Hey friends, family, and anyone else reading this blog! I have survived another week in the winter wonderland that is Oslo, Norway. I am having a great time here meeting even more people from around the world and I think it will be a fantastic semester.
I started the week having a delicious dinner with my relatives here in Oslo. I met even more of my distant cousins as we had a “Norwegian-style” pizza. They have been very kind answering my questions about the culture and way of life as well as helping me get set up in this new place. Even so, they have had a lot of questions about the United States. They thought it was interesting that I cut my food with a fork! Oh culture differences.
I had my first actual week of classes this week. Starting off with Intro to Norwegian Society we learned a lot about the history of Norway and the origins of it’s culture. It was a long yet informative lecture. I had another class of Medical Anthropology which I am embarrassed to admit, almost missed because of the use of military time. This class is turning into my favorite as we are learning a lot about how disease and medicine has affected the direction of human progress since before the modern world. Finally, I had my first lecture and lab for Archaeology. We learned the basics of lithics that are commonly found in Norway. In the lab we were given various stone fragments to identify specific characteristics of each type of stone. It was really interesting but not all too challenging.
I am starting to get adjusted to the small differences here in Norway. Going to the grocery store is not nearly as intimidating as it was during the first two weeks. I am trying my best to make adequate food for my stay and, if I say so myself, I am doing alright. I got a gym membership as well and they have really nice facilities here. Now I am able to rent cross country skis so that I may fit in even more as a Norwegian. My relatives are excited as they want to bring me to some beautiful cross country ski trails.
It seems that getting a part-time job here will prove to be quite difficult. There was an information meeting for it this week in which they said if you do not know any Norwegian your options are limited. I am hoping that I can land a job at some American tourist retreats such as the Hard Rock Cafe or T.G.I. Fridays. But I might have to settle for a cafeteria job or even a garbage man! We will see what happens.
To finish out the week there was finally a good snow storm here in Oslo. It has been snowing for almost two days straight now and the area around my dorm is breath-taking. Today myself and a lot of friends went sledding up in the hills surrounding Oslo. I was expecting a typical sledding trip where you ride down a small hill for ten seconds then walk back up but I was proven very wrong. We rode the metro for thirty minutes to the top of a large hill just pass the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. We rented sleds and a helmet and were told where the beginning of the trail was. From there it was a ridiculously fun time as we road down a long steep trail for almost twenty minutes. Everyone could hear our group going down the “mountain” as we screamed and laughed the entire time. When we finally reached the bottom we got back on the metro and rode it back to the top! After three long and incredibly entertaining runs we had to leave as everyone had a lot of bruises and we were all very tired. It was an unexpectedly awesome end to another week in Oslo.
This next week I am looking forward to another round of classes and a potential trip to Tromso, Norway up in the Arctic Circle. A few friends and I have been planning it and we hope to hear back from some “couch-surfers” so that we may get a chance to experience almost 24-hour night time and the famous northern lights festival. All while desperately hoping to see some actual northern lights. I hope to make another post regarding this trip so wish us luck!
Too long, did not read: Another awesome week in Oslo filled with classes, meeting new people, sledding, riding the metro, and enjoying the new snow. Hopefully going to Tromso this next week! Friends and family are great here and I am definitely hoping for even more fun this semester.