An important lesson I learned during the fateful 20 hour train day from Umeå to Oslo, was how easy it is to miss your stop on account of unrelenting sleepiness. If you fall asleep on the train and your stop is not the last on the route, you could easily end up hours away from your destination.
At the beginning of the six and a half hour train ride from Trondheim to Oslo, I marveled at the breathtaking scenery outside of my window. We went from snow-capped mountains, to beautiful fjords, to blank white wind swept plains.
As the sun slowly sank beyond the horizon, the bright scenes outside of my window turned to dark nothingness and the length of my day caught up to me. For the last couple hours I nodded off and hadn’t even thought of setting any sort of alarm. Rookie mistake.
This could have ended in tragedy. I could have easily stayed asleep through leaving time and ended up wherever trains sleep. Or, even worse, if the train’s last stop had not been Oslo, I would have kept on going to God-knows-where Norway. (Which, all things considered, isn’t that bad. It’s much better than Allah-knows-where Afghanistan…)
Luckily for me, I had a savior on the train. It was in the form of an Old Norwegian Guy with a hefty voice and a sturdy hand. As I lay there paralyzed by sleep while almost everyone had departed the train, Old Norwegian Guy gave me a hard jolt to the shoulder, looked into my half groggy, half asleep eyes, and said with a grin on his hardened endearing face, “OZ-low”! I got the message and sprung out of my seat quickly, realizing my luck. Forever his one word, Oz-low, will be engrained in my mind as an example of what happens when you don’t set an alarm for your train’s expected arrival time.