Lyrical challenge Day 2 of 3

It is Day 2 of the song lyric challenge that Paula at Light Motifs has lobbed at me. With friends like that, et cetera. So I mentioned yesterday that I'm not really aware of what people are singing because not enough enunciation. (By the way, I was double-checking that I had the right word, and discovered it's not spelled "annunciation", which is a totally different thing. Heh.)

There was a time when being proud of America and happily waving the flag and feeling all kinds of good was the norm, rather than either a rarity or something that now makes you throw up in your mouth a little (take your pick). Point is, things have changed since the 1970's. But at the time, even if we got pretty beaten up during that decade, too, with resigning presidents, falling Saigons, soaring gas prices and waiting hostages, we still had reason to like ourselves and the rest of the world sort of usually liked us, too.

And there was always the Muppets to give one a bit of reprieve. The Muppet Show was a favorite in our household, and my mom and I were thrilled when the Muppets made a whole movie! YES!!!

So I remember two things, no three things (well, umpteen but we'll go with three) especially about the evening we went to the movies to see Muppets on a big screen: I got a parking ticket, we honestly thought the film was ruined (see it to see what I mean) so the entire audience gasped in dismay, and the entire audience heaved a deep sigh of warm fuzzy agreement at Fozzie's concluding statement after doing his version of "America the Beautiful". As it turns out, that song is perfect for road trips in the U S of A. At least the first verse is. I didn't even know the song/hymn had other verses until I could claim middle-age so here's a link to the whole song in case you didn't know, either.

I am also partial to that hymn simply because it is has so many wonderful visuals and color combinations and plains that aren't fluted but fruited (told you I don't hear lyrics too good) and a hope and blessing rolled into one. A short verse and short chorus pack a lot of poetic and inspirational punch and I sometimes wish this song was the US national anthem.

And now for the part Fozzie sings:

America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!

America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!

April is for taxes

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. And swear words. Back when I still lived in the US, my mother and I got window seats at Philippe's in downtown Los Angeles on the evening of April 15th, to watch people slowly driving by to toss their returns into huge hoppers on Alameda, which was one-way that night. I've also kept a Norwegian friend company on her walk to the tax return receptacle at 11 PM  on April 30. We noted as we turned to walk home that we weren't the last.

You may have seen there how I slipped Norway's deadline in. So I have been swearing in English at my Norwegian forms this morning because I own pretend money that the government wants to know about.

Yeah, I'm late. For some darn reason I've been putting this off this year. I've been putting everything off. Even breakfast. I'm doing taxes on coffee alone.

Every year I tell myself I need to learn more about the stock my employer gives me every spring for being a good little worker bee, because I'm running out of cuss words every April.

This year I kept getting hung up on the word "realisert". Same term in English: Realized gains. I knew I'd gotten another handful of stocks last spring but did not know how many or the emission date or the value (why do I not write these things down when they happen??? It happened again this year, and I wrote nothing down!) but I gained something, right?

Many of my cuss words were spent on looking for information I finally realized (HAH!) I didn't need.

Because I didn't sell any of my pretend money to get real money last year. I just got more pretend money.

So now the Certain Thing is signed, sealed and delivered, all electronically, and the little receipt thingy is sitting in my electronic inbox.

Now that that's over I can blog. And make breakfast.

And leave this post here so that maybe I'll remember during the rest of this year to pay attention so I'm not so lost next year.

Also: Led Zeppelin is awesome music to do death and taxes and other stuff to.

Feeling like Clover

I don't often post about politics. Mainly, it's because I don't have the intellectual capacity to understand and engage. I therefore understand those who vote with their gut, because I do, too. But I do get impressions from the world around me and right now, it looks like it is reenacting "Animal Farm". I know that George Orwell wrote "Animal Farm" (and later "1984") as an allegory for the communist revolution in Russia, but the allegory applies to any situation where the leader of a change or revolution ends up betraying it. Everyone plays a role: The leader, the leader's right-hand man, the idealists, the purists, the skeptics, the counter-revolutionists, the followers.

