Sunday, July 5, 2015

Norway Post 10

Over a week ago I spent a night in a hostel in Oslo, and it was there that I met an American named Sara. She was pretty, energetic, and to my great surprise accepted my invitation to kayak with me for nine weeks in Norway. Nobody ever accepted my random invitations. I was shocked. The only kayak she'd ever been in was a sit-on-top, which is not really a kayak at all. I talked her down to a week. Perhaps I wouldn't make lots of miles, but she was pretty enough so that it didn't matter.

She couldn't start right away, but she'd rent a boat from a local outfitter and meet me in Geiranger. I never thought she'd actually show up so far from anywhere. What were the odds that I would get to paddle for a week with a beautiful woman in Norway's breathtaking fjords? We're talking about me; I'm about as likely to hook up with a beautiful woman for a week of kayaking as a princess is to find a prince while kissing frogs, because that's the girl I need, only I don't turn into a prince so hopefully Sara won't be disappointed.

She showed up Saturday afternoon after a long bus ride through the night. We talked about kayaking and how my trip had been so far. We talked about the gear we had and the gear she needed. We talked about her time in Norway; she's looking for work in communications. We talked about her schooling and her husband back home and how she's working on her thesis for her masters to graduate.

Maybe she meant ex-husband. Did you say you were married?

"Yah. He's applying to medical school."

I should have taken my grandma's advice and become a doctor.

It looked like I'd be kayaking slowly for a week with a girl who, like most others, wasn't the least bit interested in me. Maybe she had some redeeming characteristic that made up for her being married, like the ability to juggle flaming batons. That would have been cool.

Except there was news in the evening. The outfitter she was going to rent the kayak from changed the price. The old price apparently hadn't included delivery to Geiranger, even though that had been discussed at length. The new price was too expensive for her, so she couldn't come after all.

I felt guilty that she came all that way on account of me with nothing to show for it. My hosts, who only did daily kayak rentals, gave us a kayak for the day for free. We paddled for an hour to a trail head at the bottom of the fjord and climbed to a breathtaking vista near the top. The paddling and the climbing took almost all day, and it was a day well spent for both of us.

Besides the great hike, my chafing wounds got to heal a little bit. I taught some kayaking techniques to my hosts in the evening, and I was invited to go backpacking in South America with Freeda in the fall. Freeda is a dazzlingly beautiful Scandinavian who studied at the University of Miami on a full rowing scholarship.

I don't yet have a teaching gig for next year since the school that I taught at last year announced on the last day that they were closing. It would be amazing to go to South America with Freeda. I don't know if I have enough money, and I'd probably meet her there only to find that she brought a boyfriend. Except what if that boyfriend turned out to be me?

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