“It´s time to go back, what was the highlight of your one week assignment in Oslo?” asked Carmen, my Norwegian girlfriend.
“You” … I replied. With a lot of innocence in her eyes, she blushes, leans closer to me, gives me a hug and says, “Thank you Patience”.
I am finally home, my one week stay in Oslo has been very fruitful with a lot to write about. Great highlights that wouldn’t go unmentioned. I start a new week very tired but I am sure will manage and rest as the week goes on.
Oslo Music Festival was great fun for me. Despite being known as a woman who loves her sleep bigtime and wouldn´t be spotted late nights, there was every reason as to why I slept for less than four hours a day in a whole week.
With a press pass, and over 20 concert venues all over Oslo City, I was spoilt for choice. Every other day, it was a hard decision to make on which venue to go, preferring the days I had to carry out a specified assignment, because this simplified my day.
It was a great experience, having been able to attend the opening ceremony at the Opera house that left many longing for more. I can say, the standards were set from the word go and the performers did not disappoint.
For the musicians and their bands, I loved their coordination. The tension before the concert, especially during changeover, everyone running up and down, positioning the instruments, some of which seemed very heavy, mic checks and finally setting everything right. It reminded me of the media tension just before the top of the hour. Anyone having worked in the newsroom and especially a news anchor will relate to this. Then, a relaxing moment when assured that all is well, and finally an electrifying performance that leaves the Norwegians clapping for more as the artists leave the stage. The clapping increases and after a few minutes of consultation, I guess the clapping has worked. The artists return to the stage and there´s a bonus of one song. This I observed in five various performances. The artists finally leave with a lot of satisfaction as they hug each other for a job well done.
The concerts were accompanied by after party sessions where almost all the venues were packed to the door step. A chance to see the other side of Norwegians. The foreigners will always comment on the ‘shyness’ of the Norwegian people. It would be a generalisation to say that they are all shy, but this is true for many Norwegians. It|´s said in bars and restaurants in the evening, Norwegians would be very friendly and open towards the foreigners, however the next day the Norwegians would act as if they hardly know them.
During these sessions Norwegians become very wild, this is true, I was quietly making my own observations. After one, two, many beers, they flock the dance flow and they just become very wild. Of course many have come with their better half, but for those who came in alone, slowly by slowly they start pairing up. Interesting, others now have the guts to smile at me and even offer a handshake.
The music festivals have given me an opportunity to meet new people and expand my network. Meeting other people in different fields and exchanging ideas was key for me. Working at the main broadcasting house in Oslo, was great. Meeting my other colleagues, Arne Berg is exceptional, (you made me laugh all the time), getting to know them and spending more time with them was a great experience. Sigbjorn Nedland, you have always been a great boss, you did your best for me, I am speechless. At the Opening ceremony I got had an opportunity to meet some of the FK leaders, and even sharing a conversation. Thank you for this great opportunity, FK has given to me.
I have also added a number of friends to my friendship list. Carmen Glitza deserves an award. You are too good to be true. You were always there, picking us from the hotel, showing us around, and sacrificing all your plans to ensure we were comfortable all the time. I remain indebted to you forever. You are one beautiful lady in and out. Friends and acquaintances I made, am grateful to you all.
Jungelscenen, Busi Ncubes performance, Afrocubianism and Barnas Verdensdager were my best concerts. They brought with them electrifying performances that left many wanting more. Yebo Choir at Jungelscenen was such a big hit. At Barnas Verdensdager (Children World´s day), parents accompanying their children despite the cold weather, it was awesome.
A better person
Apart from the additional friends, the NRK had also given me the chance to exercise my experience with field live broadcast and the feedback was good. I am grateful. I have had the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of culture from various parts of the world as expressed through music.
It was also a great opportunity to learn more on the Norwegian culture and explore more on their way of living. I know Oslo city better than before. From being picked up from the hotel by my boss, worry no more, I can now confidently board a bus on my own and work out my errands without calling you.
Something I wouldn´t forget to mention, I loved the train experience. Having been brought up by a railway dad, I had a chance to compare the Kenyan railway system and the Norwegian. No comparison I would say, different in all aspects. I looked for the Kenyan first class and the packed third class in vain.
I am finally home and of course I did miss Kristiansand!! Have a great week, won´t you!!