|Postmark from the postcard that I'd sent from Hell|
There are days when something really frustrating happens, and you just feel like you're 'in hell'. That's my today - and it just took one email that was totally unexpected, and which has shoved me in to a miserable funk all day. A kind of hell that's insignificant in the big sweep of life, but the type that neatly expresses a certain kind of mood.
Anyway, I remembered that 25 years ago, I'd visited 'Hell' (the real place) during a backpacking trip around Norway. Like English-speaking tourists have most probably always done once they'd stumbled upon the name on the map, I felt compelled to see this place marked as 'Hell'. The name in fact is old Norse meaning an overhang, and having got off the train at Hell Station, the village looked small, typical and unremarkable. Except for one thing, it had a strangely large shopping centre.
Significantly though, the sign towering above the whole of Hell village was worth my stop-off. Almost as if it was designed by an underground comic book artist depicting an image of grotesque American-styled consumerism. Here was a huge US Dollar symbol with the word HELL in block capitals and coloured blood red on top of three ugly concrete pillars. My photograph taken at the time shows the HELL sign monstrosity as it was:
|Hell shopping centre, Norway. Did they accept payment in Dollars?|
I've now just had a quick scan through the web, and it appears that the sinister-looking '$' signage that I snapped a quarter of a century ago has since been replaced by something resembling the bland logo of a towelling products company:
|Hell today, taking just Krone now...|