Friday, October 8, 2010

The bell jingles on the door, and a woman looks up from behind the pastry case. Her blue eyes look like ice. Good morning.

"En kaffe og…" I stutter and trail off, looking at all the choices. Can you order a cheese Danish in Norway?

"Welcome to Kirkenes," she says. I blush. So clearly I am American.

"I'll have one of those," and I point to the sign that says skillingsbolle. It looks like a cinnamon roll—a safe bet.

"For here?" she asks, and that’s when I notice the little tables by the windows—so many windows, as if the owner of this shop knew me.

"Yes. Please."

The coffee is stand-up-a-fork strong, and the pastry flakes in my fingers. It is sweet. It is buttery sugary goodness. It is almost too much.

No one else has come in, so I start to sweep up my courage.

"Do you know of a people…"

"A people?"

"A group who follows the sun, from here to the south?"

She is wiping the counter, and her rag slows down.


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