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?”
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.
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.