Sunday, May 23, 2010


Saturday saw me getting sunburnt and turning green at Kongeparken, southern Norway's answer to Disneyland. Prior to May 17th, the park is overrun with Russ, but after the celebrations of Norway's national day are over, it is once more safe for little kids (and big ones).

The park has the obligatory set of amusements, some clearly intended to make you feel as queasy as possible, notably a special sea-sickness ride situated in the middle of a lake. But then there are also some more unusual entertainments such as a huge tied-down Gulliver sculpture into which children can climb like Lilliputians and stare out through the nostrils. There is also the character above, a Norwegian farmer who sits on the toilet keeping small children amused for minutes at a time. He has a range of speeches, punctuated by openings and closings of the lavatory door. His repartee is all Norwegian, but clearly fascinating for the kids, and he punctuates some of his guttural announcements by farting or spitting at the audience.

Another fun thing for the kids is collecting gold coins that can be exchanged for prizes. One way of winning a gold coin is by going up to a kiosk (of which there are many) and offering to drink a glass of cod liver oil. The girl at the kiosk then reaches behind her to where a long shelf of cod liver oil bottles awaits. The child downs a large swig, wrinkles up their poor little face and goes "yeurk", then walks away with a gold coin in his or her sweaty little palm.

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