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Archive for February 20th, 2008

It is winter holidays in schools over here this week, meaning that we have to do something to keep them occupied – we don’t want them to sit inside killing monsters on various consoles, do we?

So I took my kids to ØstfoldbadetWater Park in Askim, an hour by train to the southeast of Oslo. There are no decent swimming pools in Oslo, nothing like the magnificent Pirbadet in Trondheim. There are pools closer than Østfoldbadet, and I find them more civilized, too, but they keep the water a few degrees warmer than the other facilities, which does the trick.

Askim is on the outskirts of the computer belt for Oslo, but it is like another world. The locals in various degrees of undress had mostly pent their money on tattoos, and it var a relief that I felt almost skinny compared to the natives.

There was a smell of stale cooking oil hanging over the premises, mixed with the special pommes frites-krydder, a spice mix consisting of equal parts salt, MSG, paprika and dried onions. The pools were cramped, and there was half an hour of queuing for lunch. But the kids loved it.

On our way back to the station, I discovered that Askim is an overlooked beer destination. They have their own beer guru, Gustav Jørgensen, who is going to speak to the faithful next Thursday. The sign for the event did not, unfortunately, say anything about what beers he will present. I’ll have to see if the online version of their local paper covers the evening. Looking at Mr. Jørgensens web site, it seems that he is actually promoting decent beers and that he is not in the pocket of Ringnes/Carlsberg. It is encouraging that such events are held – I hope he is busy!

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