It's been a while since I read "Animal Farm", but I remember one of the horses from the story, one of the last who could remember how it all started, but couldn't quite grasp the details of it, partly because she couldn't read. I have looked up a list of characters and the one I'm thinking of is Clover.

Clover, as I recall, was told, as the animal uprising against their human owner began, that four feet are better than two (with exceptions made for chickens). She happily agreed with that premise. Much later, she was told that two feet are better than four, which confused her because that wasn't how she remembered it. The revolutionary leaders, the pigs, told her she was mistaken, and, trusting them, she believed them.

The US, as of this writing, with Donald J. Trump as president, seems to be adopting changes and laws that remind many of us of the changes that happened in Germany under Adolf Hitler's rule, which lead us into a world war. Racism, protectionism and nationalism are on the rise. These forces are dividing the world into "us" and "them" and painting "them" as inferior, dangerous and unwanted. Like in Germany in the 1930's, it starts with skin color, then other ethnic or cultural categories, then financial class, then educational or political class… I think that's the order.

You see, I'm Clover. I remember being taught this history and how it started, what the forces were that led up to it and then allowed it, but I can't remember the details. I want to. I feel there is something I should know to keep us from derailing, but I also feel that the only way to find out is to read a world history book from start to finish, all over again.

There is another part of history that seems to be repeating itself: The Cultural Revolution of China. China is starting to crack down on religious citizens, on Christians, and it is also starting to "sort" people according to their accomplishments and income. It's the 1960's all over again.

The world is about to burn, and I know somewhere deep inside my brain how the match got struck. I want to remember so maybe I can warn people.

But like Clover, I find that the details escape me, the information that was once fresh has gone stale and even missing. And it worries me. My gut tells me we are nearing a cliff and we need to turn around. We need to remember we are all "us".

Water and habits

As a native Californian, I still feel a bit of worry when I let the water run, like I see so many Norwegians do. It's standard: They let it run to get it nice and cold. They well afford to: The one place that never seems to run out of fresh water is Norway. The never-ending supply of that most vital of fluids can lead to some bad habits and disappointments. Norwegians are always faced with culture shock when they leave their country, because the moment you set foot in Denmark, you get recycled water. Norwegians always complain about how tap water tastes elsewhere. They also complain about being told not to waste the water, especially when they want to shower every day just like they do at home.

Norwegians are encouraged to take shorter showers at home, but this has nothing to do with water and everything to do with the price of electricity—used to heat up the water.

During lunch at my first job in California, the discussion turned to personal hygiene. The showers-every-day woman chewed out the showers-every-two-days woman. As the discussion went on, it became clear that showering every two days was the norm around the table. I still have that habit.

Californians don't shower as much as Norwegians (or that one co-worker) do because we, a) have dry heat so we don't sweat much, and b) are always told to save water. Since I don't have a job that makes me sweat and I don't live in a hot climate, there's no reason to shower more often.

Also as a Californian, I have so wished that the record-breaking rains Bergen, Norway, had last year could have been sent to my home state. It has felt almost unfair that there is so much water falling from the sky in a place that doesn't need it, while completely bypassing a place that desperately does.

I'll keep my California habits. They serve me well the moment I go traveling. I will drink recycled tap water in Germany and I will limit my showering in Spain. After all, it is Norway's fresh and clean wetness that is the exception.

Oaths and passports

I have been to the US embassy in Norway only twice. The first time was when I was 13, and had to say an oath in front of some embassy officer in order to get my passport renewed, seeing as how I was living in a foreign country. I remember my first passport, probably lost in a move, and I assume I'll remember my last, currently on its way to the Department of State in Washington, D.C.

My first experience at a US embassy was why I was expecting an office and a massive desk and flags all over when I went in for my renunciation appointment. Instead, I got a typical waiting room, and numbered windows, and some magazines to read while waiting. Basically travel magazines about the US in Norwegian.

I remember getting my first passport. Or parts of getting it. Sometimes, being a child is a lot like being a dog: The grown-ups stuff you in a car (or plane or bus or whatever), maybe first it involves dressing differently than usual, then you go somewhere else, and you don't know why but you go along because you're loyal and you love these humans. And then you find yourself having your picture taken—8 years old, long blonde hair held back with a headband, showing off your widow's peak, your eyes looking slightly off camera and a wee smirk on your face because you're clueless and they just told you not to smile—and then you get a passport and that almost-smirking black-and-white photo with the stupid headband follows you for the next 5 years, making you pray and hope that the next photo will look better.

