After some days with nice warm weather the past couple of days have been extremely cold. The daily rehearsals and press conferences have ended and I can feel that we are coming to an end – although we still have the three live shows left. It is a bit of weird feeling that it is almost over, before some will say it has begun.
When you have been here since it all started with rehearsals and press conferences you do end up with the feeling of "OK, that was it. What now?" when they ends. Of course there is still work to do, but not nearly as much as before, thus the feeling that it is almost over.
Sunday evening the welcome reception, or opening party as some call i,t was held at the Olso City Hall. I always find it funny – and a bit weird that the Contest is being declared open a week into it. When Svante stands there and says that he declares this year’s Eurovision Song Contest open I can’t help but asking "What is it we have been doing here so far if it first starts now?". Well, I know it is a tradition to wait with the welcome reception until all have arrived and the Big 4 countries generally don’t arrive before they have rehearsals themselves. With these not being before the end of the week the welcome recpetion can’t be sooner. That I can live with, but why not drop the thing with declaring the Contest open? It makes no sense to me.
Monday, I got the news that the problems between Chanée & N’evergreen had been exagerrated by the press. A friend went on a trip with them Monday morning and he came back telling a story about how Thomas had been singing children’s songs for Chanée’s 3 year old child and how she, Chanée, greeted him with a kiss on the cheek. He also quoted her for having said about the rehearsals that you shouldn’t judge a film on how the actor rehearse his lines in front of the mirror. Yes, it is true that it appears like all other contestants do have their show in place, but if the Danes are still optimistic that they will make it I will choose to believe so. I simply have to as otherwise I will be way too nervous wondering about if we will even qualify for the final.
Yesterday had the first dress rehearsal of the first semi-final. This was the chance to see the whole show and the songs performed in the right running order. NRK has in general had quite a good organisation this year, but it failed completely yesterday. No tickets had been for sale for this dress rehearsal so there was an entire arena the press could use… or rather it should have been so. Instead NRK expected to put more than 1000 journalists and photographers into an area meant for 100. Not the smartest thing and it will hopefully be fixed for the second semi-final and the final. It is directly dangerous what NRK had been doing there and it was only due to that many, myself included, decided to get out of that mess that it didn’t end in a tragedy.
Over the past couple of days several delegations have held their parties. Last night we had planned to go to the Israeli one, but after standing half an hour in a queue that moved extremely slowly we decided to give up and go back to the hotel. We had previously stopped by shortly at the Turkish one. Here I saw a Norwegian online friend of mine. I didn’t talk to him despite having talked to him for years online. He had sent me a message the other day saying that if I saw him I shouldn’t say hello as his girlfriend would just be jealous! That is simply too weird for me. We have never met each other and only talked about our common interest for the Eurovision Song Contest, but from what I can understand he is not allowed to have any contacts with females that are not family related. Maybe it works for him, but I couldn’t live in such a relationship.
Back at the hotel last night we had the laugh of the day when we saw that the Dutch Sha-la-lie car I have mentioned before had got a parking ticket! The hotel has a parking garage, but it is 300kr per day which is rather expensive so maybe they took the chance in order to save money, or maybe they insist on it being parked outside the hotel for promotion. In that case they just forgot to arrange a permit. As wheel clamps are quite common in the Netherlands they should known better. Now we are just waiting for the Norwegian police to put those wheel clamps on it as then it will not be such a smart promotion anymore!.
Norway is quite an expensive country. I thought Denmark was expensive, but compared to here it is appears quite decent in prices. I am use to taxis starts at 30 kr, here they start at 70 kr. A dinner at a decent average restaurant can easily cost 300 – 400 kr per meal. A beer costs 60 kr and a Pepsi, yes, you don’t find much Coca Cola here, will in most places be 40 kr. That is basically double of the prices in Denmark. The currency rate is basically the same so it is absolutely comparable. As the salary isn’t higher here in Norway, but house prices are, I can’t help but wonderhow the Norwegians can live. But maybe that explains why it is never a problem getting a table at a restaurant even for a larger group. That could become a problem in Denmark around dinner time, but we haven’t experienced any of that here.
I have a bet with another Dane about Belgium qualifying tonight. If they manage I will win 100 kr. If they don’t I will lose. I don’t bet a lot, but this one I considered a safe way to get some extra money. Who will say no to that?
Anyway, remember the friend I told you about. The one whose friendship I didn’t want to fight about? Well, he did read what I had written and we have talked about the situation. No problems there 🙂
Enjoy the first semi-final everyone. I will be sitting on 5th row. Look out for me if you want to.