It’s been a few weeks since I’ve last written a blog post, but life has been quite hectic around here: I’ve had a few friends visit, and it was super fun to show them around, go to concerts or just cook and chill on the couch, but now I am slowly going back to the old routine and my next Norwegian course starts this Monday!
But anyways, here are the promised snippets of #thisnorgelife :
1) NSB Train Strikes
If you live in Norway, chances are that you have probably heard of the NSB Strikes in September & October. If not, let me give you a little bit of background. NSB is the national train company here in Norway, and – just like the national transportation companies in France – NSB is quite known for the frequent strikes. This time the train strike lasted 5+ weeks. Apparently, the train conductors were striking to ensure that only those with a certain certification (that is to be completed in Norway) can apply to the open conductor positions. Fair enough I say, but seriously though, striking for 5 weeks? It’s insane, no? At some point, I gave up on checking on the status of the strikes and just started taking a bus to work (Buses are managed by another company).
One morning I was talking to my coworker and I go: “I can’t believe I have left France, where I suffered from a new strike almost every week and ended up here!” His response: “Well, at least the French are quite passionate about their strikes and show deep emotions when doing it. We don’t!”
2) A 6AM run to work
It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve gone on a pre-work early morning run, so I figured what better way to get back into the groove of things than to plan a morning run to work? I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I’ve started my job, but I always told myself that it’s such a hassle to plan it. Well, it turns out that it’s pretty doable! The only thing I needed to do is bring along a change of clothes and a towel the day before and leave it in the office.
This morning I set my alarm to 6AM and changed into my running gear. It was raining outside, but it was already too late to back down. I put my phone and keys in one pocket, my work badge in the other and off I went. It was such a foggy morning which made it even more special, and I barely felt the 4 miles (6kms) to work! I love love love the fact that we have showers here at work! Definitely to be repeated! I even ended up arriving at my desk half an hour earlier than I am used to!!
3) My community
Over the last 5 years I haven’t lived in one city for more than a year, so it has been quite hard to develop a sense of community. Granted I have been lucky enough to find some awesome friends in every city I have lived in, but you know that scene in the movies – the one where you walk in to a coffeeshop and the barista automatically recognizes you and greets you by name? – yes, that scene, well that one hasn’t been part of my life so far – up until now at least.
When Cam (one of my friends from school in Paris) came to visit a couple weeks ago, we went to what has become my favorite hipster Indian restaurant in the city (and no, I haven’t tried any other hipster Indian places in Oslo). I had been to this restaurant a month earlier with a big group from work and loved it. Walking into the place, I recognized the guy who works there from before, and apparently he did too!!
Him: “When was the last time you were here?” Me: “Uhm, uhm, I don’t know? 3, 4 weeks ago?” Him: “Yea, I remember you! You were sitting right there with a big group!” –> Mission accomplished!
Another little gesture that made me feel like I belong is the little friendship I have developed with the cleaning lady at work. She is definitely not Norwegian, and neither am I, so there’s not much we can discuss with my almost non-existent Norwegian. Our entire convo basically revolves around the Norwegian words for “Hi” , “Thanks”, “You’re welcome”, “Goodbye” and of course the universal smile! However, it’s awesome that she recognizes me when I see her outside the building or by the elevators. This morning, once I got in from my run all drenched from the rain, she was taking the elevator up, so she waited for me and the pressed my floor button without having to ask me. She’s the cutest!
4) My Norwegian lunch
You might remember from my earlier post that I mentioned that Norwegians eat lunch super early! Over the last couple months, I have become one of them, I guess, eating lunch at 11 or 11.30AM every day. However, this morning, I had a meeting until 12.30pm, so I had to head to lunch then. Well, it turns out that the rumor about the food disappearing is true. Literally, 90% of the food was gone, so I turned to three toast pieces with cheese and smoked salmon on top. When my Norwegian friend saw me, he went: “You’ve become too Norwegian!” 😀
And one extra:
5) The view from my office today.
No words needed.