Oslo Metropolitan Diary – February 7, 2019

One of my favorite features of the Times is the Metropolitan Diary which they publish each Tuesday. If you haven’t read it, a quick synopsis is that it contains brief accounts of encounters NYC residents have with each other, whether as an observer or participant. I was inspired enough that I thought to create my own version for Oslo. One entry a week, published each Tuesday by 5:00 PM Central European Time. I am late this week, but I wanted to post nonetheless. Next edition will be released February 12. Now, without further ado…

A Caught Glove

Dear Diary,

I’d forgotten to check the timetables and so was early for the T-Bane on a freeze-the-inside-of-your-nose kind of morning. I stamped around the platform to keep warm, watching the snow fall so slowly it seemed at some moments to almost float in the dark air.

When the train came, snow sparkling behind like a cape, a woman deep in a fur hood stepped off with a mitten dangling from a catch on her jacket. I took an open seat next to some Polish workers talking together, arms folded over hi-viz overalls. As the doors began to close, I saw the hooded woman, already a few steps from the train, notice the mitten, turn on her toes, and fling it towards the narrowing gap. It flew end over end, passed through the doors just before they squeezed shut, and traced a parabola right onto the owner’s lap.

In quiet awe, everyone in the train car watched the owner hold up the mitten in surprised recognition. Then the train pulled away, leaving the woman on the platform undoubtably feeling triumphant. The Poles and I exchanged a glance in acknowledgement of the impressive display of agility and compassion, then they resumed talking, I slipped a book from my pack, and the owner tucked the mitten into her coat pocket and bent back over her phone.

— Mark Watkins