Although I’ve been to Bergen four times in the past five years, I’ve never pulled the classic tourist move of arriving on a cruise ship. Known locally as the city of the seven hills, Bergen is in the language of love and tourist hype ‘the Rome of the north’; as are also Riga, Tallinn, York and Sutton Scotney. Bergen’s development as a Hanseatic trading port is a historical groove sensation, but today most visitors are more impressed by the bar prices; hot tip – take a bank loan before buying a round.
This time around I discovered some cute local customs while sitting outside The Calibar (Vaskerelven 1, Bergen). I’d had a few beers and wanted a whisky chaser. There were no Islay malts, so I had to settle for a Macallan – one of the better examples of Speyside Scotch. Anyway, as I brought the elixir to my lips, a couple of huge bouncers came over and told me I had to drink inside – it is illegal to drink spirits on the streets of Bergen, even if you are sitting at a table outside a bar! So inside I went, where I was forced to groove to eighties pop tunes. If you think UK or US laws about ‘street drinking’ are draconian, then you ain’t been to Bergen.
You have to be over 24 to get into the Calibar, and there is virtually no room to move on the downstairs dance floor. But if you’re looking to pull a thirties-something grinding partner who does the frug by waving their arms in the air and singing along to Boney M hits, there is nowhere better to go in the whole of Scandinavia. Also very much in evidence in this nightclub is some over-the-top lighting in shocking shades of pink. Still, I’m not complaining when the end result is getting to meet a heaving sweating mass of thirty-something Norwegian stunnas. Which has got to be better than listening to 30 year-old punk rock by the likes of Norgez Bank in whatever passes for a dirty squat on the west coast of Norway. BTW: I didn’t even clock any vintage Norwegian punk slop in local record shops, although I came across a few Ebba Grön CDs from across the Swedish border!
However, as everyone knows, the best reason for visiting the Norwegian coast is to go skinny dipping in various lakes and fjords. Since the best places for public nudity are out of town, I got a bus all the way to Anglevik on Lille Sotra (you can go direct but on some services you have to change at Straume). I know a nice little lake that takes less than an hour to swim all the way around, and provides local houses with drinking water. The water is cool but refreshing, and unless you have ‘a nose’ as big as mine, you can look a bit shrivelled when you come out if you’re a bloke. A lot of houses and flats have been built around Anglevik since I started going up to this lake, and I’m pleased to report that the population out on the island is now more ethnically mixed.
There are even a few houses overlooking ‘my’ swimming lake and while I was in the water an awful noise drew my attention to a man with a lawn-mower on the roof of one such dwelling. I suppose that if you have a turf-roof you need to mow it in the summer, but did he really have to spend four-and-a-half hours doing so on a weekday afternoon? Since there’s a law prohibiting drinking spirits on the streets of Bergen, surely the local council could introduce one against spending more than an hour mowing the roofs of houses on Sotra?
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!
Comment by Nicole Black, masked and dangerous with a copy of Michael K glued to her wall on 2009-08-12 09:37:55 +0000
A thirties-something grinding partner who does the frug by waving their arms in the air and singing along to Boney M hits?
I knew I shouldn’t have booked my holiday in Hullaballoo this year…now I’m as sick as a…erm..I’ve forgotten
Comment by Michael K on 2009-08-12 09:56:07 +0000
Well you’ll have to put your clothes back on before going through customs and immigration or you’ll never make it back to the Big Blogger Flat here in sleepy London town where there’s just no place for a buck naked man!
Comment by The Real Tessie on 2009-08-12 10:16:04 +0000
Keep those clothes off – we all need to get naked on the planet. And nude jet travel is the closest we can get to space age communism until we go back in time to make sure the AAA realises its five year plan in 1999!
Comment by A Naked Man With A Brown Paper Bag Over His Head on 2009-08-12 11:43:06 +0000
Naturism (smokes) rocks!
Comment by A Naked Man With His Hand Over His Private Parts on 2009-08-12 11:51:44 +0000
Has anybody seen my clothes? I left them here when I went for a swim in the lake and now they’ve disappeared….
Comment by The All Nude Noddy Holder Disguised As Michael K on 2009-08-12 12:57:06 +0000
I’m just what you need babe, an all nude evil witch man!
