Finally Abbott WMM have released the photos they took right after we crossed the finish line and were handed our Six Star Finisher Medal. I was at that point so exhausted I didn’t even bother to ask the photographer to take the shot from a higher angle to avoid the double chin that inevitably occurs when taking a photo from a low angle. But, you know what? I don’t care, so here is my official pic, major double chin and all…
Some people just seems to pull off anything, also any kind of hairdos. I mean, take Natalie Portman for example; she looks just as amazing being bold, short haired, long haired, brunette or blonde. Me, I am not one of those people, and this post is my shameful and quite frankly very embarrassing proof of that… f
My history starts around 44 years ago, where I was born screaming and kicking and not to mention bold. I have heard stories about 3 months old babies with quite a set of hair, while my bold, little head didn’t need scissors before the age of 3 (me on the left below).
After a few years, even my hair started to grow, but I never got this thick or curly hair I envied my friends for. I was stuck with my flat, home cut blonde hair and up until I started school, me and my brother had the exact same hairdo.
Then it was my turn to start school, and by then I had grown at least enough hair to have pony tails. Still home cut, obviously….
In my final year at elementary school, I got this great idea to cut my hair short and with a hockey neck (hey, it was the 80-ies). This had to be done at a proper hairdresser, but what we hadn’t thought of is that such a do has to be maintained at least monthly and that cost was not exactly in our budget. Every three months was more like it, leading to the do-being quite flat and straight up ugly (even by that decade’s standards) for the last couple of months. Add a couple of plastic ear lobes and you have the answer for why I missed out on my first kiss in elementary school.
At lower secondary school (ages 13-16) I came once again up with a not so brilliant ide; home perm. Picture this; a bit of a flubby girl with a tiny head, a botch home perm-do and a big, fluffy jacket of the cheap kind.
Sweet 16 do:
My last year at the lower secondary school, I (fortunately) stopped experimenting and went for a more safe do for a few years, and hey… I got my first kiss 🙂
Throughout high school I continued to play it safe, with long, straight hair. My experimental inner self turned its attention to clothes instead, but that is another (and just as tragic) story.
Then I entered my 20-ies where I revisited my experimental side. At that time I practiced several times a day, so a short do was the most practical one. Even if it made me look like a boy….
In my mid-20-ies, i lived in Oslo and one day I just decided to color my hair black!! With my pale, white face and that terrible black hair, I looked more like a lucky-troll than anything else.
And of course, realizing my mistake and wanting my blondness back, I had to go through a more carrot-colored phase since I did not had the funds to do a proper coloring at a salon.
After a while, I regained my natural hair color, but I kept the short do into the new millennium.
At 30, I felt that my experimental phase was over and since then I have stayed away from both very short hair, perm, black color and home cut hair. I have, however, alternated between long and half-long hair.
I started this post by saying that some people can get away with wearing anything. Well, I have found an exception, because absolutely NO ONE can pull off this jacket to a cost of approx USD 7.500, even though many thought they could since the jackets were quickly sold out (#WhatsUpWithTheBratz).
Shibuya Crossing is the Times Square of Tokyo with its huge billboards and neon ligh. In is also one of the most buzziest intersections in the world with people crossing in all directions at once.
Check out this video to get the feeling of participating in the chaos of crossing the intersection.
We managed to spend a couple of hours just crossing the street from all angles and by just looking at the crowd. The Starbucks nearby turned out to be the perfect hangout for the spotting activities.
This intersection has also appeared in movies/TV shows such as Lost in Translation, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fuller House and is definetely worth a visit.
..and si is the neighbouring area…
After travelling for 24 hours from Norway, we have finally reached the capital of Japan, Tokyo. With its roughly 13 million people it’s the biggest city in Japan and hence it is buzzling with life. Or so we thought… We were a bit surprised not to be seeing more people when we arrived and it was not before we were entering the metro system we got the authentic feeling of it being really crowded.
From the minute I sat my first bloated foot (the last leg was for 11 hours, need I say more?) on Japanes soil, I was in love. Everyone were so friendly and helpful, and even though very few speaks English, the airport staff were really good at visual communication and got us through immigration and customs in record speed. Outside the terminal, the transportation options were really professionally lined up. Our express bus had a departure time at 11:40 and guess what, it left at precisely 11:40:00, a punctuality which is no more than an utopia back in Norway.
Being the world record holder in punctionality is one of the major reasons for my instant infatuation with Japan. In 2017 it was considered a scandal when a train departured 20 seconds too early, and even though no customers complained, the management of the rail company had to issue an official statement apologizing for the incident. Somehow I don’t see this ever happening in Norway where a train (long distance) is considered on time if it arrives its final destination within 5 min, 59 secs of its scheduled arrival time and where bus-for-train has become a common phrase in our everyday life.
When we arrived in downtown Tokyo, the weather was cold and rainy, so we hurried directly to our hotel. Or, at least we tried to… The many tall buildings both impaired visual orientation as well as confused the GPS giving us a bit of a struggle finding the correct way. But, with a little help from some very friendly Japanese, who gesticulated the direction the best they could, we were able to find out hotel. Our final good samaritan did not even leave our side until we were safely inside the hotel building. Amazing! In other words, a wonderful start on our stay in Tokyo:)
Sometimes life throw you a curve ball that takes you totally by surprise and forces you to re-evaluate all plans…. 1 week ago, with only 1 month to go before Tokyo Marathon, my biggest concern was whether I will be able to complete at all and get my big, fat six-star-finisher medal. Then my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly Tokyo seemed inconsequential. After 10 days back and forth to the hospital for MRI, CT, colonoscopy and you name it, we finally got the good news yesterday that the tumor seems operable and that the cancer seems not to have spread to any other organs. Safe to say we cried of relief of that message.