I sure as hell didn't wear a headband the second time!

I also messed up the oath. I'm not clear on why we went to the embassy, Grandma, Grandpa and I, but we did. (Just doing that dog thing again.) While there, we had to swear allegiance to the US again. I guess it was something like this:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.[2]

I don't remember the military part. I do remember tripping over some unfamiliar words, the officer looking a bit concerned, and Grandma quickly saying I meant to be an American citizen even if I didn't understand all the words, I nodded agreement, and so I got my passport renewed.

You should see me now, Grandma!

I swore a different oath on December 3 2017, during the ceremony for new Norwegian citizens. It wasn't terribly formal, though most dressed up. I could invite two people and did, but they couldn't sit with me during the program. There were songs, speeches, restless children running around, and then they called us all up in a group (last names starting with A through M), and then called out each person and gave us a handshake and a book. It was not an obligatory ceremony, just a nice little gesture to us newbies. They served coffee and cake afterwards.

The oath ("troskapsløftet") I read out loud that day reads:

Som norsk statsborger lover jeg troskap til mitt land Norge og det norske samfunnet og jeg støtter demokratiet og menneskerettighetene og vil respektere landets lover.

Yes, that's one sentence. My translation:

"As a Norwegian citizen I swear allegiance to my country Norway and  Norwegian society and I support democracy and human rights and will respect the country's laws."

I take this latest oath seriously.

I also hope that the US and Norway never stop being allies.

Renunciation Day

As the man said, as he took my signed papers, when I finally get notification that the Department of State has approved my renunciation in a couple of months' time, the date on all the paperwork will say January 30, 2018. My renunciation day.

All the having to be my own travel agent, map reader, logistician and accountant aside, the big moment was the US embassy itself. I reread a good description of the renunciation process itself before I left home,  and the part about the physical visit to a US diplomatic post was very helpful. I was (as is my habit) confused by where to stand, but a guard called to me and got me in the right place. He was Norwegian. I had to empty all my pockets, put my purse, watch, and belt in a small bin, and switch off my cell phone. I got a number, almost like getting a coat check ticket. Then I went to the sign that said "Wait here" and waited there.

All of this was outdoors, in front of the guard hut or security forehouse or whatever they call it. You can see pictures of it here. Now you know which door me and my bin went through first.

I was called in, handed my bin, and was told by another Norwegian guard to walk slowly through the metal detector. After that I got to select items to bring in with me (I chose wallet, passports, glasses, some papers), and then it was back outdoors for a few steps to the rear of the embassy building itself.

We were two who had appointments at the same time, and nobody acknowledged that I had taken a queue ticket so I was second. When it was my turn no more than 5 minutes later, the Norwegian at the window told me he'd get my caseworker.

It was "Miss Fox" this and "Miss Fox" that. Also, they had American-style drinking fountains in there. (I did not use the bathroom so cannot tell you if the water level in the toilet was US swimming pool deep-end standard. That's right. Cultural differences extend to toilet bowls.)

The caseworker at the window was an American*, and asked me to first go pay at the cashier's window next to her. "How will you be paying, Miss Fox?" said the nice young lady there. "Credit card," I said, and put it in the little metal tray under the glass divider between us. "Oh, uh, I don't know the word in English, but…" "Skal vi ta det på norsk?" I asked. Yes, she too was a Norwegian. I had forgotten to change the "regionsperre" (that was the word she couldn't translate on the fly) on my credit card.

So back out to the guard pavilion, get my purse, stand there and start the cell phone, log in to my bank and change the settings for my credit card to be allowed used in North America—because, duh, you're in the US when you're at the embassy—switched off the phone, put it back in my purse, put my purse back in the bin. And in the most Norwegian way, five guards were loitering around, talking about whatever while I was doing that. In Norwegian. Slow day at work.

I went back to the cashier's window. Whereupon she charged me USD 2,350. Yes, over two thousand dollars to renunciate.

