Friday, February 17, 2012
Quirky Bands and Fresh Air
The above is a promotion for a homegrown band here in Oslo. Yes, their name really is "Turbonegro", and yes, when I first became aware of them I was slightly offended and confused (more confused, namely because that awareness came in the way of a block long ad, in all black, that just read "TURBONEGRO!" which lead to a frantic google search when I got home). However, after doing more research (their music isn't bad for punk-death metal... which isn't nearly as backhanded as I meant it to be. "All my Friends are Dead" is probably my favorite track). They seem to be seemingly self-aware and not very racist (though, I mean, I didn't actually call any of them and most PR material is shaped to be accessible... I like giving the benefit of the doubt), and I respect them for sticking to their guns and not changing their name even though it would've (probably) led to more distribution in... well, everywhere that isn't the latin world (Luis Suarez is reading this and nodding glumly... sorry, that's my English Premier League joke for this entry).
Anyway, Turbonegro is the perfect embodiment of the, seemingly prevalent here, unintentionally funny comedy (Fine, I will give you an example, "Founding member Thomas Seltzer once said, "A turbonegro is a large, well-equipped, armed black male in a fast car, out for vengeance. We are his prophets."")
The above is a common occurrence here in Oslo throughout the winter... Yes, people will leave their UNATTENDED strollers (barnevogn, for my my Norsk speaking friends) outside of houses/restaurants/IKEAs/Hos Bakeri/etc. If you think that's crazy, its not uncommon for these UNATTENDED monstrosities on wheels (seriously, they're much larger than their American counterparts) to be left WITH THE BABY STILL INSIDE!! Now, to get an idea of just how cold winters in Oslo can get, a mother here told me that she doesn't leave her baby out once the temperature hits -5 Celsius [23 Farenheit], because that's too cold!
Why do they do this?
Well, this city is very trusting and crime isn't really that big of a deal (mainly because of the generous social services and microscopic unemployment rate... I was walking down the street today and two shop employees were standing befuddled in the street and were discussing a man who had just ran out of their shop with hundreds of dollars in unpaid merchandise. Bystanders were pointing in which direction the guy went, but, when they found out the guy was "running", the employees decided it wasn't worth pursuit. Yes, I'm serious) and Norwegians believe the fresh air is good for the child's lungs/breathing (the air quality is a touch better than most of the US).
oh, today was the warmest day since I've been here, a balmy +3 degrees celsius (that's 42 Farenheit if you're scoring at home). Norwegians decided to celebrate by taking up outdoor seating at all the cafes around town... Spring is on the way!
Rap lyric I'd incorporate into a song if I were a rapper:
Tryin' me a bad idea, indeed/Like callin' a Norwegian a Swede