Customer Service

Oslo. The name says it all. Doesn’t the word Oslo conjure up…um…images of romance? adventure? How about expensive? I would contend that if Oslo isn’t the most expensive city in the world, it’s in the top five. I can now say I’ve had a $4 bottle of diet Coke at a convenience store.

Oslo turned out to be a bit more spread out than I bargained for. We stayed in a hotel that was supposed to be in Oslo, according to our travel information, but instead was in Hovik, which was a bit down the road. It didn’t matter in the long run. The room was good, the hotel breakfast was pleasant, and we were a short distance from both a grocery store and a bus stop.

If you ever find yourself in Oslo, as people do, and you’re there to tour, my advice is get the Oslo pass. We had 48 hour Oslo passes. They initially seem like a chunk of change, but by the time you’ve figured out all the bus trips, the museum entries, and even the discounts you can potentially get, the pass is a steal for touring Oslo.

Catrina and I picked up our Oslo passes our second day in town, and then we were off to the Folklore Museum (museums next entry). To get to the Folklore Museum, one takes a beautiful little ferry ride out over the water to Bygdoy. We got in line for the ride, and I pulled my Oslo pass out of my wallet…

…exactly as a breeze fluttered up and pulled it right out of my hands. It flittered into the water and floated on the surface.

I was so disappointed. I had scuttled my trip but good. Oslo was going to be pretty expensive without my pass. Catrina and the Australians we were talking to were all commiseration, and they wondered if there was any way to save the situation.

Enter the ferry crew. A young man with perfect dreadlocks talked to an Aryan girl, and she came out with a long hook and a net. She clambered over the railing. We held our breath as she took the spear, managed to catch the pass on top of it, and brought it toward us. At first I was worried about her falling in, but she clambered about like she’d done this very thing before.

I reached out for the pass, almost within my grasp, and…it fell off the hook. It floated beneath the water, rolled for a resurfacing, and then disappeared behind one of the tires attached to the dock that worked as a ferry shock absorber. The girl clambered onto the tire, put her net behind it, and worked some magic. Within a few moments, the Oslo pass was in her net, much to the cheering of the crowd, and my gratitude.

So, whatever else you might say about Oslo, and I might say a few things in the upcoming entries, I can’t fault city transportation on their exceptional public service.

Although the young man with the dreads did tell me that he couldn’t accept a pass in that condition. 🙂


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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