro number 1, which is also a surface subway, took us up to the hill, to Frognerseteren. The trip is, in itself, a succession of postcard landscapes.

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Ora repara. // Just take a look.

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Em Frognerseteren existe um café / restaurante tradicional muito conhecido, este que vês na foto, que serve umas célebres tartes de macã e cozinha de inspiracão Francesa. // There’s a restaurant / cafe at Frognerseteren, theis one in the picture, and it serves some famous apple tarts and French inspired meals.

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E a vista do interior é esta maravilha. // The marvellous view from the inside.

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Eu aqui tinha-me empoleirado fora da janela do café, o que exigiu umas manobras contorcionistas. Mas, tendo em conta a fotografia, valeu a pena. // Sometimes you might need some contorcionist skills in order to make a proper photo. For this one, I had to squeeze myself through the window of the cafe, but it was worthy.

A parte do restaurante era muito finesse, como se pode ver, e ali tens um quadro a recriar toda uma ideia de heroísmo viking, a condizer com o tradicionalismo do lugar. E o responsável por este passeio foi, naturalmente, o António, que aqui vês a desbravar os caminhos verdejantes da colina. E sim, antes que perguntes, ele está bom e recomenda-se. // A very chic restaurant, as you can see, with a painting on this idea of Viking heroism which matched the tradionalism of the place. My friend António was the responsible for this afternoon, and here he is, exploring the pathways of the hill.

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E estas estátuas todas? (incluíndo o da mãe com o bebé) Este é o Vigeland Park, composto por mais de 200 esculturas, obra de uma vida do artista Gustav Vigeland. Pode ler-se mais acerca da história desta colaboracão única entre a cidade e escultor aqui. // All these statues? (including the one with the mother + baby) This is the Vigeland Park, composed by more than 200 sculptures, the work of a lifetime from Gustav Vigeland. You can read more about the story of this unique collaboration between the city and the sculptor here.

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Qundo olho para esta foto só me consigo lembrar de ti, mãe. Para já porque o meu sorriso aqui é igualzinho ao teu. Depois porque tu terias posado para a foto com este mesmo ar reptiliano e satisfeito. E é isto. / My smile here is just like my mother’s.

O artigo já vai longo e ainda nem terminei, o que significa que, possivelmente, haverá uma sequela de toda a saga Osloíta. Tal como aquelas listas intermináveis que escrevíamos, enquanto a minha criatividade permitir, estarei aqui. // There will, possibly, be a next chapter to this Osloite saga. Yeah, that’s right, I’m not finished yet. Just as those love notes we used to write, for as long as my creativity allows, I’ll be here.

Here’s a bonus track (from the Vigelandsparken):

P.s. Obrigada por tudo, mãe. Especialmente por me dizeres sempre: VAI.


Want to read more stories? You can follow Amsterdive on Facebook for all updates. Note: I have been doing daily Instagram stories on adventures (and nonsense), which you can check out here.

2 thoughts on “Noorwegen, Norway: Noruega for my mom

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