Friday, November 30, 2007

Uses for Marshmallows in Norway;

I bought a bag of marshmallows for Thanksgiving, and noticed something for the first time. On the back of the bag, were three suggestion on what to do with the marshmallows. Two of the suggestions were very familiar:

1. "Grill for dessert"

2. "Delicious in coco"

However the third suggestion made me stop and think,

3. "Try them in a salad!"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This year we decided to put our Thanksgiving off until Saturday. We figured that it would be better to have the entire day to eat and play games with friends, then to only have a few hours after work on Thursday. We had a two friends over and had a lot of fun.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Red Tape;

Moving to another country and becoming "legal" comes with a lot of red tape. I thought that I had cut through it all when I was approved for my "permeant" (only good for one year before you must renew it) Visa in September. The last thing that I needed was the Norwegian equivalent to a Social Security number. I thought that this would not be hard to obtain. All I had to do was walk to the "Folk Registers Office", fill out a form, and I would have the number in two weeks. A week after I had filed the paper work, I realized it would not be this easy.

I received a letter from the Folk Registers office stating that they needed me to bring down a legal copy of my marriage certificate to prove Ben and I were married. So I brought down our marriage certificate and presented it to the teller. The man looked at my apologetically and said, "well... yes... this is legal in the USA, but we need it to be legal for Norway". When I asked what that meant, he told me that the certificate needed an international stamp/ seal, and that I should go to the American Embassy to obtain it.

I took the bus down town, found the embassy, went threw security, and found my way in to the correct office. I approached the window and explained to the teller my predicament. To which she quickly replied, "there is nothing we can do for you. You will have to call the Secretary of State of the state you were married in. They will tell you how to get a stamp".

At this point I was starting to feel discouraged. So I left the Embassy disappointed and headed home. I looked up the number for the State Department and called the Secretaries office. I spoke to a very nice lady that explained to me how to send in my marriage certificate to them. She also told me what else they needed (check, self addressed envelope, etc.) and that it would be returned to me in two to three weeks. I put a small packet together of all the requested items and sent it off. Having no other choices available to me.

Two weeks and a day later, our marriage certificate appeared in the mail box. It now sports a letter stapled, tied, (yes literally tied threw two holes in the papers) and stamped with an official seal. I returned triumphantly to the Folk registers office, and presented my now legal document. It was photo copied, I filled out one more form, and I was DONE!!!

I now have a the equivalent of a Social Security number, and am extremely proud to say that I have finally defeated the red tape!

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