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Friday, March 9, 2012

New in Norway?


Now that I have your attentions... What do I do with my days?  Good question.  In addition to trying to find a job (this consists of hours of job search engine scanning, crafting cover letters, and clicking "refresh" on my inbox repeatedly hoping for good news that never comes), I read newspapers and do a random assortment of errands.  Additionally, I have been taking language and culture courses.

I would attempt to explain this in detail, but its not really that interesting and, as most things, is far more interesting to me and people who are involved with it than to an outsider.  An inside joke is only funny if you're on the inside and, even then, its pretty subjective.

Anyway, I have had nine weeks of course and I would definitely rate my Norwegian skills as "needs improvement".  Money well spent.

Though, the best thing I have gotten from the sessions is a better understanding of Norwegian life and some great friends from all over the globe.

So... Norwegian Life.  It can be pretty dangerous (ice is EVERYWHERE... even under the ice!), but, generally, its about making the best out of every situation.  You need assistance/help/directions/human contact?  Mostly everyone will respond in English (of course you wouldn't take the time to learn our language...).  It snows nine months out of the year?  Let's incorporate skiing into the national identity and let's go hammer during the three months its actually nice outside with a crapton of outdoor festivals.  Norwegians perpetually see the glass half full... even when the water is frozen because of a freak, March snowstorm.
Norwegian life... it consists of trying not to slip on the ever-present patches of ice
Pop culture here, like everywhere, is a mash up of global trends and traditional looks (especially mandated by weather) to give you something that makes the average Oslonian (I just made that up) look like they could've just stepped out of Park Slope.  

Music isn't all death metal and trip hop DJs (as I thought before I came here) as "indie folk rock" is probably the dominant sound (judging by restaurants, conversations, radio, passing cars, and the newspapers that I can figure out how to read).  Though, hip-hop is popular here and manifests itself almost as equally awkwardly as it does in affluent, American suburbs (funny anecdote:  I was on the tram the other day, and this couple, african guy-norwegian girl, were sitting a few rows in front of me having an animated conversation in Norwegian in between making out.  Norwegians tend to intersperse English phrases into their conversations... "no problem", "can you believe that?", "and I was all like".  Yes, it sounds as odd as you'd imagine.  Anyway, this couple was sorta doing the same thing and, at one point, the girl, a very blonde and blue eyed, diminutive Norwegian in similar clothing pictured above, goes "hun er alltid i min skitt! Men hun vet ikke and I be like, Nigga please.  High comedy)

Ok... Anyway, that's all for me for now.  

Alt for Norge!

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