Ny i Norge: So I have been here before, but all things considered I am “New in Norway.” And when I look at this title on the cover of the language text books I have acquired, I am certainly reminded of the fact. Maybe I still have a while before I master the difference in asking for a bag vs. a hot dog at the grocery store, but I certainly have experienced a lot in my first month of a “temporary residence.”
Today marks the day my official visa got put into my passport (although apparently I was all set to go about 3 weeks ago). I have returned to Stavanger for my third (!) visit and seems like the stars are aligning to make this my home base for the rest of the year. I’m still crossing my fingers my gracious Aunt(Teta) and Uncle (Vuyko) won’t realize they might appreciate a child free house after Luke graduates ;0)
While I am here, I decided to re-start my blogging as I like to keep track of my travels somewhere in cyber space mostly so I can refer back to the stories and moments later on. I’m certainly not expecting to be followed or anything of the sort, but if you care to check in once in a while, by all means. I chose the title travelling trolls because a) trolls are part of the culture here, b) I am travelling to and around Norway c) I will be travelling from Norway for some additional adventures d) trolls are cool. So…long story short, I hope to share some of the quirks of being in a new country, some of what I am up to, some things I may encounter on my holiday travels, and some things specific to Norway. Of course anything in between is fair game….
Month 1 Summary:
When I arrived in Stavanger, my head was in a whirlwind of graduate school options, what I planned to accomplish here, if I could even get my paper work and when, if it would even work out…and so on…and so forth. Not life threatening stuff, but life altering all the same… Basically every day my life plan was changing, my options were different, and I was re-evaluating every potential option on the table. That’s when my Yogi tea bag told me “Solve one problem, and a hundred others will disappear.” So darn true. So without explaining all the back and forth, for those of you who have been asking I will present to you the final product of where my life stands:
- Duke’s Doctor of Physical Therapy is my top choice program that I am currently accepted to
- I have deferred my acceptance to Duke for August 2013
- I still have to take a physics class and might get accepted to University of Melbourne’s DPT program for February 2013
- My working holiday visa has been approved and, therefore, I can stay in Norway for up to a year.
- I can officially start working in a couple of weeks when I receive my person number
- Work will entail any combination of the following babysitting/subbing at the International School/Teaching Dance/Personal Training/Etc.
- I have my own Jazz class once a week that I am teaching for sure
- I have joined PRODA and DanceIS which are two networks for professional dancers in Norway allowing you access to free or discounted classes/workshops/resources
- performance and further teaching opportunities TBA
- I have been able to start shadowing a Phsyio at Klinnik for Alle and hope to continue that. I’m in love with this clinic – the staff and resources are amazing. I feel like a kid in a candy store just to be able to hang out here.
- I have met so many great people so far that have been happy to take me under their wing in the expat, dance, and fitness/physio communities. Not to mention Teta and Vuyko who are letting me live in their house and use their car and still seem to enjoy having me around!!
- And I “learned” to curl…
There is lots of stuff in between but if it is important, it will make its appearance later on.
It’s been a great start and I know time will just continue to fly. I would be sad to leave tomorrow, I can only imagine how that will feel in a few months. In many ways, I feel like I’ve jumped in so quickly Stavanger already has a homey sense to it. Yet, there is so much to learn! The one thing that really has me remembering I am in another country is the language. Do I really think I will be having a regular conversation in a month? Nei. But I have been paying a lot more attention than I was before. I have to say, I’m sort of failing miserably on scheduling regular lessons for myself. Mostly I need to find a Norwegian who will sit next to me and help me along since I have no idea how to make what I read turn into a word someone will recognize. Not to mention the text books teach you Norwegian in Norwegian…? Yeah. Although, I am happy to say I have made some mild progress in understanding what is happening in my dance classes and knowing if I am allowed to park somewhere ( You DO NOT want to pay a parking ticket here). I know I’m not really going to learn Norwegian this year and that I might not ever use it after I leave, but I don’t think it ever hurt anyone to try to pick up some basics in a new language. Plus I think it will help for the types of communities I am trying to get involved with (i.e. Dance and at the clinic). And who knows…Duke does have an international clinical setting in Bergen. I’m just saying.
That is just my own mini side quest, people here are actually great about trying to help you out in English. You can communicate with almost anyone in English if need to which is a blessing and a curse and entertaining at times. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone who I’ve thought, “man they used some funny words.” But the written word is a whole different story. Hopefully I will share more of these instances in the near future as it primarily involves me getting an email in Norwegian and trying to get a vague understanding of the content via google translate.
Here was today’s find of the day on the refrigerator:
“Both sides of the refrigerator may be sometimes getting warm or hot, particularly just after installation. The fridge is not a fault in this case and the heat is due to cluster pipe. The water condensation may form on the outer surface when the refrigerator is operated under high humidity circumstances during rainy season. It’s not a fault, wipe and dry clean.”
Now I appreciate the English in this country and for the most part, it gets the job done. I’m not judging, I’m just saying that sometimes you have to crack a little smile and say “Oh Norway, it’s always rainy season. I’m blaming the fridge.”