Aug 16, 2006

HARDANGERFJORD, Norway: I wake in a resort built for merchant-princes. My brain staggers back over the eight-hour layover, the connecting flight, the long drive through darkness. What continent is this again?

I spot a bidet. Must be Europe.

Much as I like my job, it has disorienting moments like this.

Before I'm fully conscious or caffeinated, I'm zipped into a survival suit and tossed into a Zodiac. The rubber boat slaps up the fjord. I sit right in the bow, one hand laced under the plastic lifeline, the other holding the peaky hat.

"Edward, we're in Norway," I say to my friend. We've burned through a lot of passport pages together this year: Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, England, Canada and now here.

"Good observation," he replies. "Say, you really are a highly trained professional."


  1. Anonymous5:54 PM

    I'm not getting the Jay vibe from the hat, Ax. But you're WORKING the Jackie-O sunglasses and Peter Pan collar on the survival suit.

    Love, La Modiste

  2. Somewhere, we have a picture of her in the Jordanian desert, wearing the Jay hat and one of my (much, much too big for her) flannel shirts. Pure Jay. Looks more like Jay than Jay does.

  3. See Hobbes at Petra. Gooooooooo Hobbes Gooooooooo.

    No flannel shirt, but this is close as my archives come. Phew!

  4. Anonymous7:28 PM

    So why the coy author photo, then? You're not so gruesome...

  5. Why, shucks. Thankee, good stranger.

    The keffiyeh photo amuses me, pure and simple. The red-check design is for Jordanians (primarily men these days), so it's an absurd thing to swaddle onto a gringa.

    However, a Bedouin sheik proposed to me, while I was veiled ("I think I have found Wife Number Two!"). So obviously the look's a good one in context.