To those who were not previously aware, I will soon be participating in a very strange, cult-like 17-day-long party known as Russ (pronounced kind of like rooss), a tradition and cultural phenomenon in Norway. (a pretty good description can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ). This party, it turns out, takes a whole lot of preparation.
I ordered my russeklær (traditional russ clothing) in September, and got them when I got here, along with 500 russekort (ridiculous kind of fake business cards, with funny pictures, nonsense/perverted phrases etc, which small children collect obsessively during this time). I now own shoes designed after the Norwegian flag. So great.
Yesterday, it was officially time to decorate our russ pants, a very necessary event that involves ironing on letters (spelling names, etc), strange/perverted/funny/cute pictures and icons, etc in no particular order or pattern. Later, people will write all over them, and they will constantly gain character as we are not allowed to take them off or wash them for the entire 17 days. (except between 8 PM and 8 AM, for sleeping etc, and if someone either throws up or pees on them). If we are caught without them, one of the legs will be ripped off. Anyway, kind of a big deal, and definitely culturally unique.
my pants, beforehand:
after hours and hours of ironing:
the finished product! (sort of. the hats will have our “russ names” written on them once we go through a “russ baptism” on the eve of May 1st)
And then the car. Four of my friends and I have gone together to buy an ancient, 1983 Volvo stickshift. We will paint it red and white and drive it all over the town playing music and being obnoxious and most likely blasting “Infinity” by Guru Josh Project, this year´s official russ song. We will use it as our official mode of transportation to and from parties, sleep in it, eat in it, basically live in it (we´re trying to get a camper trailer, but we´ll see.) Anyway, today was my first time actually driving our russmobile, and I smoothly stalled out 4 times in a row in the middle of E6, the Norwegian freeway. Haha. As far as I´m concerned, it was inevitable. More driving lessons tomorrow, thankfully, but not in the russmobile – Ida and I spent a good part of our afternoon changing to summer tires (as one of our winter ones pretty much broke in half), and now, naturally, it´s snowing. A lot.
Anyway, the car:
To get the glove compartment to stay shut (necessary, because when it opens a light turns on that will use up the battery) we have to cram a small book and a pencil into the edges, and whenever we go over a bump, everything flies out all over the car. hahaha. It reminds me of Gerty, Reid´s old Volvo. It´s perfect.