Journals from Spring Semester Norway
2008-03-20 the first week in Oslo (Feb 2008)
Frogner Park also known as Vigeland Park
Well, I survived my first week and I didn't even slip on the ice. I think the first week is always the hardest whenever you are in a new place because there are so many things to figure out and one-time expenses to start things up. Luckily I've met a lot of international students who are going through the same things, so we can do them together. I really had very little to do with buying my new cell phone. There were other girls from Europe who were more familiar with the system and they took me to the store and told me what to get; then we went to another store and registered my phone with a new SIM card. I was so lucky to have those girls help me because I think I would have been pretty lost without them. The grocery store is another interesting and challenging place. I have figured out the basics but all the labels are in norsk so I don't always know exactly what I am buying. I found out that you can buy both horse and reindeer meat in normal grocery stores and it is common for the ground meat to be a mix of several different animals. Speaking of food, it has been fun to try other international students' traditional foods. One night I had pasta with salmon that an Italian boy made for dinner. it was delicious. Last night I helped Hungarian girls make a dinner of homemade pasta (more like small dumplings) with spicy paprika mushroom sauce and coconut cholocate no-bake dessert balls.
My adventures for the week included: a trip to Vigilance Park, which is a large park with bronze and granite statues all made by Vigilance; a trip to IKEA via the free bus; my first pub; a costume party with a crazy band; and an international cafe night (snacks and a movie sponsored by the school for people like me. : )
Practical matters: I have good maps and the city is small enough that I can walk just about anywhere I want to. I have seen several parts of town and been to the main street, Karl Johans Gata, many times. Class is going well; we have had interesting discussions about the various education systems of Europe and the rest of the world. My school has a gym, about the size and quality of Linfield's gym, which is free for me to use. I haven't found a pool yet, but I think I can find one soon. I don't have internet in my room yet, but I can always come to school to use it, which is only a 10 minute walk away. It has been cold here, but Thursday and Friday it warmed up enough to melt most of the ice and snow, so the streets are clear. Now it is back to being cold, but with a puffy coat, a scarf, a wool hat and gloves it's ok.
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