Sitting here at the Dubrovnik airport ready to head back to Oslo, I can’t wait to tell you about my last week in this gorgeous country; however, since I haven’t updated you on my move, I’ll need to go back in time for a minute (or a few :)).
So, August 15th, after having stuffed two big ass suitcases at ‘home’ in DC, I slowly made my way to the airport. My mom and sister came to say goodbye, as they have been every year for the last three years and it made me once again extremely grateful for the family I have.
A couple flights later, I landed in the familiar Oslo airport; “At least I’ve been here before” I told myself while still trying to make myself register that this is going to be home for a while now. (P.S. It still hasn’t quite set in!) I took the bus to town and was greeted at the bus stop by one of my new roomies: Marianne! During the months of June and July, I had sent between 20-30 emails to postings on the Norwegian version of craigslist (Finn.no) in the hope of finding a place to call home in the city. As you can imagine, writing those emails in English and requesting a Skype call instead of an actual walk through the apartment didn’t lead to many responses; however, I was lucky enough to get a few people to write back to me. I initially thought I would get this one room in a shared apartment but at the last minute the landlord didn’t feel comfortable with me being abroad (I guess he thought I’m an Egyptian heiress type of scammer?). Fair enough, I told myself, although I really didn’t see the fairness in it, but I continued to tell myself that this must have happened for a reason. And guess what, soon enough Marianne responded to my email and I skyped with her and Iggy (the other roommate) and the rest is history! They ended up being my rescuers from becoming homeless in Oslo 🙂
Anyways, so back to August 16th; Marianne met me at the bus stop to help me move my luggage up to the apartment and both of us suffered together a little going up and down the three flights of stairs with my “overweight” bags; we did it though, and celebrated with her homemade selver (i.e. delicious Norwegian pancakes!)
Over the next two and a half days, I spent time in bed, on the couch and in the streets of my new neighborhood attempting to get over my jetlag… Marianne and I watched some stupid reality TV shows, Guro (my Norwegian friend from NHH & HEC) came to visit while she’s in town, and I even grabbed a drink with Sophie (my French-Norwegian friend who settled in Oslo a few weeks before I did!). On Thursday, I went to Statkraft (the company where I’ll start working in September) and one of the HR people helped me finish up my residence application and my Norwegian taxes paperwork; it was all slowly coming together!
August 19th marked my 28th birthday, and months ago I had planned this big reunion with some friends in Berlin! So still suffering from jet lag, and having only slept for 3 hours, I woke up on Friday at 4AM and slowly made my way back to the airport with the airport bus (They need to offer me a monthly subscription I tell you!).
The Berlin reunion included some of my friends from school in Egypt who moved to Germany over the years, three friends from my time at NHH and 4 friends from my time at HEC who all came together to spend a few days with me in Berlin; the weekend was truly awesome! Friday night we all went out for dinner and spent some time outdoors, Saturday most of us joined a walking tour around the city before going over to the East Side Gallery and then going out to a club, and Sunday most of us joined for an early brunch before we all parted ways. It was really cool to see so many of my friends from my different life stages meet each other in one place & I couldn’t have come up with a better way to celebrate my 28th year of living 🙂
After a fun and exhausting weekend, Nour and I hopped on a plane on Monday afternoon in direction Dubrovnik, but more on that in the next post 🙂