I spent much of yesterday evening talking to a Norwegian guy in the common room of my hostel in Dunedin. At one point he was telling me about the brewery tour he had taken earlier in the day. It seems that the tour guide told the group that the Norwegian toast "Skoal" originated because Norwegians used to drink out of the skulls of their enemies. He did not believe that particular theory, as he thought that would be the sort of thing that he ought to know. My response was that it was a good story, and he should adopt it, expand on it, tell people that they still do it, see how many he can convince. Make up new freaky stories about Norwegians! We tried to come up with new stories about Norwegians and Norway that he could use. Not many of them were very good. So later, when he told me that Munch's The Scream had been stolen, I didn't believe him. Funny.
I haven't yet gone outside today. It's alternately snowing and raining, and the steep streets of Dunedin are bound to be slick. I'll leave the building . . . eventually. At the moment though, I think I'll talk to the stranded Irish folks (more Irish! I swear, they're everywhere!) and read my book (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) and drink some tea. Cozy.