My first week in Norway is complete. Isn't it beautiful at sunset? It has been a busy week with classes starting, but ACN is great and I think it will be a great semester. I've learned a couple things in my first week. First, Norway (or at least Moss) is very dog friendly.
This is Kenzo, he is Nick's dog who came to visit work this week twice. Kenzo also got mixed up with the calendar and thought it was time to get ready for Easter.
At ACN there are also what I call the school mascots Louie and Fifi, but I haven't managed to get their picture. They are Krista's dogs who greet you as you come into the building.
Having all these puppies around helps me get my puppy fix, but don't worry I am still missing the cutest puppy of all, Annabelle. Did you need a refresher on how cute she is?
In addition to my puppy love I have also learned a little Norwegian. I now use the word koselig correctly 80% of the time and stakkar correctly 70% of the time. Koselig means cute/cozy. I would say Annabelle is SOOO koselig. Stakkar roughly means 'poor you.' So if someone falls down you could say stakkar. Today I also learned sorry/excuse me and I ran into a woman on accident and she and I exchanged unnskyld with each other. I felt so proud I one, used the word correctly and two, that a Norwegian woman used the same word. That's like double confirmation I didn't screw up the language! So with three words that I use correctly a majority of the time I think I could honestly say I'm fluent in Norwegian. Right?
Another thing that I have come to appreciate more is Scandinavian design. I've always loved the clean lines and smart problem solving I think Scandinavian design has, but I have found that those ideas penetrate throughout the society. For example I got take out sushi for lunch on Friday. Look how the soy sauce came:
WHAT?!?! First look how cute it is! Its a little squeezable fish of soy sauce!!! I then proceeded to squeeze it in a little cup to dip my sushi in. Then I saw Krista just squeeze it from the cute fish directly on the sushi. Well of course! That makes so much more sense! When you have take out sushi you don't want to mess with the dipping and sloshing of soy sauce, you need a cute squeezable fish to help you. Well done again Norway! Well done!
And more food adventures. First after lunch at ACN there was skøl brød and an almond stick (I forget the Norwegian word). Skøl brød means school bread and is a treat for children on their way to school. And almond stick....well that's self explanatory.
Delicious!!! It looks like I only had half...let's get serious... I had a much bigger portion. The pastries are all really light and fresh and soft. I need to find a Norwegian grandmother to show me her baking ways!
I also ventured into the shrimp salad that is so popular. I bought it at the grocery store so I haven't had it on a hot dog, but I can imagine the greatness!
I had it on a wasa-like cracker. I've seen those a lot around here. This one had great flavor and filled with great seeds and grains. Everything in my lunch was delicious. The cracker, the salad, everything! Again I say well done Norway!
Finally, more junk food. I bought these:
They taste basically like a bugle dipped in chocolate. Again, delicious! In fact I purposely left them at Brittney's apartment so they wouldn't be at my house!
And now for our history lesson. I'll admit I haven't been reading masses but I did learn some interesting facts. In the Iron Age (500 BC - AD 800) there were basic farms and iron tools made for farming. Most families lived on one farm, which might consist of many children, their spouses, and their children. If enemies attacked neighboring farms would help defend the farm being attacked. However, in cases of murder, theft, or boundary disputes that caused dissension between families in the settlement all freemen assembled at the ting. This was a sacred place where the use of force was forbidden and a place to settle disputes. In my head I see angry, large, fur-covered Norwegian farmers of the Ice Age coming to the ting grumbling under their breath and ready to pummel anyone who got in his way. Then after calm discussion and sharing of feelings everyone left arm in arm smiling and with a wonderful compromise. I'm sure that is an accurate account.