The Worst Travel Experiences Of My Life, Part One: Oslo 2005

I love travelling with a passion but for all the highs there have been some terrible lows, involving violence, robbery and total humiliation. And a menage-a-trois in Norway that nearly ruined a friendship...
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"Ladiesh and Gentlemen, pleash do not panic, there appearsh to be a schmall fire at the front of the aircraft, but ash you can shee, the emergency services are on their way, so pleash remain calm and we'll give you further instructions to evacuate". So came the voice of the Dutch captain over the public address system. Remarkably, nobody did panic as Manchester airport staff and emergency services did a very convincing re-enactment of the final scene from the film Airplane, we disembarked safely onto the tarmac at Manchester and were escorted to the terminal building. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue, I thought to myself.

The plan was simple, a mate of mine had recently moved to Oslo and an unexpected financial bonus meant that I had, at short notice, the funds to go and visit him for a weekend of partying in Scandinavia. He'd moved into a flat with three apparently stunning Norwegian girls, and being single at the time, I wasn't about to say no to his invite.

The cheapest return flight I could find was with KLM, meaning a change of plane at Schiphol before heading through to Oslo. It didn't matter though as I'd get there even before Oslo's workers clocked off for the day. Or so I thought.

The plane had somehow caught fire on the runway at Manchester, the fire was quickly and efficiently dealt with by the ground staff, a reassuring scenario as the speed with which they reacted was quite excellent, and it was evident that safety really was top of the agenda. The cancellation of our flight meant that passengers were being re-booked on later flights to Amsterdam, in this situation it is common airline practice for long-haul passengers to be given priority on subsequent flights, giving them a greater chance of making their long-haul connection. Short haul passengers, which I was on this occasion, are booted to the back of the queue. The upshot being that instead of me enjoying a leisurely beer in Oslo at 16:30, I'd now be getting into Oslo at around midnight.

With the action in full swing, one of the girls who lived there came out of her room to witness what must have been a shocking sight

After spending a day at Manchester airport doing nothing much, I boarded the flight and made it to Oslo without incident, the customs guy even noticed that on my passport my place of birth is a Welsh name, and he gave me a cheery "nos da" - Welsh for "good evening" - as he waved me through. Impressive language skills for a Norwegian customs official. The unexpected pleasantry in Welsh had cheered me immensely and as I stood at the baggage carousel I lost myself in fantastic reverie involving a debauched weekend during which I enjoyed the pleasures of various Welsh speaking blonde Scandanavians. So taken was I with my day dreaming that when I found myself again it was with some surprise that I discovered that I was alone, the baggage carousel had stopped spinning, and that it contained no bags.

"The fucking stupid cunting Norwegian fucking Dutch cunting wankers have lost my fucking bags", I remarked internally.

The bags, of course, had been lost in transit at Amsterdam, as so often happens when using interconnecting flights. I reported them lost and the ground staff promised that my bags would be couriered to me at my friends apartment the following morning. I went out in Oslo on Friday night and had a great time, meeting a lot of new people and partying till dawn in the beautiful and incredibly expensive city.

Next day, no sign of the bags, I called the airport and they said they'd still not arrived from Amsterdam. I borrowed clothes from a guy who my mate knew that was also visiting Oslo that weekend and we headed out on the piss. I totally forgot about my bags.

In fact, it was a great day, and the guy from whom I'd borrowed clothes and I ended up meeting a Norwegian girl and taking her home to my mates apartment. He knew nothing of this, having previously gone home drunk to bed, leaving us to stay out partying. My new friend and I ended up in a threesome with the girl in the living room of my mates apartment. With the action in full swing, one of the girls who lived there came out of her room to witness what must have been the shocking sight, even by liberal Scandinavian standards, of two drunken oafs from the UK and a petite brunette Norwegian in the classic spit-roast position on her sofa. She ducked back into her room, and nothing was said.

The next day, I went to the airport where thankfully my bags had finally turned up. I changed into some clean clothes and boarded my flight home to Manchester wearing a smile that bordered on smug self-satisfaction as I relived the conquest and comedy of the previous nights shenanigans.

When I got home, I logged into my e-mail account to find an e-mail from my mate in Oslo. The e-mail told of how after we had left, a meeting had been called by his three female flat mates, it had been explained to him that he must move out, owing to the disgraceful behaviour of his two friends the night before. Apparently the girl who had witnessed our menage-a-trois was from a deeply religious and sheltered background and had been inconsolable, failing to understand how others could engage in such behaviour. He'd been given his marching orders in his first month in his new flat and new city, and that was that. The atmosphere between him and I was considerably frosty for some time afterwards.

A mixed weekend.

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