Comment by Nekkid Crackheads Staggering In The Middle Of The Road on 2009-08-12 14:53:49 +0000
Where’s your mamma gone? Where’s your pappa gone? Far Far away!
Comment by Michael K, waving a copy of ‘Norwegian Wood’, the onscure gonzo-porn ‘journal’ at a copy of Stewart Home, nude at Brixton underground station on 2009-08-12 15:40:48 +0000
I don’t have any ‘shrivelling bloke’ problems with skinny-dipping in ice-pools on the Norwegian riviera. This could be because I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it, you know or because I’m such a red-hot lover that no ice-pool can hold me down!
Comment by Michael Jackson, dead but about to sign over the rights to The Beatles' back-catalogue to Michael K in a posthumous deal which wll rehouse his brain at The Dog Star in Brixton with a plaque affixed reading ‘Pepsi not Coke because it has more Bubbles’ on 2009-08-12 15:46:28 +0000
Spending more than an hour mowing the roofs of houses on Sotra is just a total trip!
Comment by Paul McCartney, tripping on acid and in frenzied telephone negotiations with Michael K over the rights to ‘Hello Goodbye’ which K wants $400k for on 2009-08-12 15:51:32 +0000
A nice little lake that takes less than an hour to swim all the way around, and provides local houses with drinking water is not only a groove sensation but could provide a welcome break for me and Nancy (her name was McGill but she called herself Jill) after I get through this bout of tough negotiations with K. I thought Jackson was bad but K is just feckin’ terrible!
Comment by Tom Garretson on 2009-08-12 16:09:12 +0000
Why Stewart honey, why didn’t you tell me you were visiting? You’re virtually in my back yard.
Comment by Fiona Symes on 2009-08-12 16:48:56 +0000
Comment by Tony Parsons on 2009-08-12 17:00:58 +0000
and why not, I did that once in Denver..
Comment by The Real Tessie Pretending To Be The Unreal Tessie Pretending To Be Michael K on 2009-08-13 00:26:00 +0000
I think ‘buck naked’ refers to the male deer habit of not wearing underpants
Comment by Iain Sinclair, asleep at the wheel of his Audi after a night on the tiles with The Real Tessie Pretending To Be The Unreal Tessie Pretending To Be Michael K on 2009-08-13 08:00:29 +0000
Hey in an interview with This Week in Science, William Gibson said that I was his favourite author!! Plus I have a new Audi, a flat in Hastings and a house in Hackney and none of you can say the same, losers!
Comment by Paul McCartney, playing ‘Hello Goodbye’ over and over again to celebrate his purchasing of it from a second-hand song-dealer called Michael K who is concealing the fact that ‘Hello Goodbye’ was actually given away by Michael Jackson to somebody’s daughter on 2009-08-13 08:03:24 +0000
Comment by The Walrus on 2009-08-13 08:10:22 +0000
The Warren Commission, accomplished its mission to cover up the truth. It concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK in 1963. The name Oswald is used by Shakespeare and the Beatles. In “I Am the Walrus,” released on November 27, 1967 by the Beatles, John Lennon played a BBC production of Shakespeare’s King Lear Act IV, Scene 6, lines 249-259 in the background of the song. The lines are as follows:
Oswald: Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body
And give the letters which you find’st about me
To Edmund, Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out
Upon the English party. O, untimely death!
Death! [He dies]
Edgar: I know thee well: a serviceable villain,
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
As badness would desire.
Gloucester: What, is he dead?
Edgar: Sit you down, father. Rest you. [Gloucester sits.]
Oswald was a “serviceable villain” to the Masonic plotters who covered their tracks by setting him up as the patsy. In King Lear, Oswald was duteous to the vices of his mistress, the treasonous daughter Goneril. In JFK’s assassination, Oswald was duteous to the vices of his mistress, the treasonous Masons in the F.B.I., an organization which destroyed his last communication to it and ordered him to the theater where he was arrested.
And if you need reminding: THE WALRUS WAS PAUL
Comment by Old Rope on 2009-08-13 10:26:16 +0000
Comment by Tim on 2009-08-13 12:57:34 +0000
Anyway . . . funny post. The fjords, the frug and Boney M sound fantastic. The lawnmower on the roof seems sort of, I don’t know, Scandinavian.
Comment by devotionalhooligan on 2009-08-14 10:23:58 +0000