This entry was written two days after I had moved into my new country.
So I have finally moved to Norway! I’ve settled into a small city called Bergen, or mountain field if you want to use some loose, old Nordic translation.
My time here so far has been slow, but busy enough to keep me occupied. Since landing, I have done a fair bit of walking around the city, shopping (not for clothes!, but for kitchenware, bedding, food etc.) and sightseeing.
On Monday I arrived and noticed there was not a single cloud in the sky (called skyfri in Norwegian). This came as a huge surprise as so many people had told me that Bergen was a rainy city, and that it apparently rains here 364 days a year. Maybe this was the 365th? It was 16 degrees too, but it felt much warmer! As the day progressed, clouds decided to roll over and at about 4 PM, thunder and lightning made their appearance. By 7 PM it started to rain. I guess Monday was one of the 364 days, then. Today, the warmth had gone and a cool wind blew through the city. It seems I’ve found a little piece of my old home in this city already!
I’ve been trying to make an effort to use Norwegian everywhere and the overall reaction has been quite positive. I asked a lady for directions yesterday and she responded solely in her language (to my horror of course, but I picked up enough words to figure out how to get there). I also tried asking a lady in the supermarket where I could find sugar for drinking (coffee, hot chocolates etc.). After a little bit of clarification (she maintained her Norwegian), she pointed me to some sugar cubes. When I was at the bookshop though, I tried to request a lady to price check a dictionary for me, but the words took too long to come out. She responded to me in English even after I used Norwegian. There are a few more examples, but maintaining Norwegian stands out victorious. Although I may not understand them (yet), hopefully I will fully in due course.
Culture shocks have already made their appearance as well. When buying a loaf of bread at the supermarket, you have to slice it and pack it yourself. While recalling a horrifying advertisement on safety back home, I managed to do it without losing any fingers. Going back to sugar, I could only find cubes or sweeteners for hot drinks. Those, or caster sugar. While I found supermarket food to be similar in price with Australia, junk food on the other hand is ridiculously expensive! A packet of ordinary lollies would set you to between nearly 4–6 AUD! I love my sweets, but maybe this is the golden ray of hope that will force me to cut back?
I have also passed my rite of passage in Scandinavia by shopping at IKEA. The store is so big that there’s a restaurant halfway between, but the prices are decent enough to stop and eat there. The food was pretty too! I ate kjøttboler, or meatballs in English. I’ve already been twice and plan on making one final (hopefully I don’t need to go back again!) trip tomorrow.
Anyway, time to reheat last night’s first dinner (spaghetti bolognaise) and then catch some shut eye. The sky here doesn’t really dim until 2200, by the way.