Sunday, February 28, 2010

beatiful ski day

My favorite time of year in Norway! The weather was beautiful this weekend. It was just cold enough in the early morning that even my battered old no-wax skis could get some traction. The sun was out all day and there is really something nice about the combination of bright sunlight, blue sky and white snow with an occasional mountain and fjord tossed in for good measure. I got lost on the way to Grønlia for a few minutes but the trusty map got me pointed in the right direction again and I managed to beat the lunch crowd to the warming cabin there. There is a really nice view from the cabin down over the lake, although admittedly the lake is frozen solid right now...
I tried the brown cheese with a waffle today for lunch. It actually tastes pretty good after a few hours of skiing, even if the brown cheese looks kind of strange. I have been working on my 3rd written essay for the Norwegian class today. It is probably about the level that a Norwegian second grader would write :)
I'm struggling a bit with the all important description of brushing my teeth in the mornings - Jeg pusser tenne? pusse tennene? pusser tenner? Too many combinations. Google translate is not that much help with grammar, as it seems to be on about the same 2nd grade level.
We had a week off of class for winter break, now we have another month of classes before Easter.
I took a break from running after the race in January, but now I'm starting to circle the new neighborhood after work now. It stays light until about 6:15 now so there is plenty of daylight again. By the end of March it will be light until almost 9 pm, which is another reason March is one of my favorite months here.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

All moved in

I have made it into my new apartment finally. Not without some adventures but that is to be expected in Norway I guess. Moving anytime is not really fun, it is particularly not fun when it is -20C outside. I don't have any good pictures of the new place yet but I'll work on that.
It didn't really take me that long to find a new place, but I feel lucky to have found something this close to work. Even though I had movers help me with most of the stuff, including all the heavy things, I think I still made about 30 trips in the Audi carrying the fragile things. Probably just as well after I watched the movers carry the "not fragile" things. I was berated by Vladimir (not his real name) an old Russian guy, for buying as he put it "the heaviest sofa in Norway". Thanks Vlad. I think he had his nephew or grandson or some relative helping him out. That kid is seriously rethinking his future after hauling my 5000 pound sofa down 4 flights of ice covered concrete stairs. I was down by the truck when I heard a horrible scraping noise coming down the stairs later. I thought, well they should be moving the bed now, but there is no way that horrible noise could be coming from them sliding my nice wood bed frame on the concrete steps.........oh yes it could. Thanks a lot guys. Even so I was feeling pretty good when we had managed to load the truck and get it to the new place in only about 2 hours. First thing off the truck - the sofa. 5 minutes later it's lying on its side in the driveway. Vlad didn't speak a lot of English but I understood "There's no way in hell that will fit up those stairs". Crap. Next thing off the truck - the scratched up Ikea wooden bed. 5 minutes later that's lying next to the sofa. No way in hell that will go up there either. I said some bad words at that moment. Vlad and the kid continued on carry the things that actually WOULD fit up the cursed stairway, while I stood in the driveway trying to figure out what I was going to do when the house owner came home and found a bed and a sofa blocking her driveway. Vlad offered these words of wisdom "You know you're not in the USA anymore, they do sell smaller furniture here". I could see that the only way I was going to get that bed up here was by completely disassembling it in the driveway. Not fun if you have ever put Ikea furniture together or taken it apart, in the snow, when it's -20C while trying not to lose any of the 4 million little screws or weird fasteners. The sofa was either going to have to go up or out, there was no disassembly option. So I removed the metal frame off the bottom and told them to try again. This time the kid earned his money, stuffing that thing up the stairs like a giant grey sausage. They drove off shortly after that, leaving me in the driveway with the bed. I somehow managed to get it apart, but I haven't had the ambition to try and reassemble it yet. I think I have all the parts but a few missing screws wouldn't hurt anyway right?
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