Vol. 23: Neon Signs in Oslo

The summer skies in Scandinavia remain endlessly bright, as a result of which one begins to overlook the passing of time. But one wants to keep time available for the morning. It is a marvelous experience walking through the streets of Oslo early in the morning: even in the daytime one sees relatively few people in the city. The neon signs in the shop windows emit a transparent light that seems to be almost alive.

For some reason, neon signs remain on for 24 hours a day in Scandinavian countries. Rooftop signs continually flashing to a background of the clear sky have a look of mysterious beauty. I was suddenly reminded of a scene from a film by Stanley Kramer. A nuclear war breaks out on a chance occurrence, and the people of the northern hemisphere are wiped out. A member of the crew of a nuclear submarine, the only ones to survive the disaster, see the Golden Gate Bridge, now totally deserted, and the keys of a radio being struck on the roof of a building in San Francisco as if being remembered by the wind. This is the science fiction-like experience afforded by a walk in the streets of Oslo in the morning.


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