Saturday was another day for downtown errands. It was a sunny day and we set out on the bus in the morning with the rest of the population to do some essential shopping and go to the library. On the wall along the spiral staircase: “What the treasure is, you decide. Where the treasure is, we will gladly tell you.” It was a nice day for people watching and strolling through the public square.
Anders’s class has a “new years ball” next week and the teacher clued him in (because I asked) that kids would dress a little nicer than Nike athletic pants and sweatshirts (which is the only clothes he wanted to bring), even nicer than jeans. Thus, one prime errand was to set him up with dress pants, shirt, and shoes. Although he totally agreed that he wanted those items, shopping is not his cup of tea. He is also between the largest boy sizes and smallest man sizes. But we lucked out and found some great XS men’s stuff on sale! It didn’t take long before he said “fine” to the clothes. The kids found “Say Yes to the Dress” on TV and have been obsessed, so we watched this spoof to get him ready to shop.
Every downtown trip must also include the library. Books to return, new books to check out. Nora and I spent about an hour there in the small “teen” alcove with the graffiti art that says “young” on the wall. Meanwhile, the boys went to look for a guitar for Ted. He can’t go 6 months without one. He found his new baby, and if he decides it’s not a long-term relationship he can sell it before we return to the US. He also got a piece of hardware that lets him play through headphones instead of an amp.
We also brought in the kids’ ice skates to be sharpened, which was a fiasco last week. This time the sharpening expert was on site, but not allowed to do the sharpening on Saturday in case other customers came in. Even though no other customers were in the store. Ted will go back on Tuesday to pick them up. We also got a microwave for our apartment (to be reimbursed by NTNU because we will leave it here). Now all of those cups of cold tea can be reheated.
We visited the famous Ravnkloa fish market for lunch, which seems like a lunch spot for tourists but not locals. So be it, we were the only ones eating lunch while others were in buying fish, and as we were leaving another English-speaking person came in for lunch.
There were 4 menu items, of which we ordered 3: shrimp, fish chowder, and bacaloa. The fish chowder was creamy with huge chunks of salmon. The bacaloa is a semi-spicy Portuguese stew that is now home in Norway because the old time fisherman traders would bring salted dried fish to Portugal, then brought home the recipe and other ingredients for the fish stew. Both were excellent.
When the shrimp came, the kids were not prepared for the reality (and we didn’t warn them). The shrimp are cooked whole, heads, legs, roe, and all. Nora was not pleased at all, she wouldn’t even eat ones that I peeled for her. Anders was a good sport and tried peeling his own, but after taking off the head he had to put them away from his plate so that they wouldn’t look at him.
I am the biggest fan of the bacalao, so I had the privilege of eating most of that myself while the others shared the soup, bread, and shrimp. Ted ended up with most of the shrimp, with the heads of his prey piled high on his plate. He wasn’t complaining!