Monday, February 27, 2006

New Place;

We were really lucky and found a great place just down the street. We are subletting another fully furnished apartment from a young couple. This time the owners are sailing around the world, so they will not be returning before the end of the lease. The apartment is located right off the main street on a quiet side road. It is also just a half block from one of the many parks. There is a courtyard in the complex with a playground for the kids. There is also a laundry room complete with dryer! Which means that our clothes will be dry in an hour, and not in the two days it takes on the drying rack.

The apartment is a little smaller then our current one, but it is much nicer. It is an older building, however the apartment has been totally renovated. The original stove that was used to heat the apartment is still in working order and can still be used to heat the apartment. There are also electric heaters in every room including the bathroom. There is the same set up as our current apartment, of one room for the shower and another for the toilet. The best part is a huge storage area in the attic, which makes up for the lack of space in the apartment. Even though we have very little to store, it will be the perfect place for the bulky suitcases.

We are planning on buying a few things for the apartment to decorate it and add shelf space for books. We also have to buy new bedding and cook ware, which are not included with the apartment. Out of coincidence, we will have the new apartment the first of March, but do not have leave our current place until the first of April. So we are planning on taking our time moving in. It will be much more relaxing then trying to do it all in one day.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

“Life happens when you are busy making other plans” J. Lennon

I do not expect life to be easy. I expect it to be full of hard choices and decisions you just do not want to face. I know the difference between fantasy and reality. That life is not a scene in a movie, and that “Seventh Heaven” is not a reflection of the world. When a negative event happens, people are tend to ask, “why me?” I try to keep the position of “why not me?” What makes me so great that I am above suffering, and that for some reason there is another soul that deserves this hardship over me?

When Ben and I made the decision to move to Norway, we knew it would be hard. We expected confusion and the frustration that is inevitable when trying to acclimate you self to a new culture. What we have encountered has been harder then we could have predicted. The biggest issue we face on a daily basis is the language. Even though every one we encounter speaks English, all documents we get in the mail or have to fill out, is in Norwegian. It is frustrating when you feel you cannot function in the world you are living in. Even though it takes time and effort, we are slowly able translate a lot of words using a dictionary. We are stating to recognize common words, and we get help from people at Trolltech.

We have been living here for about eight months now, and things are getting easer. We sorted out a lot of bank confusion, I can use the Celsius stove with out effort, and we can read enough to be sure of our purchases at the grocery store. We were settled in our apartment and were starting to personalize it. However just as one difficulty was conquered we were informed that the woman whom we sublets the apartment from, needs to move back herself. So we had to rekindle our search for an apartment. This is also more difficult then it would be in America because the listings are all in Norwegian. Thankfully it is a bit easer then the first time we searched for an apartment simply because we now know more of the area. We also know which “buzz words” to look for. Such as the Norwegian words for, furnished, stove, storage, laundry room, and bedroom.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Skating;

A small group of us took advantage of the “warmer” cold weather to go skating. I met the guys at Trolltech and to my delight, one of them had a car that we would be using to get down town. I realize how silly it sounds to be excited over a car ride but the last time I was in a car was a German taxi. Considering we use public transpiration about once a month, and walk everywhere else, a private car ride is indeed a treat.

Near the center of down town there is a very shallow square shaped man made pond. It has an “island” near one end that is inhabited with iron deer. There are little restaurants around the pond and little sculptures of children. It is a great place for the tourists to stop, have lunch and feed the ducks.

In the winter, the pond it turned into an outdoors skating rink. There is a little shop for skate rental, and a massive bench/light pole had been erected on the center of the rink. There were only six of in our group, and only half of us could stay vertical on the skates. Two of the guys had been skating twice before, but it was the first experience for the last guy.

There were only about ten other skaters on the rink so there was plenty of room to help the non-skaters, and for the rest of us to go at our own pace. The best part about the skate was that as soon as we got there it started to snow. It was the kind of snow that looks like feathers, a big flat slow snow. It made the skating a bit harder, but the ambiance was so peaceful, that is was worth a little trouble.