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Trinity College Library

I have been in the Trinity College library. I entered the 300-year-old building and walked into heaven. I stood still, in awe, instantly in love with three [sic] stories of books stretching above and before me, completely captured and delighted by the idea that everything I would ever want to know was at my fingertips […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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Since last we spoke 5 months ago and what’s next

So, I dropped off the face of the Earth—no, I didn’t, just dropped off my blogging. The autumn got rough. Maybe a lot of bad weather during the summer was a part of it. Maybe it was astrological. I had a stressful fall. Maybe I gave myself a stressful fall. Seriously, I drive myself nuts […]

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Dethroning 1964?

We’ve had one of the wettest and coolest summers ever in Bergen in Norway this year—rainy enough to have us wondering if we will break a record. The current record for the most rain in one summer is from 1964. That’s the record we’re trying to break this year. Actually, we’ve been very against breaking […]

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Visceral

I’ve seen “visceral” used to describe something I perceive as instinctual or pathological from the context, but honestly, I don’t know what the word means, so I looked it up. Oh, what do you know: It can mean instinctual. Visceral means “relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect” according to my dictionary, […]

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On the fjord

Wordless Wednesday MS Bruvik On Saturday, I took a tour with the MS Bruvik, the same boat that once ferried me to summer camp when I was about 10 years old. Back then it was just a boat ride. Now it was a historical adventure in several ways. I live close to the city center […]

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Willy-nilly

I’ve never eaten at McDonald’s as much I have in Norway. Ironically. You’d think I’d be a regular when I lived in California, but no. Meanwhile, in Norway, McDonald’s has been vote Best Employer for 2016. If Burger King had moved into my local mall some 20 years ago, I’d be eating Whoppers. But it […]

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In a jiffy

Some words in the English language are a lot of fun to say or look at or both. Skedaddle, poppycock, aviation, jiffy, moron. Today’s Daily Prompt (I’m obviously not doing them daily) is Jiffy. I am a person who walks fast and likes to get things done quickly, but I never say I’ll get things […]

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Lush

In school we learned that what makes a rain forest a huge and dense forest is, well, the rain. Alaska actually advertises its soggy and mossy pine forests as northern rain forests. I’ve wondered why Norway doesn’t do the same. In the summer, this wet country is as lush as a tropical rain forest. Anywhere […]

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Heralds

Gulls herald spring for me. They head for open sea during winter, and when the snow disappears from the land in April, they come back and start screeching at each other at 4 am in the morning. I’m one of the few people who can sleep through that racket, so I welcome the noise. Gulls, […]

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Back at work. Back at writing?

Ah, the lovely lazy days of summer vacation. All rested and feeling creative again, so I started blogging. And then summer vacation ended and I went back to work. And suddenly, I don’t want to write. It’s been interesting being back at work. Before the summer we were backlogged and stressed out. During the slow, […]

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Junior Gull update

Junior Gull has been spotted again, in good health and twice as big since last we saw the little one. An adolescent magpie was hanging out on the balcony outside my office window, and an adult gull was quite upset at the corvid’s presence. A behavior the gull would have only if it had babies. […]

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Documented

I’m now a Norwegian! I am no longer a documented alien or immigrant. I am a documented Norwegian citizen now. Check this out: The document with my mug shot is my Norwegian passport. My country of birth is a variable and in black type. In red type above it, it says I am a Norwegian citizen. […]

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The plague

Pest. Another “false friend“. A pest in English can be a bug or a rat, or a very annoying person. But “pest” as used in Norwegian changed the destiny of Bergen. “Pest” in Norwegian means the plague. The plague or Black Death (in Norwegian, Svartedauden) was first registered in Norway in Oslo 1348, and the […]

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Missing: Junior Gull

“Somebody needs to go check.” “Janitor?” “He’s on vacation. I’ll do it.” I learned that one of my co-workers gets into take-charge mode when it’s about someone’s life; in this case, a gull chick. I took a picture of Junior just the other day from my side of the building. This afternoon, one of the […]

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If you do it twice, it’s a tradition

Living in Norway means living with all kinds of traditions, some ancient, like bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve, and some much newer, like Valentine’s Day. Here in Bergen, the joke is that if you do something twice, you’ve created a tradition. Celebrating Halloween is becoming a tradition, one for the 21st century, and has been supplanting […]

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Stop and smell the roses

Of all the life advice I’ve ever been given or heard, the only one I’ve ever faithfully followed is the admonishment to stop and smell the roses. I did that last when I was visiting the museum garden at the university of Bergen earlier this month, even thinking to myself, “Roses. Stop and smell.” When […]

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Oh, hi!

I just have to leave this somewhere, so here it is: I was dreaming something last night (what, I never remember). The dream/something woke me up. I opened my eyes in the dark and a woman was standing next to my bed, looking at my nightstand (or the lamp on it?). She was 40-ish, slender, […]

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July 22

It’s 10 AM and I’m watching a memorial ceremony on TV from Oslo, reading the names of the 77 who lost their lives 6 years ago in what has been called Norway’s 9/11: The bombing of a government building, and the shooting of young people attending a political camp on the island Utøya on July […]