As you may know, Tyler and I will be leaving Norway on Friday in order to travel a bit more, see some more new places, and most importantly, improve our chances of being able to spend more time in Norway later. This has lead me to a myriad of emotions, as I am feeling paradoxically and simultaniously excited to see somewhere new, and heartbroken at the thought of leaving. I’ve made up a list of things that I wont miss about Norway, in hopes that this will make me feel better about leaving, but usually it only makes me laugh.
1. Its COLD here. The high for today was -18 C. We knew that when we arrived. We were prepared, but that does not change the fact that it is VERY cold in the Arctic in January, and it is incredibly difficult to get warm. Wood stoves dont heat up a room nearly has quickly as you would like, and there aren’t enough blankets in the world to protect from Arctic wind that blows in off the fjord. Even while sitting in the Sauna, the wind can peirce you out of nowhere. No complaints really, because sometimes a nice wind feels good in there. We work outside a lot, and we spend a lot of time shooting pictures of the Northern lights, so we spend a lot of time shivering. Im getting excited to be even a little bit warmer.
A Norwegian snow-blower. Can someone make sure Grandpa George sees this picture?
2. Its DARK here. Ok, its not as dark as we thought it would be, but it’s amazing how much your life changes when you dont see the sun for 3 months and 7 days… which is how long its been for us. Yesterday, for the first time, the sun hit the peaks of the surrounding mountains, and I almost cried with relief. Its surprising that it hasnt made my depression worse. It makes me feel tired a lot, and I cant think about the fact that the sun hasnt risen in so long without feeling claustrophobic, but I dont feel depressed. Still, it will be a wonderful moment when we see that great glowing orb back in the sky!
3. Its SLIPPERY here. I can’t wait to walk on flat solid ground thats not covered in 4 inches of super-slick ice.
4. Its CONFUSING here.
4a. Norwegian people are amazing. They are sweet and helpful and smart, and their English is better than that of half of the adult population of the United States. But they are confusing. They dont like to give you bad news, so usually they just dont give it to you. If you apply to work at a farm and they dont have room for you, they just dont reply. Sometimes you can ask them a direct enough question that they have to answer you, but then the response can be baffling. Ill never forget listening to Tyler ask for directions to the Polaria, he said “So I just go up this street and take a left?” to which the man replied, “ja ja ja ja ja ja ja, NO. Don’t go that way.” Or the time that someone (leaving out names because I know he reads this blog) told me to pick all the berries, and when he came outside an hour later, I was soaked to the skin, and under the berry bush when he said, “Lexi, dont pick ALL the berries!”
(This is of course, all said with the highest level of respect and love. Seriously, Norwegians are the best people.)
4b. The street signs are equally confusing, as though they also are avoiding giving you bad news. The unpronouncable names are bad enough, but throw in all of these strange symbols and arrows, and Im just so glad we are usually on a bus. Yesterday we saw a sign that just looked like this.
5. SNOWPLOWS. They pass by our house (Or what sounds like through our house) Every morning at 4:45. and Every morning at 4:45, I wake up to picture my own decapitation by snowplow.
And that is why I won’t miss Norway…
This is obviously bullshit, so Ill be back to tell you why I absolutely WILL miss Norway tomorrow.