Back. In white

How wonderful it is to be back, catching huge snow flakes on my eyelashes, getting a glimpse of the northern lights at night time, traveling across the border to Russia for pelmeni… The head image was shot from the top of the stairs of Nikels Cultural Palace.

Cultural palace in Nikel, Russia 26.10.19
Cultural palace in Nikel, Russia 26.10.19

Life has been running nonstop since I got home from vacation. We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the region where I live as being freed from nazi-occupation. That was last week. Huge celebration. King Harald and several ministers were in attendance in Kirkenes:

Skjermbilde 2019-10-28 kl. 19.38.36

And my mom ❤

She’s visiting now.

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Mamsi @Nikel

She told me this joke today:

The child turned out to be allergic to the cat. We had to give it out for adoption. Then try again. All children can’t be allergic to cats!

Have a nice day 😉

Recreation of battle, marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the fights of WWII for this region. Nikel, 26.10.19.

Big Buddha – check

My trip to Hong Kong didn’t go as planned, if I can even claim that I had a plan.

It was more like I travelled with a loose idea of places I should visit, marked in Google Maps, with one place being especially important: The Big Buddha.

This guy.

Big Buddha in Hong Kong
Hey there!

I visited him on a Monday. Alone. It made me realize things, crazy things, like the fact that I don’t like traveling alone without a purpose. I love sharing experiences with other people. Otherwise you have to find meaningful ways to occupy yourself, which is how I ended up taking series of selfies and smiling at a lot of random people.

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selfie-moment

Although I didn’t quite find the right insta-filter to catch the mood of this day, I made a video ↓ #plansinterrupted #lonelytraveler

It begins with me sharing my fear of heights with my phone, in a glass elevator cabin far above ground. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself while #travelingalone. It simply wasn’t what I expected to do and my memories are colored by this filter I can’t quite name.

Let’s call it Mood E.

Po Lin Monastery - Hong Kong

The sky looked like it would cry any minute, which it eventually did. Crowds were forecast, but I found a quiet and peaceful place. I waved at Buddha, fired up incense and prayed for patience and forgiveness at the Po Lin monastery. The rain gave me the perfect opportunity to hide in the cute souvenir shops of Ngong Ping village, where I bought these kittens:

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Lucky cats for everything in life ❤

It’s nice to be back home.

To be continued…

Documenting daydreams

Somewhere in between sleep and reality last night, I remembered a cow. Nice thoughts followed. I couldn’t convince myself that I would remember them in the morning, although I really tried, and so I wrote them down:

Writing, documenting, publishing. It’s a nice method to process life and an excellent way to remember the important things.

It’s funny how one of the scenes I remember most clearly from Haiti is the skinny cow from this post:

Skjermbilde 2019-06-27 kl. 21.41.03

This cow was shared because I encountered her while being absolutely high on happiness. I get closer to that space just from remembering that overwhelming grateful feeling. I love you cow, I felt. And feel.

The essence of this entry?

When you realize that your spiritual cow guide probably is a bull, don’t miss the point. If you can find one reason to smile right now, don’t overthink it – just do it.

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The original cow post.

The weirdest Vardø

Vardø is basically located at the end of the world. Even the clouds today have the layout to confirm this statement, they rest like a kettle lock above this arctic fisher town and it’s 2000 and some inhabitants.

It’s like the car passes over from a land bathing in the evening sun beneath distant pink clouds into a shadowy world of brown hills and grey grass. There are no trees. Reindeer run across the road from time to time.

Welcome to Vardø town

You don’t see a lot of people. Urban winds have reached this rural place though. Hidden though town you can spot several murals, graffiti and other displays of creativity.

Pøbel (probably the most famous Norwegian street artist ever) invited several leading street artists from around the world to Vardø back in 2012. They arranged the art festival called «Komafest». I guess the goal was to wake Vardø back to life with graffiti. I hope they come back to repeat it someday.

Vardø’s history is rich and full of dark chapters. Vardøhus fortress was built in the 13th century. The place would witness some of Europe’s biggest witch trials 300 years later.

Almost one hundred people were burned for dancing with the devil under a full moon, learning dark arts from black cats and drinking bewitched beer…

Today you can read their stories at Steilneset Witch Monument where a light shines for every victim of the witch hunt.

Another noteworthy thing about Vardø:

It’s a senter for top secret NATO-activity.

See those balls in the skyline?

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They are radars, Globus I and II.

A third one is being built as you read this. A Russian Bitcoin Factory will soon open it’s doors as one of the closest neighbors to this new radar. American army families are moving into town, according to local media. A lot seems to be going on under the surface here. One of the houses facing the only road leading from the tunnel which connects this arctic island to Norwegian mainland, may very well be recording all comings and goings to town. I have a rich imagination and can’t help feeling watched, although I’m not sure if it’s the spies or the witches who are behind it.

What I am sure about is that Vardø is an inspiring place. It makes you want to think and write and paint.

I’ll be back.

Should’ve played more video games

I’ve bought myself a drone.

For years now I have watched footage filmed using drones, musing about how cool it is to be able to get a bird’s view of the world, to see your neighborhood from a totally new angle – What a time to be alive for a photographer, I thought.

And so, I decided to buy a DJI Air, because it’s tiny and therefore very portable. #instantlove. Deciding turned out to be much easier than buying.

Far up north, where I live, it takes a while to get your hands on a drone. I did consider ordering online, but I happen to be one of those people who need to touch expensive technology before making a purchase.

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Weeks went by before I found an electro shop that actually had the Air in store. They couldn’t sell it me though. Their model was only for display… #thenorth

In the end, I found a drone to grope and buy on a journey to the Capitol (read: Oslo, where northerners should never-ever shop, because we need to support our local businesses or risk a ban from the community).

After finally-FINALLY flying my drone for the first time, I realized one thing:

I’m a shitty pilot.

I’ve watched tutorials on YouTube. I’ve learned the joysticks. But my brain refuses to understand how all that connects to flying.

Have a visual on your drone, they say. I get that. But I never get what’s the front and the back of the thing. And how do I keep a visual on the controls at the same time as watching the drone?

I wish I had played more video games as kid, but it was not considered to be a productive activity back then. I’m pretty sure it still isn’t in many circles. My drone problems however, remind me of those frustrating times when I actually got to play video games while visiting friends. I remember feeling like a retard. Let all kids play with technology, I say.

Moving on. What I lack in flying skills, I hide with skillful editing.

!!! DON’T watch this if you are in danger of suffering an epileptic seizure !!!:

Oh, how I hate not being instantly good at stuff. I’ve given up on a lot of things because they didn’t come easy, especially when I was younger. Fortunately, I’ve learned that the pleasure of mastering a challenging skill through hard work brings more satisfaction than being a natural tal is awarding as well.

The clue is figuring out which areas you want to conquer and then work toward that. That’s way better than spending time on useless activities where you happen to excel. I’m very good at building homes for my Sims, for instance, but I’ll prioritize flying my drone instead.

You’ll hopefully see the results. Eventually.

created by dji camera

PS. In case you wonder what I did instead of gaming: Handball. I also often play-pretended to be on a disco with my BFFs on top of a roof next to school, smoking stolen cigarettes and arguing about who’s turn it was to play «the boys».

Feel free to share embarrassing stories from your childhood in the comments below 😉

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