Then back to window 4 where the lady there made me reread all the documents (DS-4080, DS-4081 and an information sheet) and since I'd filled them out, they were still correct, but now a man's name from the embassy had been added. Something that started with J.

Then it was wait until my actual case worker was available. The guy ahead of me was ahead of me in room 6, too.

Room 6 was window 6, but with walls and a door surrounding the two chairs in front of the glass divider with the metal tray.

Mr. J (I assume) was also an American, neither pleasant nor unpleasant. Just there to walk me through this.

After a few initial questions, it was on to the documents. Did I agree? Did I understand? Yes.

"Sign this. And the copy."

I could feel my insides shaking. I took a deep breath to steady my hand so my signature would match what I had on the passport. My US passport, brand new just a year ago, never used.

Mr. J had my passport. He compared the signatures.

Another document. Did I agree? Did I understand? Yes. More taking a deep breath. More signing, first one, then the copy.

I found myself wondering if I was doing the right thing. There's always that niggle, the second-guessing, the desire to not make the irrevocable so final, to have a choice, a way out, a way back.

Mr J wanted to know if I would share why I was renouncing. I told him I'd spent 44 of my 57 years on this planet in Norway and I knew I wasn't leaving. He was amazingly non-committal in his response but not unfriendly.

The final document was the actual swearing part. Mr. J made me read it out loud. It did start with "I, Keera Ann Fox, etc." because I'd typed that part in before submitting the forms back on January 2. It's form DS-4080, "Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of United States".

The first part was just personalia, confirming my identity and such, but reading it aloud also reminded me of my very American past, and my niggling doubt had become more keen as I got to the oath part itself on the page:

I desire and hereby make a formal renunciation of my U.S. nationality, as provided by section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, and pursuant thereto, I hereby absolutely and entirely renounce my United States nationality together with all rights and privileges and all duties and allegiance and fidelity thereunto pertaining. I make this renunciation intentionally, voluntarily, and of my own free will, free of any duress or undue influence.

But as I starting saying the third sentence, something shifted. By the end of that sentence, I was sure my decision to give up this citizenship, to become wholly and only a Norwegian citizen, is the right one for me.

I signed the oath, too, in duplicate.

It'll take a couple of months before I hear from the Department of State via the embassy. They will most likely approve my request and issue me my "Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States". (Which I have read I should always bring with me when traveling to the US in future.)

There will be no follow-up meeting. Everything will be done via e-mail.


I left Mr. J. and the American water fountains. Back to the security cabin to retrieve my bin and my other worldly goods. I told the guards what my errand had been. The most talkative one was from Tromsø. We quipped back and forth about Bergen, its less than stellar soccer team, the problem with Drammen (he thought it was the worst place in Norway; I have no idea if he's right), and his fondness for snow. He pronounced it "sny" (try to say "snee" with a disgusted sneer or an Elvis lip to approximate that). From what I heard from the others, all the nice embassy guards were from all over Norway. Made them laugh when they questioned what a Los Angeleno was doing in Bergen: "Meh, one west coast city is like another."

And then I handed back my coat check ticket and left.

I took no picture of the embassy. It has never been nor will be my embassy. I was there for just over half an hour. When I left, heading back to the subway to go back into the city center, all I wanted was to go home. Home to Bergen.

And I wanted someone to hug me. Even Mr. J.

Because I got a divorce. I signed the papers. And it does make me cry.


*) I know embassies hire natives (that's part of the deal of getting to squat in another country); I was just wondering when I'd encounter an American as I went through all the processes. I was also surprised at how many guards there were.

Egg cups are un-American

My own egg cups

My own egg cups

The thing about growing up with a Norwegian grandfather is that you assume everybody has a cheese slicer and egg cups. Turns out that one of the things American immigrants left behind in Europe were egg cups. I was reading an article on Lifehacker about how Americans eat soft-boiled eggs, seeing as how there is no such thing as an egg cup in the US. It was only then that I realized why a British friend who lives in Hawaii asked if I could get egg cups for him.

