16. mars 2009

Oslo vs Trondheim

It's time for another duel between Oslo and Trondheim. Last time, Trondheim won. This time I will focus on the important areas of collective transport and cross country skiing.

Collective transport system:

Oslo has a tube. It works so well you think it's a joke. Come on, people, you are public employees, you can't possible get fired, and you practically don't get paid. In theory, presented by every conservative politician from here to Inner Tasmania, you should suck at what you do, so why don't you? What am I not getting here?

Trondheim do not have a tube. The city of Trondheim was buildt in the same way men place themselves in front of a public urinal, with the biggest possible distance to the neighbors. There can be several reasons for such behavior, but since you don't see huge sexual organs on the roofs of all houses in Trondheim, I guess we just are shy people. This means bigger distances and higher costs for collective transport, so we can't afford a tube.

Tram (Trikk):
Oslo has several trams. They work just as well as the tube.

Trondheim used to have tram. Then the politicians bought a lot of trams with the wrong distance between the wheels. This fuck-up blew the tram budget. They should have concluded that local politicians are too expencive, but they concluded that tram was too expensive, and put asfalt in the rails. Then they kept on removing the asfalt and put it back again as the city goverment power shifted. I might have the details wrong, but the fact is that the last fifty years, just mentioning the word tram has made Trondheim politician brains melt and pour out of the ears.

Oslo has bus. It works.

Trondheim has bus too. As the historic documentary movie 'Død Snø' proves, there was a lot of nazi zombies in Norway after the war. In the north, the zombies just attacked and killed people, as shown in the documentary. But in Trondheim they were more subtle. They grounded the bus company Trondheim Torturselskap (TT), officially known as Trondheim Trafikkselskap or Team Trafikk, which has poured the most gruesome terror over the locals for decades.

Cross Country skiing:

It's a strange thing about cross country skiing. A lot of people prefer to put vax under the skies and then move in so-called 'classic' or diagonal style. They pay to fuck up the gliding abilities of their skies. You don't see ineffective styles like sax-style high jumping or skijumping with parallell skies anymore, but people still prefer ineffective skiing. It's like if drivers still should prefer T-fords, it's a more expensive way to move slower.

I'm sane(!), so I skate. In the forests of Trondheim, you can skate easy everywhere. The tracks are as wide as american highways.

In the forests of Oslo, the tracks are narrower, the city has officially only one skating track. If you follow it, it means you have to go the same way back. It makes the skier think, I've been here before, I went in the other direction ten minutes ago, and now I just go back, whats the point of this? Who are we mad creatures, whats the point of existense, where is my grandma's gun, and so on. Trust me. You don't want a skier to go philosophical.

Both Trondheim and Oslo has a lot of skitracks. Trondheim uses huge maps and mark tracks in different colors to help people navigate around. Oslo uses few maps and just one color. Instead they use signs. The signs points out the directions and says things like 'Kikut 9', meaning 9 kilometers to Kikut. You move a kilometer, find a 'Kikut 8,5', move another kilometer, find a 'Kikut 9'. Then, a kilometer later, 'Kikut 8', and then another 'Kikut 9'. After fighting for hours in this maze, if you're lucky, you can get it down to 'Kikut 5'. Sooner or later you understand that there is no Kikut, they are just messing with your head. So you change destination to Sognsvann, which you know exists. You find a 'Sognsvann 5'-sign, follow the direction a kilometer, and, perfectly logically, you find the sign with 'Sognsvann 4'. Not equally logically, this sign points in the very direction you came from. You wear skate skies, the tracks are too narrow for you, the signs sends you into nasty deep snow tracks that just leads you back to where you came from, dark clouds gather inside you, you feel the urge for human flesh.

Conclution: Cross country skating in Oslo both makes you doubt in the point of existing and makes you want to murder someone. If they find that the school massacres in Finland, USA and Germany all were committed by kids who once had been skiing in Oslo, I won't be too surprised.

Cross country:
The skitracks in Trondheim are better than in Falun, Lahti, and any other place in the world.
The skitracks in Oslo are better than in Ouagadougou, Mogadishu and Bandar Seri Begawan.

Collective system:
Oslo: Splendid.
Trondheim: I'm not even sure they try.

The final results are 1-1. It's a draw.

Photo from my first skitrip in a decade. I started out as an old donkey thinking he was a race horse. The fun lasted in approximately 1200 meters. Here I am studying fascinating dots dancing on the inside of my eyelashes, wondering how the heck I'm going to get home again.

Both pictures are taken by my brother

11 kommentarer:

Langemann sa...

Thank you for a wonderful analysis. I have to add some critique on the skiing section, though.

