Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving this year was an exercise in adaptively. We could not find any turkeys at the grocery stores, so a friend suggested going to a butcher shop. Coincidently, one of the best butcher shops is right down the street from our new apartment. I had to ask if they had turkeys, because I could not see any in the cases. The person I asked at first could not figure out what I wanted. Another person at the counter figured out what I wanted after I described a turkey as a “big chicken”. He ducked in the back room and rustled in the deep freezer for about three minutes. He finally produced an extremely frozen turkey that was just the size I needed.
Another item we could not find was stuffing, or even breadcrumbs. This solution was simple enough; I simply made it from scratch. The only problem I had was buying the correct spices. Before I went to the store I looked up the Norwegian word for each spice necessary to make stuffing. As soon as I had the translations, I was able to buy all the spices I needed at the grocery store.
The only item I was unable to locate was pumpkin pie mix, or pumpkins at all. The only why to solve this problem was to not make pumpkin pie. I simply made apple pie and banana bread (each from scratch) for the dessert.
We invited four friends to dinner. Simon who is German, Marius who is Norwegian, Harold who is German, and his girlfriend Septop who is from Turkey. It was every ones first “Thanksgiving” but they all had an idea of what a Thanksgiving dinner was from TV and movies. They were intrigued by the turkey, and were impressed that “Americans actually ate apple pie”. After dessert we cleared the table and played a board game together. The game “Ticket to Ride” was very appropriate because the purpose of the game is to make trains form different US cities. We had great conversations about our cultures and current events.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Moving

We spent most of Saturday moving into our new apartment. We took two trips with the suitcases, walking the twenty minutes to the new place. The best part of the move was that unpacking only took about ten minutes. The apartment is fully furnished, which also includes the kitchen being full of appliances and other kitchenware. There are lots of home touches including plants, and curtains. We were very fortunate that the lady who owns the apartment, is renting it out while she attends school. Because of this, the apartment has everything we need. There is even a double bed, which compared to the single bed we have been sharing, seems huge. There is a phenomenal closet system with pull out baskets. There is lots of extra space considering we did not bring much clothing.

An interesting feature of the apartment is the bathroom set up. In the hall way there is a room about the size of a small closet that houses the toilet. There is a small sink to wash your hands, and that is it. In the bedroom there is another bathroom about twice the same as the other one, with a heated floor. On one side there is a small shower, and on the other is a good size sink with a cabinet below. There is also a good-sized medicine cabinet. So we have a shower room, and a water closet.

As far as other rooms go, there is a living room with a fireplace, the bedroom and the kitchen. I have yet to explore everything in the kitchen, but it is in need of a good re-organization. In the kitchen there is also a washing machine, dishwasher, and even a microwave. The windows in all the rooms are large and you can see the “kebab” vender on the corner.

There are lots of stores in out new area, selling everything from toys to fruit. There is even a local butcher shop. We went to an electronics store and we bought a cable modem so that we finally have Internet in our home. We also signed up for cable, and we ended up getting a digital cable box. We are borrowing a TV from Marius, but hope to get our own this weekend. All in all everything is settling down and life is getting back to our normal routine.