In every hotel I've been in in Europe, they serve soft-boiled eggs for breakfast. That is to say, they serve a hot egg that is still nearly raw, or a hot egg that is nearly hard. I therefore rarely eat soft-boiled eggs in hotels. But they do have egg cups (and teaspoons) for the eggs. And I have egg cups at home. Any complete set of dishes also includes egg cups here in Europe.

Now for some etiquette on eating a soft-boiled egg:

A cup and eggcup from my childhood

A cup and eggcup from my childhood

I learned by watching my Norwegian grandpa who had been a sailor for many years. I was quite proud of myself when I mastered lopping off the pointy end of the egg with a knife creating a "hat", like he did. Salt and eat the egg white in the "hat", then salt the rest of the egg and eat that.

Turns out that's the vulgar way. The in-polite-company way to open a soft-boiled egg is to crack the top of the egg with the back of your teaspoon, and peel the shell of the "hat" portion off. Then salt and eat.

All of this is of course easier to do with an egg cup.

Do add salt. Some people add butter. The taste of butter dominates too much for my liking, but I do like herbal salt on my eggs.

Oh, the perfect way to soft-boil an egg? Who knows. Many years ago I happened to win an egg cooker in a lottery (to my delight, as it turned out) and even that thing needs a bit of tweaking so I get my perfectly boiled egg: Solid white, runny yolk.

US presidential election 2016

This morning I doddle at home so I can catch the latest news at 7:30 AM. I learn that Pennsylvania has ensured Trump's win. To my own surprise, I burst into tears. I repair my make-up and go to work. There, I discover I am the office political commentator, being the only American here. "What happened? How could America vote for Trump???" they want to know. "We can't understand it. It's inexplicable," they say. And I reply, "No, it's explicable."

Because it is. I am not surprised, just incredibly disappointed, because this what not the outcome I had hoped for.

So I begin to answer my co-workers. I, one who rarely bothers with politics, surprise myself by having any answers at all. Thank goodness for all the memes and links on Facebook!

One thing I found was map that colored the political US according to county, not state, and instantly the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and a few major cities not on the coasts were colored Democratic blue, while the vast space between them was Republican red. And in that vast space are dying towns, low-income people, low-educated people and an increasing number of jobless.

The maps after this election are pretty similarly colored. (Screenshots via the L.A. Times.)

2016 election results by state

2016 election results by state

2016 election results by county

2016 election results by county

All over this nation, you have good people, who are not racists or uneducated or even white, who will vote Republican, no matter what—because they always have. The loyalty continues even though the Republican party today is not the one they cut their political teeth on; it no longer keeps a sharp eye on government spending while giving individuals the right to decide for themselves. Now, it bloats government and has gotten especially invasive when it comes to religion, same-sex marriage rights and women's health.

However, the Democrats, although they have managed to balance the budget, have not been able to shore up workers' rights, or women's rights. They have not been able to stop wars (some even agreeing to them), and they have been rather timid around the populistic Republicans, not daring to call them on their nonsense.

I think that's why Hillary didn't win. In a nation of people who get all their news via soundbites, the short sentences and short words and short temper Trump uses are easier to relate to. Hillary sounds like the college-educated politician she is: Using sentence structures that are familiar to a reader, and words that are familiar to a government bureaucrat. I'm not saying she's hard to understand. I'm saying she's challenging to someone who is used to being informed via FOX News. And it can seem like she doesn't understand the struggling folks when she doesn't sound like them. (Another possible reason she didn't win, can be that third party voters are more likely to be liberal and take votes from the Democrats.)

Too bad. Everything I've heard about her suggests she does notice the struggling ones and has a history of championing their causes. But, then we have another reason she lost: She's a woman.

It has become quite clear to me with all the articles and tweets about rape culture (for example, #yesallwomen) that the US is misogynistic. Sorry, long word; let me try again: The US hates women who don't stay home with the babies they got getting raped because they asked for it. (Yes, the right-wingers are that rational about the issue… *sigh*)

I have believed for a long time that the US is devolving into a Dickensian version of itself. It is backsliding into a developing nation, not a developed one. The inequality between the races, the oppression of women and people of color, and the ever widening gap between rich and poor, with the ever dwindling rights and opportunities for the latter (and a good portion of the middle class, too) are all qualities not associated with a well-run, industrialized and democratic nation.

