So, I finally made it to the 'pearl' of Norway, no, not the Fearnley Astrup gallery. I had drinks on the roof of The Thief. And before you think, Å ja, the hotel, I have to stop you right there. It is NOT a hotel. It is a ‘cultural hub’ in the center of the new Oslo.
When entering the hotel, the first and only of its kind in Norway, I felt a sense of déja-vu, this ‘flash-the-cash’ thing with real Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons everywhere from when I was living in London. You know, last century, when we were cool, gorgeous and free. When we could drink rows of B52s and still get up in the morning.
And then the hip hop-rapper bling bling thing hit the globe. Super-celebs ‘from the ghetto’ started drinking Crystal Roederer for breakfast. Oh yeah, they would show us how to do it. With a drop of vengeance and bucket loads of humour they took the whole flashing the Benjamins (read 100 dollar note) to a whole new level with diamond tooth fillings, solid gold necklaces by the kilo and designer logos lining the inside of their limos just ‘cos they could.
Oslo has been surprising me these last five to seven years with its new and beautiful Opera house floating on the fjord, its amazing new office blocks and sexy new waterfront in Tjuvholmen. But let’s be honest, the capital of the richest country in the world did not have a single luxury shop when I arrived ten years ago, so when I spotted a few local celebs at The Thief all decked out in their insanely expensive clothes I couldn’t help wondering if Oslo was suffering from a late bling bling syndrome.
Because if you can afford the most expensive jacket in the world - Should you 1: Buy it, 2: Wear it?
image credit: wikimedia