Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On the road (again) ((again))

In Norway the legal driving age is eighteen. My birthday is in November, so right about when I was old enough to drive, winter kicked in. I wasn’t all that into the whole driving thing. I didn’t have a car (I still don’t), I lived in a town where I could walk everywhere, and frankly the whole idea of driving a murder weapon sort of freaked me out. Thus I didn’t go out of my way to get my license right away.

However, a driver’s license was obviously a handy thing to have (if not for anything else than to use as ID), so I eventually got in gear (a joke which is a lot funnier if you drive with a stick, which we do here in Norway) and I took all the requirements. I passed the final test, and soon my shiny new license (actually, it’s not very shiny. It is pink) arrived in the mail.

Of course I still had no car, and there were only so many times I could borrow my parents’ car. Besides, it wasn’t as though I had that many places to go (as my hometown still was small enough for me to walk everywhere).

That summer, however, I finally got the chance to use my shiny (pink) license. My oldest friend (I think it’s safe to say that we go way back when we have been friends for 21 years – especially considering that I’m only 24…) had her own car, and she also had a brilliant idea: “Why don’t we go on a road trip?”

The concept of road trips had mostly been introduced to us through American movies and television series. The image this had created included really crappy cars, really crappy music and really crappy humour. It was exactly what we wanted.

Well, not exactly exactly. My friend’s car isn’t crappy (she’d kill me if I said it was). And our music definitely isn’t – the rule used to be that the driver got to decide the direction and the passenger the music. These days my friend does most of the driving, though, so I occasionally let her butt in on the choice of music.

That first road trip took us into the Swedish forests… We saw lots of narrow roads, we slept in a couple of dodgy lodgings. We created enough inside jokes to last a lifetime. After three days we were so sick of the road, the car, the music and each other that we very nearly ended our friendship. Fortunately this was when we were only a few kilometers from home, so we managed to stay friends. And we vowed to go on another road trip the next summer.

Today we are embarking upon our sixth annual road trip. Over the years we have somewhat abandoned the tactic of setting out without a plan. Our plans are never firm, though, but on the wish list this year is the museum in honour of the Norwegian writer and illustrator Kjell Aukrust. (If you ever get the chance to see the movie Flåklypa Grand Prix [Pinchcliffe Grand Prix] which is based on his books, you really should. Preferably dubbed to Japanese…)

I have put together a special soundtrack for this journey (as can be seen in this post). In addition I am bringing some old CDs featuring some songs we listened to back when we went on our first trip together. Thus, I won’t be around to comment or read blogs today. I’ll be on the road, singing along to some good old songs.


Boonsong said...

"On the road again": Wouldn't that make a great song title. I'm surprised that no-one's already thought of it.

Re Your Gear Stick joke: I feel that you're clutching at straws with that one.

Happy road trippering!!!
from Boonsong

Nicole MacDonald said...

So envious! I can't wait to do a decent roadtrip with my friends. It's been on the cards for a while it's just getting everything to plan..Might have to get it down in writing soon I think ;p and we love stick-shifts! Autos are for wussies ;p

sue said...

I can so relate to this post Cruella. It's pretty much what we're doing at the moment, which is why internet is patchy (We have a lot to achieve in the line of decent coverage down here)

We've done close to 2000km and are in Brisbane (Queensland Australia) and going further north on Friday and exploring 'The Sunshine Coast' for the next week or so.

Favourite music is from "The Dish" (that wonderful movie about the Apollo 11 mission) and we sang loudly and out of tune when driving past where it was filmed in central New South Wales.

There's nothing quite as good as a road trip with a kindred spirit.


Jan Morrison said...

just posted my road trip photos! I love a road trip beyond all measure. Think that is because my dad was in the air force so we moved every couple of years and the summers we didn't move we still went on road trips. Canada is BIG! Once we went on a 22 day camping trip from Ottawa to Quebec to Vermont and Maine and then up to New Brunswick and across to PEI on the ferry. Oh it was fun!

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like lots and lots of fun! Hope you enjoy! :)

Jennee said...

I love road trips! I always make the best soundtracks too. Man, I need to plan one.

Mohamed Mughal said...

Road trip! So cool; can't wait to read about your experiences. BTW, I just gave your blog the "Trendy Blog Award" in my latest post.

Happy driving! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you continue to enjoy the yearly road trip.
And what other way is there but to drive a stick shift? Automatic transmissions aren't driving - that's just riding!

RosieC said...

Sounds like fun. Have a great trip! Bring back lots of pictures for us.

PS--Stop by my blog to pick up an award :)

Cruella Collett said...

Boonsong - hurry! Trademark it before someone else gets the idea! And you had me in stick shifts with your clutch comment (THIS is me clutching at straws...)

Nicole - roadtrips are the best! Ours have a nasty tendency to become awfully "winged", though - even today's which had a destination ended up being totally random. We didn't make it to the museum at all, we only drove around in whatever direction came to mind. Still a good trip, though :)

Sue - my, you are the QUEEN of roadtrips! I felt like I had driven for a YEAR or so today (and we only covered about 300 kilometres - but many of them of really narrow, terrible roads, so it felt longer than necessary). Enjoy your roadtrip and roadtrip music too (must check that album out!) - the "Sunshine Coast" sounds so nice!

Jan - then I'll skip right over and check out your photos. I didn't really take any today, since my friend had a new camera and I gave her the honour ;) I'd love to go road tripping in another country (well, technically that's what I always do, since we tend to go to Sweden, but that's so close it almost doesn't count). Driving across Canada (or the US, or Australia, or many other countries, I am sure) sounds great.

Jemi - I really did (we always do). We didn't do a lot of sightseeing today, but then again, we're supposed to spend most of the time on the road, no? ;)

Jennee - I think the soundtrack is half the experience. There was a terrible moment today when we thought the CD player was broken, but fortunately it was just temporarily cranky.

Mohamed - wow, thank you so much! And I can't help but blush a little (a lot) here - you think of this blog as trendy?! Thanks again! :)

Alex - high five stick shift! I drove (sorry, rode) an automatic for a short while, and even though that was fun, it certainly didn't feel "right". When I got back to a "normal" car, though, I almost killed the car by trying to shift gears without clutching... Yeah, not a healthy habit!

Rosie - I'm so honoured! Another award! Thanks so much! And there would have been pictures. But as I mentioned a few paragraphs up here - my friend did most of the picture taking today. I should look through my old files to see if there are any blog proofed pictures there, though...

Cold As Heaven said...

I have two cars right now, you can have one of mine. If you wanna read a cool road book in your vacation, you should get "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. Read it in English, it's one of those books that can't be translated. Flåklypa Grand Prix is my favorite movie btw >:)

Cold As Heaven

Cruella Collett said...

Cold As Heaven - I've had other recommend that one to me, so I will definitely put it on my list. Thanks :) And gee - what a nice offer, I'll take your car any day! ;) Love Flåklypa!

Powdered Toast Man said...

I want to go on a road trip. I never have extra money to just wing it. Damn you George Bush!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!

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