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Before Norway, I had 20 years of hot, bright, Boulder summers under my belt.
I expected the sun to melt my legs to vinyl car seats, taunt me while I was stuck inside working and bake the upper level of the house to the point where I’d lie in bed and wonder if I’d be slow-roasted in my sleep.
Even during a torrential downpour, it still managed to be bright out.
I figured with the amount of sunshine we get in Boulder, living in the Land of the Midnight Sun would be a snap. And then I figured out what happens on latitude 59.
That first week there, I tossed and turned in bed as the sun continued to bore through the windows ¤’til half past Letterman. It penetrated eyelids in the wee hours of the morning. When I was lost in the middle of the day, it found me.
And then when it was time to go to bed again, that bastard Mr. Sun just kept on shining.
Cursing, I dug out one of those double eyepatch thingies that fancy ladies wear to sleep. Of course, mine wasn’t very “shi-shi-la-la” – it was a free giveaway from Alaskan Airlines a friend had passed on to me.
Across the eyemask read “Land of the Midnight Sun” – which was taken to task by the Norskis, offended they might lose their title. I didn’t care who deserved the official slogan; it was finally dark and I was gonna sleep like the dead.
But all that whining backfired, fast-style.
After a week of temperatures in the 60s and 70s, some crazy front came in and hung out for the rest of the summer.
Living in Colorado, I’ve learned to be wary of weathermen, so naturally I asked the checkout dude at the Rema 1000 grocery store if this was a typical Oslo summer. He swore overcast skies and constant rain was normal.
The Tea Lounge barista promised it wasn’t.
But any way you slice it, a week after I arrived, the lights went out. I tried whining to the God of Thunder, but either he was tired of my antics, or I didn’t actually have any influence over the weather.
Apparently, though, my idea of nice weather isn’t too nutty.
On one slightly warm, mostly dry day, I spent 30 minutes tramping a slow circle around the café at Akershus Slott (the big ole’ fortress out there). I couldn’t find a door. Embarrassed, I finally went in and asked the deer-boned blonde behind the info desk about the cafe.
“Oh, ja, just put 10 kroner in; I show you,” she said as she whisked out from behind the desk and walked me over to a little coin-operated cappuccino machine.
“Nei, nei,” I laughed, “Stor café!” and pointed outside hoping she’d understand my gesturing if not the weak Norsk.
She stopped dead and said, “Oh. Ja, ja… they are only open if it is NICE weather.”
Apparently if the café magically gets moved to San Diego, or Boulder, or somewhere on the equator, it’ll be open.
Now back in Boulder, Jeanine Fritz ponders the vagaries of worldwide weather patterns each Friday in the Colorado Daily.

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