Oslo maybe provides only one official skating track, but plenty of the tracks are combined, making it perfectly possible to skate between the tracks for a far longer distance than in Trondheim.
Tracks are not always broad in Trondheim, I'm sure you've been to Estenstadmarka? On the other hand, they also have something very rarely encountered in Oslo, slopes so rough you can actually hurt yourself - this is a big plus in my book. The possibility of having to spend 15 minutes to get back out of the forest onto the track after miscalculating the curve (been there) makes it all more interesting.

When it comes to distances, Oslo has progressed to officially abandoned relative distances through the Absolute-Distances-for-Healthy-Decisionmaking act (ADHD), making distances more easy to comprehend. How far to Kobberhaughytta? 3 km. Always. Very convenient.

This comment may include minor errors.

Guri sa...

The tube and the tram works? Are you high?
I once spent more than an hour sitting in the tunnel between Nathionalteateret and Majorstua before we had to evacuate and walk out on our feet. And I've had to walk to the city center several times due to the fact that nor the tube or the bus can cope with snow.
Also, the trams are never on time. The real time display can say 5 min, and then 4 and then 3 and then 6 and then now and then 11 and then you realize you've been standing there for half an hour and it would have taken you 10 min to walk.

palodegard sa...

Trondheim still has an active tram route, although there are weekly threats of closing it down and using the tracks as bicycle paths.

Esquil sa...

langemann, you answer fast.
and yup. pain is nice.

in that case, the oslo skating is based on skating across the diagonal tracks. it's not optimal for neither. In bymarka right now, many tracks are like 12 meters wide. and I'm not exaggerating.

the ad-hd thing explains the signs :) thanks.

guri: such things can happen. but
the entire oslo system is build on logic and easyness. in trondheim it's build around the driver's coffee breaks.

when I was 7, the driver refused me to enter the bus home from school. It was part of a collective punishment, he felt that we moved in a dangerous manner around the bus. It was 15 minus C that day, and 15 minus in trondheim, when you are dressed for a busride and not for walking 3k, is cold enough to remember 30 years later. So thats when it started, and since that TT has done little to change the impression.

palode, thats right. one line, just to tease us.

Bjørn Stærk sa...

I like public transport in Oslo too. They're doing a great job. People are always complaining, but I think attitude is part of it: You have to accept a bit of randomness. The trick is to always have something fun or useful to do while you're travelling. I listen to audio books when I walk or stand, and read paper books when I can sit. It takes me about an hour to get from door to door, but it doesn't feel long. I just enter a zone of silence with my noise-cancelling earplugs when I leave, and then, after enjoying good books for an hour, I find myself magically transported to where I wanted to go. And if there's congestion, well, that just means I get more time to read.

Compare that to people who drive cars, who must pay attention to traffic the entire (but admittedly faster) journey. When they're in a queue, they're stressed and angry (or resigned and depressed). When I'm in the same queue, I'm far away in a wonderful book.

Guri sa...

But it is in no way good enough when I've been more than one hour belated four times in a month! I come from the middle of nowhere, and the buses there have really long routs. Often, they come from the neighbor town, and still they manage to be no more than five minutes late, snow or no snow.

The problem in oslo is that even though everybody know there are going to be snow the tube and the buses stop every time it snows. That is not ok, that is bad planning.

I don't mind spending an hour and a half every day getting to and from school, what I do mind is that during February I missed doctors appointments and mandatory tests at school because of the tube being late/having me stuck in a tunnel.

Delirium~ sa...

Correcting errors? Sure. Public transportation hunny', not collective transport. And yes, the best thing you can say about Oslo 's buses is that they work ;)

Anonym sa...

People in Oslo (and Trondheim as well) should quit complaining about public transit in their home towns. Alternatively they should move to Los Angeles...

And if correcting your language is an option for this post too, take a look at this sentence: "They grounded the bus company Trondheim Torturselskap..."
That should be "founded", not "grounded". Electric circuits and misbehaving children should be grounded, companies are founded. And then run to the ground, at least according to recent trends in banking and very large manufacturers of automobiles. I don't think that applies to TT yet though.

Anonym sa...

Hehe.. quite a good post. I laughed out loud several times while reading.
As I'm not a huge fan of cross country skiing I must admit I would rather have a transportation system that works here in Trondheim though.
btw. I think "vax" should be "wax". :)

Anonym sa...

I just came home from Oslo. On the plane home I was thinking if I should move to Oslo or Trondheim. The first think I find when I came in was this post. Coincident? I think not. I have to say I’m a little worried about Trondheim not having any real public transportation, but after reading your post from 1. August 2006, I just have to choose Trondheim. I’ve never been there, but I’m guessing it’s better then Oslo. Except from Trondheim not having good public transportation, it looks like the best choice.

(And this writing in English thing is kind of hard, but I think I did a good job.)

Anonym sa...
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