Monday, 2 February 2015
Norwegians have about 50 billion different words for a toboggan type thing. This is to adequately describe all the different types of apparatus that you can drive uncontrolled down a steep slope into a snow bank (in the best case scenario), or tree (in the worst case scenario).
Today we tried one called a Kjelke - a type of toboggan with a steering apparatus and a brake. Next to the olympic ski-jump is a nice steep slope and a ski-lift dedicated to dragging the toboggans up the hill (with you in it), so that you can fly back down. It was a little bit expensive ($100 for an hour for all of us - maybe that wasn't so bad really), but in any case it was great fun.
Which brings me to the other type of apparatus every kid between 5 - 15 and lots of grown-ups seem to own to use to get around town (bearing in mind that most of the pavements are covered with squished down snow - the 'One Foot'.
It's the snow equivalent of a razor scooter except it would be a lot lighter to cart around when you weren't wearing it. People walk around the supermarkets with them in their shopping baskets and according to Dorte, they are used a lot in lunch times at school (as well as getting to and from school of course). Fun.
A lot of older people use something called a 'Spark' or kick-sled to get around town.
There are as many people using them now as there were in 1991 I recon, although I was disappointed to see the Lillehammer postmen no longer use them - they use tripod motorbike things now. The spark is great as it's a fun snow & ice toy, but it also acts as a shopping trolley (for taking stuff home) and a bit of a walking frame for the elderly on the slippery pavements. You can buy them from every sports shop. I used to take little Bjørn home from Kindergarten on one of those.
Then there are many many other toboggan type contraptions which seem to be found in every garage and/or snow-covered garden in Norway which I have never seen at home. We had fun in Drammen with something called a 'rumpe racer' (translated to Butt Racer) and it looks like a plastic plate with a handle - they seem to be a staple ingredient of tobogganing fun.