Living in another land, you can not help but notice small differences in everyday life. Much like the small differences between two snowboarders leaving the same teleski. Having seen a few of them before, you can easily tell which one has been working on his technique longer. You can see which one has been, or is now, trying harder.
Standing in lift-lines or bar-que's throughout the alps, I've more then once wondered: What's the difference? Between me, and the (often) Scandi in front of me? I know how hard I've worked to get where I am. And I know how large the amount of hours is that went in to my side of this moment. And I wonder if the other guy's sacrifices have made his present moment worth as much as I value my moment of foreplay, or looking back on a nice run.
Until a few weeks back, I didn't speak Norwegian, or Swedish for that matter, so asking the guy in front about his day didn't make much sense. And allthough little changed in the language department, I think I'm begining to understand a few differences and similarities between myself and the Scandi's standing in front of the liftline, or overtaking me quickly during a powderfilled descent through a forest of 'larici'.
Music is an easy way to describe the difference between people at home and the viking's I've met so far. At home things are simple. You like some kind of music. For instance Kvelertak. You either like it or you don't, and the difference is used to descibe you. Just like the way you ski or board. You're often busy in the park, you like carving, or you're always on the hunt for powder. But here, things apear to be valued differently. Taste in music, as well as skiing, consists of complementary-, instead of binary parts.
One of the earlier cracks in my changing view on skiing, consisted of the remark a snowboard made. He told me to 'let go' and stop worrying about too much details or small worries about the descent at hand and everything that could be related to it. Ever since he mentioned that, somewhere halfway last winter, I've been thinking about those two simple words. Now, far from home, listening to new music in a new language, they start to make more and more sense. The people around me realy don't apear to see a lot of difference between langrenn, topturing, skiskytting, alpint or telemarkskikjoring.
Liker du å gå på tur? Ja! Gjerne! Når drar vi? And the rest is history. Details among brothers in arms. No questions about the pro's and con's of splitboards in relation to tech-bindinged-skies, waxdetails or specific details of a route to the top. Those apear to be optional extra's for those looking back on a succesfull trip. And this different view on wintersports and adventure in general was new for me as I used to cast all those little details together in a shape that ensured a certain degree of safety. But looking back at music, I already new that I like Wagner just as much as the following, or the above.
“The real truth lies halfway uncertainty and safety.” Or, in the words of an interesting Norwegian: “Eventyr er bare resultat av dårlig planleging.” And that's precisely the treasure of vikinggold I was looking for. The idea that I should, at least a bit more then before, try to “let go” in our next season. Because I've learned that safety can be a primal and binary ingredient in a recipe that needs to be 'spiced up a bit' with more impulsive or artistic decisions. In terms of wintersport: Tartiflette is a cheese-dish with potato (perhaps the other way around?). But could you serve one without lardons? Or without a glass of white wine? And that's what I'm beginning to realise here in the darkness below green-litt night skies: My skiing needs more bacon.
And out of curiosity, how would you like to 'spice' your pasttime 'up'? Do you find bacon in pillows? Or in the park? Or have you found even better ways then added creativity to beat a Scandi in the first-chair race?
(Looking back, I regret the general lack of skiing and wintersports above. You'll find some compensation below ;) )