So, given the good news, my trip to Tokyo is back on. But, of course, having used all my energy on worrying, my immune system was quite beat, so no I am out cold with fever, sore throat and an aching body… In other words, I think it will take a few more days before I am wearing my jogging shoes again.
Even being quite unprepared (but then again, what else is new?), I am starting to look forward to my trip to Tokyo. My knowledge of the city is quite below par, and what springs first to mind is sumo wrestling, sake, supporters who actually pick up their own litter after world cup football games (even when loosing big), and of course the a bit too close proximity to a sometimes trigger-happy Kim Jong Un. After reading “The Runner Handbook” that arrived last week, I must also found some of the warnings to be quite interesting and new: First was a list of what was prohibited to bring to the starting area. I mean bottles and cans, unless for commercial unopened container for less than 500ml are prohibited. A bit strange, but OK. Then to the a bit more bizarre: it is not allowed to bring advertising, boom boxes, animals (!) and plants…. But, what really got me freaked was the necessity of actually having to specify the prohibition of bringing pepper spray, knives, poison, fire works and explosives!
A couple of other warnings in the handbook are also new to me in marathon settings.
» If the Japanese Government’s nationwide warning system J-Alert sends an alarm related to ballistic missile launches, follow the instructions.»
»If an upper 5 or greater earthquake strikes Tokyo, the race will be discontinued immediately»
Not very comforting, I must admit, but hopefully it will be OK. At least I feel my lack of preparation is not my biggest concern at the moment…
Being a product of the first real TV-generation in Norway, which means growing up with at least a couple of alternatives to the national channel, I have found that there is much wisdom to be acquired from watching TV and here follows some of my learnings….
10. Size doesn’t matter
Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones must be the all time prime example of “You don’t always have to look tall to stand tall”. Go Tyrion… and yes, I am so longing for the final season..
9. Cultivation of wisdom
Star Trek – The Next Generation from the late 80’s actually taught me as late as last week something really obvious and yet something upon we often don’t reflect.
“The beginning of wisdom is: I do not know.” Data
8. Remember to be selfish (at least sometimes)
Maybe not something to linger for, but sometimes it is important to look after oneself. Not as often as George Constanza from Seinfelt of course, but still..
7. Pursuit of happiness
The 70s show taught me that it is important to be surrounded by people who makes you happy. “Life is too short to spend it with people who annoy you” Red Forman.
6. Unconditional Love
Movies like Brigdet Jones og series like How I met your mother have taught me that you shouldn’t settle for less than a life partner that actually appreciate you for who you are (bingedrink of Pepsi Max, crow-like singing voice, flounder-like running style and all…).
“Shouldn’t we hold out for the person who doesn’t just tolerate our little quirks, but actually kinda like them?” Ted Mosby.
5. Cliffhanger in the last episode of the final season sucks!
Not the only series that has taught me this, but Scorpion taught me that TV companies don’t give a shit about their viewers and have no scruples in killing off a series with a cliffhanger ending (#UpYours).
4. Families come in all forms and shapes
Series like Modern family has taught me that the modern core family is no longer a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, but comes in all shapes and forms and that the most important thing is to be a part of a family that will always have your back.
3. The nuances of life
Well, back to Game of Thrones… This series (among others) has taught me that the world contains nuances and should be viewed through a black/white lens. It has shown me that even the worst of villains has a soft spot, making it hard to truly hate them. But, no rules without exceptions, and a big exceptions here is of course King Joffrey, who deserved everything he got and whom I really, truly, deeply hated (so much in fact that I applauded and shouted “In your face” when he met his demise”, also when I re-watched the episode some months later…).
2. Women are allowed to fart
It is a well known fact (or so I thought) that women don’t fart (or flatulate). We try to hold it in and clenches for our bare lives throughout the day. But, at some time it has to come out and our sore spot is of course at night when we are finally relaxed, which can result in a slow stinker or a fart of the more loud kind.
In 1998 I was blissfully ignorant of involuntary flatulating (lucky me, I guess..) until I watched “The Drought” episode of Sex and the City, when Carrie finally feels comfortable sleeping in Mr Big’s apartment, but then manage to let go of a loud fart in her sleep. Believe it or not, but that episode actually helped soften the blow when the same thing happened to me 17 years later when spending the night at my boyfriend’s house. So, instead of digging a whole in the garden and through myself in of bare shame, I claimed the right to disavow all actions performed in a sleeping state.
“It shrinks?” Elaine Benes-
In 1994 I was 20 years and once again blissfully ignorant, and this time of the phenomenon of shrinkage (meaning the effect cold has on a man’s private parts) before watching “The Hamptons” episode of Seinfelt and I must admit I had about the same reaction as Elaine.
So, to sum up, much is to be learned by watching TV, so feel free to binge away… 🙂
For 8-9 a little fury toy-cheetah was purchased in the gift shop of Kristansand Zoo and he soon became my son’s favorite toy animal which he both slept with every night and brought with him on all our trips around the world. But, alas, there comes a time when all little boys outgrow their fury little friends, so in the past years, poor Gepi’s only view has been from the inside of a Box. To cheer him up a bit, I therefore brought him along for our Christmas trip to Dubai for the trip of his lifetime, and sent back photos to my son to try to guilt trip him for neglecting his little friend. At first he did not find that amusing at all, but after a while he thougt it was pretty funny..,.