Bergen has a club of sorts for people in the insurance and finance industry, and since that’s the industry I am employed in, I meet a lot of current and former co-workers at the meetings. Tonight we our venue was one of the Hurtigruten’s ships. We heard a talk about a new insurance company starting in Norway, and after the talk, we moved to the ship’s forward restaurant for an excellent cod dinner and a view of fog settling on Fløien. (When codfish is so good it almost tastes like meat, you understand why it is such a prized fish.) We had coffee on deck 7 and I left as they were testing the ship’s alarm systems; the ship will leave for Kirkenes tonight after 10 pm.
I enjoyed the company, the conversation, and mentioning my 25th anniversary party (which conflicts with the club’s own 80th anniversary party). But what got to me was how many of my colleagues had gray or even white hair. One had been a dark brunette before, and I had to comment on her new blonde look. She said that she was in that neither-this-nor-that stage so she decided to dye it all blonde. A third woman with us had salt-and-pepper hair.
I remember once saying to myself that I didn’t want to stay with the company until I’m gray, but I may have to eat my words, because tonight I found it quite comforting to think of joining my older co-workers in going grizzled.