The one in which I go to the Opera

Opera

I’m lucky. Very lucky. Before summer I applied for a summer internship doing Quality Assurance in the mobile devices department at Opera Software. I had no real expectations about actually getting the job, but to make a long story short, I got it. Now, a week into it, I am happier than ever that I did.

Oslo from the air

This photo is relevant because Oslo Central Station is in it.

The job is in Oslo, one of those towns in which I don’t live. Luckily my grandma is kind enough to provide me with shelter for the 8 weeks I am going to be working here. The minor snag is that she lives outside of Oslo. However, the trains are frequent and quick, and unless someone was to decide to do something silly like shutting them all down for three weeks for maintaining the railway lines, it would be no problem at all. Of course, that is what they did, leaving me to engage in the mighty battle of the busses. This may not seem too bad, and really, it isn’t. There are a lot of busses and trams in Oslo, probably a bit too many. In advance I had taken note of a few busses which went from the general area I wanted to travel from, and in the general direction I wanted to go in.

Saying that I felt well prepared would be an overstatement, but as my uncle was kind enough to give me a lift to Oslo for ten to nine, I was pretty confident that I would somehow get to work by 10am. Having acquired a 30 day all-access card to public transport in Oslo I was still left with 50 minutes for the 4 minute subway-trip to the bus-stop, and the 8 minute bus-ride to Opera Software. Quite content with my strategy I happily walked towards the subway station. I asked a smiling subway-ticket-attendant which metal box I had to go into for it to take me in the right direction. She was only too happy to point me in the wrong direction, and I swiftly walked down to the wrong subway line and into a train that went the wrong way.

I sat on this train, half wondering how the birds that woke me up at 4am were likely to be spending their morning, when I realised that something was wrong. I scrambled out of the train, and with the air of someone trying too hard to look like he knows what he is doing, I set about finding my way to the other side of the tracks, a task which is harder than one should think it is. I eventually started moving in the right direction, but it was obvious that my casual journey was now becoming more of a squeeze.

Now, the two stations I was travelling between, Oslo Central Station and Nationaltheateret, are not that for from each other, and provided you get on the train in the right direction, almost every train from one station also passes by the other station. The one I randomly got on was the one that didn’t. The train I got on stops between the two, at the parliament. It was time to run.

What I look like according to Opera, aka. me after having sprinted through Oslo.

What I look like according to Opera, aka. me after having sprinted through Oslo.

Of course, it could have been worse. I knew where I was, and I knew where I had to go to catch the bus. It took me something like eight minutes to run to the bus-stop, and three additional minutes to realise I was waiting for the bus on the wrong side of the road. I mentally made some estimations, and calculated that if a bus were to arrive within three minutes I would be fine for time. The bus showed up five minutes later.

I was so busy checking the time every thirty seconds that I hardly had the time to irritate myself over the fact that the bus also conveniently stopped right outside of the subway-station I had been running from quarter of an hour previously. I then had to engage in another sprint before I reached the building in which Opera have their headquarters. I walked into the Opera reception one minute past ten, warm, sweaty and slightly disoriented. The woman in the reception decided that that would be a wonderful moment to take a picture of me for my access-card and my intranet staff-page.

Having waited in reception for about twenty minutes (human resources was running late) I got to sign my contract. As of that moment I could call myself an employee of Opera Software, and it’s wonderful. Expect a post about it in a week or so.

July 18, 2010