The Batman does not shop here. Â (The Mothman, on the other hand…)
When I say “A day without blizzard”, I am not referring to a certain computer game publisher, for I have not played any of their games in… a couple years? Â Possibly a little more. Â No, I am referring to the somewhat sensational fact that there was not icy wind and whirling snow today. It was overcast and a couple degrees above freezing. It actually tipped above freezing yesterday sometime. Â I think this is the whole full day of so mild weather here since the Copenhagen climate summit. Certainly since I moved here, but that is barely a month ago. No, it has been icy cold much, much longer than that, since sometime in December at least.
Speaking of the moving, and it being a month ago, my old landlord called on Thursday and expressed very vague worries. Â This is a trait of the family, or at least shared by his mother and grandmother, that they tend to be extremely polite to the point of just barely hinting at anything at all, but evidently he is worried about his house somehow. Â That is not without reason, because his family got another house soundly trashed by an immigrant family before they rented out this. If he hasn’t been and looked at it, he cannot know what state it is in. On the other hand, I don’t see what keeps him from going there, seeing how I had emptied my part of it when last we met (when he came with the key to the basement door so we could get my washing machine out). Given that it was empty then, he is well aware that I don’t live there, I would think, so there is no reason to be uncertain about whether or not I should have paid rent for this month. Â I did politely inform him that I am still paying the electricity.
To be honest, I thought this was a pretty good arrangement for all involved. Â I have been kind of busy moving in here (and keeping the place from freezing over or getting lost in the snow) so I have only rough-washed the old place and not yet hired the cleaning company to complete the job. (Actually I e-mailed them a bit over a week ago, but I guess they don’t read mail, at least not at the mail address listed on their web site.) Â It was my distinct impression that my landlord was not going to rent the place out again, but would clear the whole house out and sell it. Â Now, clearing the basement and loft and the stuff they had standing in “my” part of the house is itself a labor of Hercules and will likely take them months. Â So I rather felt I was doing them a favor by paying the utility bill for their house until such a time that I could get it sparkling clean.
In any case, the landlord seems eager to get the whole thing over with, for some reason. Perhaps he has reconsidered and wants to rent it out again? Â Or perhaps that was the plan all along but he was too polite to say so? Â I guess I can find out in a couple months if I really am that curious. As it is, however, I went over today and did some more washing of the bathroom and picked up some things that were left behind during the two days of moving. Light willing I may go there again on Monday late in the afternoon and try to get the vacuum cleaner with me home on the bus. It is not really too large for that, although it will look slightly humiliating to drag it around like that.
On Tuesday, I promised the landlord, I will leave work a bit early so we can look at the place together. Â He really wanted to do that on March 1, but I have an important thing to do at work that day which won’t be finished early.
He is a nice guy and I have only had good things to say about him, but honestly? If I could get a stranger to pay my utility bills on the coldest winter in decades, I should have been grateful, not suspicious. Just saying. Â It is not like I’m skipping the bill or anything. Â His grandmother knows where I live, after all. Â (She has a daughter not far from here, and it is a very transparent little place. There are probably already all kinds of rumors about me. ^_*)
But today was a day without blizzard and very little sleet. Â I came home with a bucked (which I had used in the old house) filled with canned food. Then I walked to the local grocer, pictured above. Â Yes, it is really called “Joker”, but in Norwegian this means “wildcard”, not Batman’s arch-nemesis and the incarnation of postmodernism. It has a surprisingly broad selection for a rural shop, but relatively few of each thing. Â I bought three of the four (or was that five?) packets of Â really cheap noodles. Â Well, really cheap by Norwegian standards, about half the price of others. They taste much the same to me, and each packet has five smaller packets in it, each of them just about the right size for a full meal for me. Â One of these keeps me fed pretty much all evening, for pocket change.
On the other hand, there’s half an hour of brisk walk each way, so there goes some of the calories before I even get home to cook them. Â Not having a car certainly pays off in the form of exercise. Of course, you could still walk even if you had a car, but the flesh is weak. Â My flesh would definitely have been weaker, not to mention softer and more plentiful, if I had a car.
The fields were white, pretty much everything was except the road and some of the houses, when I walked home with my bag filled with food. Â (I also bought some yogurt and juice so I had a full bag.) But I enjoyed the mild weather, amused to think that just above freezing actually feels mild to me now. Â In fall, I would probably have been freezing. Â But for now, a day without blizzard is a blessing. Â I am sure it will be hot enough come summer. Â May we all be there to whine about it. ^_^