Sunday, August 23, 2009

Starting a life of crime

I sent out a notice at work about a week ago, looking for an extra bicycle that I could use while my friends Rosie and Denise are visiting. So my friend Frank from work said "oh there is an extra bike in the garage of the company apt. that you can borrow. It needs a bit of cleaning up, it has flat tires but they just need new valves in the tubes." (Nordic has a company apartment that is downtown that visitors or new-hires or salespeople use at various times. Frank lives in Kristiansund so he stays there when he is in Trondheim working) . So he sends me a picture of it ( exhibit A on the top ). I said ok that looks fine, so last Tuesday when he was in town he gave me the key, and after work I went over there to pick up the bike out of the garage. I have stayed in the apartment before but I was never actually in the garage. So I went to the space that he had shown me on a little drawing, but I didn't see any bike. But when I turned around, there sat a dusty looking red ladies bike with a black basket and 2 flat tires. "Oh there it is, thought the criminal genius". I figured Frank must have just forgotten which side of the garage the bike was on. So I checked it over a bit, yep, 2 flats, says "classic" on it, black basket, red paint. Looks like the one.... I started pushing it toward the door, which was somewhat difficult since the front tire was flat and the back one didn't seem to move. So I thought maybe the back coaster brake must be stuck or something, worry about that later. When I was almost out the door an older Norwegian gentleman came up behind me and said something about the wheel not turning. I said in English, "yea it's stuck, I'll have to fix that later..." Then he was nice enough to hold the door open for me while I shoved the thing into the lobby and then out the main entrance. I had to remove the front wheel to get the thing into the Audi, but fortunately ( or maybe unfortunately as it turns out) I brought a wrench with me and I was able to stuff the thing into the back of the Audi and drove it home. I didn't have time to do anything with it until yesterday, so it just sat in the corner next to my car. Yesterday I dutifully went to Clas Ohlson and bought new tire valves, I fixed the front tire up, then I went to look at the back wheel and I realized it wouldn't turn because there was a frame mounted lock that stuck through the spokes in the back. "hmm" I thought, "that's funny Frank didn't say anything about a lock on the bike. He must have forgotten about it." So this morning I went in to work for a few hours, I sent Frank a message asking about the lock. Then I decided for some reason to have another look at the photo he sent me. I started getting a vague feeling that something wasn't right. So when I got home I went back down and looked at the bike again. Sure enough, I took the wrong bike :)
So now I have to figure out how to get the freakin thing back in the garage without being beaten up by some Norwegian granny who's looking for the A-hole that stole her bike. I figure maybe if I go in around midnight wearing a black ninja outfit I can get in and out in 2 minutes without being noticed. As you can see by the photo on the bottom, I was close at least ... how many red ladies bikes with 2 flat tires can there be in the world !
Well hopefully my next blog post won't be from the jail or the hospital....
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Dinner in my apartment usually goes something like this:

[waiter] "Dinner for 1 sir?"
[miles] "Do you see anyone else?"
[waiter] "very good sir."
[miles] "Hey can I sit on that balcony out there?"
[waiter] "Do you have reservation?"
[miles] No.
[waiter] "You can sit anywhere inside."
[miles] "There's only 1 table."
[waiter] "Excellent choice sir.
Let me tell you about tonight's specials...
Tonight we have fresh garden burgers, imported from Sweden, lightly seared in olive oil, topped with a slice of Jarlsberg cheese and placed on a toasted whole wheat bun. This is accompanied by our special crinkle cut spicy bbq french fries, served with ketchup.
[miles] "Heinz 57?"
[waiter] "Yes sir, Heinz 57."
[miles] "In a squeeze bottle?"
[waiter] "yes"
[miles] "OK, bring me one special, including all the little tiny fries that get burned in the oven - and hold the mayo."
[waiter] "very good sir, and to drink?"
[miles] "Sprite Zero"
[waiter] "excellent choice"
[miles] under his breath - "of course it's excellent that's why I chose it you idiot!"
[waiter] "pardon?"
[miles] "nothing"
[waiter] "and for dessert?"
[miles] "chocolate chip cookies?"
[waiter] "I'll check the zip-lock baggie in the snack cupboard."
[miles] "sweet"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

trip to Malaga

I left the friendly confines of Norway last week for only the 2nd time since I moved here. I went to Málaga Spain to visit one of the test equipment companies that we work with. It was a bit hotter in Málaga than I'm used to in Trondheim but I survived OK. I just had to do what the local people did which is to wait until 7 or 8pm before going out to walk around. I went out in the afternoon the first day I got there, and I must have looked lost and hot and German, because some German guy took pity on me and started pointing the way to downtown and talking about beer (in German). So I said 'oh I'm American" and he said "OH American!" then he proceeded to switch to Spanish and continue pointing towards downtown.. That didn't help much but at least I was pretty sure which direction the downtown was.
Málaga is a city of about 600,000 people on the south coast of Spain. The center of the city is very beautiful. There were tons of German and French and Spanish tourists down there, as well as a few Americans. I also got some advice from one of the girls at the company I was visiting regarding a vegetarian restaurant to try in downtown. I managed to find the restaurant but it was only 7pm when I got there so it didn't seem to be open. So I kept walking and found the path that leads up the Alcazaba, which is the remains of a walled fortress dating back to the 11th century. It was brutally hot walking up there but the view was incredible so I kept going to the top. The picture here was from about 3/4 of the way up the path, looking towards the harbor and downtown. When I finally made it back to the restaurant it was about 8:15 but it still wasn't open yet, so I had to give up and go to a kabob shop to get something to eat. The veggie place will have to wait until next time.
There is a nice set of photos from Málaga here:
That was my first trip to Spain and I thought it was quite nice there. It helps if you know at least a little Spanish though (or maybe some German ).
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