I walked back to my AirBnb where I fell into a deep sleep listening to Leo at actualized.org. It’s not often I listen to Leo anymore. I used to all the time. But I wanted to know what “duality” is and knew he had a video on it.
Within 10 minutes I was profoundly asleep.
And somehow slept through my alarm. Did I turn it off in my sleep? This shall remain a mystery. Either way I slowly got up, hauled myself to the light rail, and rode it all the way to the end. There, in the center, I was accosted by a guy named Matias who called himself a monk. He was trying to sell me a copy of the Baghavad Gita.
I said, “I totally wanna read that. I just wanna read the Stephen Mitchell translation.”
“But this one has the original Sanskrit.”
“Matias, I don’t speak Sanskrit.”
After talking to this brother in spiritual arms I headed to Espresso House, where I ordered a latte and a scone, which cost something absurd like nine US dollars. If you’re going to Norway prepare to start leaking money. The first time I came in 2012 that was essentially why I left. And that might be why I’m already planning to leave on this trip, too.
I don’t want to leak money. I want to leak amor.
At Espressssso House I found a table in the corner covered with dirty plates and cups and posted up. I wanted to see what the scholars had to say about this whole, “Is life worth living” thing, so I looked for some more articles. There was one from Huff Post and one from JSTOR from 1895. And then of course a lot of personal accounts from people dealing with depression. But I’m looking for a more scientific approach. Yes, of course I FEEL like life is worth living. I feel this profoundly. And of course it could never be proven empirically that life is worth living, but I still wanted to see what learned people had to say on the matter.
Mostly there was a dude on Quora who said we’re all just “lumps of meat.” His answer was, “No.”
I took a sip of my latte.
Then I did something weird. I got up and put honey and cinnamon in my latte. The taste and smell of milk were overpowering. This is probably why the average height of Norwegian men is like eight feet tall. Bergen is like walking through a city full of Preying Mantises. They grow ’em tall in Norway. I’m like a Gremlin here.
OK, so I know I have to get a job. That much we’ve worked out so far today. Thanks, guys. I could always count on you. Next the question becomes, What job? Indeed. Tricky question. You see because I don’t what to be a Spanish interpreter anymore. I don’t want to be a Spanish teacher. But I do want to do fulfilling work.
Of course the thing I actually want to do is be a writer.
Then there comes the question of love. I already have many platonic relationships in my life. And these are great. But I’m looking to get decidedly unplatonic, and this is where I run into road blocks. I’ve tried OkCupid and Tinder and Bumble. O don’t particularly like them. But maybe they’re a necessary evil? No, I refuse to believe that. Subtract the word “necessary.”
Subtract the word evil. And all you’re left with is a breath of air.
Nighttime in Bergen and the day has flown by. After espresso house I took a walk, letting the caffeine course through my veins, enjoying the city. I walked past Cafe Opera and it looked completely different from yesterday. It somehow seemed more elegant, more serious. Then I went back to the library. I love libraries. At home I have three library cards for three different systems. At the Bergen library I read a short story by Roald Dahl, and then a book called Introduction to Zen or something like that. I still don’t really know what Zen is. Apparently it’s not something you can really define; it’s only an experience you can have.
After the library I decided to go buck wild and got two cheeseburgers from Burger King. And then I got a smoothie from the grocery store. And then I rode the light rail back to my AirBnb, not paying. I am a criminal. At any moment the Norwegian constabulary will be beating down my door, then throwing the cuffs on, then condemning me to a life of darkness, rain, and strange cheese.
Back at my AirBnb I felt 43% welcome. I retreated to my room where I began watching an Eckhart Tolle video with binaural audio. The soothing voice of Eckhart Tolle. I’m convinced he’s actually a guy from Cincinnati who just speaks with a German accent. You never hear him speaking German. He does speak Spanish, because he spent his high school years in Spain.
Now it’s time to seize the night. But first a glass of water.