Young and Promising
Are you there? I cannot tell if you were here. I am so alone I can't deal with everything.
It still gets me every time.
What does Oslo reminded me of? Joachim Trier's Reprise? Majority of the time maybe it does, maybe it was the first impression that I had. The friendship, the competition, the crossroad, the lives that derive us?
I like the way how the Norwegians call swimming pools 'Bad' (Bath), dating back to when there were no washing facility in every household hence these locations became public social space. The city Bath in Somerset, UK, is known as its Roman-built baths. Swimming pool itself a massive public bath. Bislet Bad a Norwegian public bath since 1920, an art deco styled infused with Roy Andersson-esque tranquil yet grey pastel-toned absurdity. Water surface reflecting on divisions of existences - Half of the pool is divided for the aquatic 'Latte pappas' with their cute blonde blue-eyed babies in the floats, whilst half of it is assigned for training.
Tøyenbadet is more of a council / family based swimming pool. It is a larger scale and somehow feel familiar to Victoria Park Swimming Pool back home in Hong Kong, where I spent most of my childhood in. The Tøyenbadet location was also featured in NRK's television series Unge Lovende (known as Young and Promising), where in season two Nenne's workplace after she returned to the city from the psychiatric ward, trying to get back on her feet and cope with the normal life. I recognise the locker room straight away, the big glass circle where you can see all of the fellow swimmers swimming back and forth of the immense pool, as if all of our lives.
Similar to Skam, I like the way how Nordic drama's main emphasis on the relationship and dialog amongst all the characters. It wasn't attempting to impose any values to the audiences, but about three young women pursuing love, career success, and contentment, whilst trying to make sense of everything in this confusing world. Oslo and London, both share the same indifference of cities:
It doesn't care about you
It doesn't need you
It doesn't want you
It doesn't even matter what you do
One shouldn't dwell on the past. Yet I remembered when Eugene and I were both born in 1989 (The year of Tiananmen Square Massacre and The Fall of the Berlin Wall), both twenty-three at that time, both have cigarettes between our fingers, that day, his father passed away, he took a big puff, said, 'This is the mother-fucking longest twenty-three ever.'
Returning to Oslo reminded me of Oslo, August 31st. Last time I was here was March, where the idea of this writing project was actualised, today, I am sitting on the same dinning table, similar setting, yet different air moisture, light and temperature.
Meanwhile all dusts are quiet in their place.
Pilestredet 60, 0167 Oslo, Norway
Monday - Thursday: 6.30am - 8pm (members until 10pm)
Friday: 6.30am - 6pm (members until 10pm)
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 5pm (members 10am - 5pm)
Helgesens gate 90, 0550 Oslo, Norway
Monday - Friday: 7am - 7pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 7pm