How do you fix something like that? To paraphrase Einstein, you don't solve a problem using the same thinking that caused it. So many Americans put the blame on the politicians and so a man who is neither a bureaucrat or politician, nor someone who has worked in those areas, looks very attractive. They think he can fix what earlier political decisions have broken because he's not those people.

I think I cried because I know my sorely divided and abused country of birth needs unity, trust and equality, and a government that will provide that and the safety nets people need. (How can you have the right to pursue happiness if you are denied resources like education and healthcare, for example?) Worrying about that being less likely to happen under Trump than Clinton, has had me reacting like this for a bit:

I do not see Donald Trump as a healer of the great America. But, Trump has surprised us once. I hope he surprises us again.

Form-filling fiend

Digital film rolls remind me

Digital film rolls remind me

Something interesting has crystalized so far in 2016: A clear desire to change citizenship. I start by applying for Norwegian citizenship, and hope they'll let me keep my US one until I decide what to do about it. The background for this are FATCA and FBAR. FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) cracks down on expats who haven't been filing taxes, starting in 2010 (the IRS wasn't too particular about chasing Americans around the world before then). FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) is a requirement made of US citizens to report all their savings in foreign finance institutions to crack down on hidden assets (like in the Panama papers).

The US is the only nation, besides Eritrea, that taxes based on citizenship, not based on whether you actually had any income in or from the US. For someone who happened to be born on US soil to foreign parents and hasn't worked in the US ever, this must be at best baffling, at worst, a nightmare. It's becoming a nightmare for us expats, too, because FBAR requires that foreign finance institutions report any assets held by customers with a US citizenship, a bureaucratic and invasive request most don't want to (or can't) honor. The result is that an expat may end up not having access to their own foreign bank account.

I have panicked a few times over this. I have no options if I suddenly cannot access my own checking and savings accounts. I have worked and paid taxes in Norway for 35 years, and this crack-down from the US feels unfair and even mean. I am not the only expat who feels this way. As of 2015, there is a record-high number of people renouncing their US citizenship, spurred by FATCA/FBAR. The US government has raised the fee of renunciation from $450 to over $2300, hoping to dissuade people.

So, I am applying for Norwegian citizenship (which has its own fee of NOK 2500 4200). Many Norwegians are suprised I don't already have one. Honestly, I never needed one—until now.

And I was very much a typical American, proud of her country, and still identifying as American, never as Norwegian. But during 2016, that has changed.

Fear and anger have led me to the website for applying for Norwegian citizenship. I have spent the evening filling it out, including the part that wants to know where I've traveled the last 10 years. It's a good thing I photograph the hell out of my vacations, because dates plus what I took a picture of helped me recreate all my vacations. The application now has a long list of one-day-in-Denmark-some-more-days-in-Germany/France/Austria/etc-then-another-day-in-Denmark plus some US trips.

They want to know I'm not a criminal, so I set aside the citizenship application and have fired off a request to the police for a background check. I'll hear from them via the electronic mailbox I just signed up for to speed up correspondance with government agencies.

I have also started on my taxes. Oh. My. God. You have no idea what that's like! How many questions, and that it's not enough to report what was in your bank account at the end of the tax year; the US wants to know the maximum that was in your account during the year. Fortunately, I qualify for the streamlined tax return (still had to fill out about 12 pages just for 2015), and need to fill out tax returns back to and including 2012. All of this to bring me up to date and compatible with FATCA/FBAR—and to prepare for a possible renunciation.

So I am filling out forms, left and right, in English and Norwegian. Speaking of Norwegian, I need to document that I know the language. I don't have any papers from when I graduated middle school here in Norway in 1976, which is the last time I was graded in Norwegian. I'm wondering if my employer could be bothered to type a letter that states I know the language. Or maybe I'll do what my Polish co-worker did: She didn't bother when any documents; she just told the case-worker, in Norwegian, that she's been working for many years in a Norwegian company, talking to sales people on the phone in Norwegian about insurance.

I shouldn't have any trouble. I sound like a native. I just can't prove I am one.