Everything about Norway, from its location to its weather to the good-lookingness of its people,
has been engineered to discourage you from going there.
Tromso, for example, was placed above the Arctic Circle specifically to dissuade tourists.
And can only be reached by a secret passageway in selected IKEA wardrobes.
The weather is blatantly some sort of performance art.
From May til August, it’s daytime.
Your shadow spins around, but it doesn’t get any longer.
In winter, it’s nighttime from December to February.
All of this has clearly been done to discombobulate guests.
‘What do people do here in the winter?’ I asked a Tromsoian.
‘Suffer,’ he said.
I’m not sure if that was a description or a command.
No one that far north has ever seen anyone below 5’8” before.
‘Do you grant wishes?’ they asked, taking pictures.
My second day in Tromso, I rented a bike and set out to see the sea.
No matter its ostensible shape, Norwegian scenery is actually giant finger pointing at you, shouting ‘You are insignificant!’
That boat is full or Norwegians, waiting offshore until the foreigner leaves.
My bikesploration somehow ended up spanning 80 miles and nearly 10 hours.
I arrived back in Tromso red and windscraped as the flag.
‘Did you do that on purpose?’ someone asked.
In the evenings I took long walks
and watched the moose cash their welfare checks.
Even the statues look like they’re waiting for you to leave.
So I did, and Norway celebrated.