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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 […]

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Gate or gate?

“Gate” is one of those words that linguists call “false friends”. The word looks alike in two different languages but does not have the same meaning. So a movable barrier in a fence in English is a street in Norwegian (pronounced as GAH-teh).  I’m bilingual, equally comfortable with my mother tongue English, and with Norwegian. […]

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Bad star

Disastrous: Causing great damage. Fortunately (heh, see what I did there?), I have never experienced a disaster. Neither of the natural kind, nor the personal kind. And that leads me to the word’s origin: From “disaster” which means “ill-starred” or to be ill-fated because of the stars. Modern astrology is more psychological and less about […]

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Egg cups are un-American

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 […]

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Savoring

I sometimes wonder if I’m able to savor. I seem not to have passions, things or feelings or beliefs that grab me with all my being and all my fiber and that I cannot and will not let go of. So I let go, perhaps a little too fast, denying myself the opportunity to savor. […]

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Trolldom in the rain

Ole Bull, violinist and considered Norway’s first “rock star”, had quite the flare for the dramatic and the mysterious. This last was why he was drawn to the island of Lysøen, where he built his last home. Portrait of a more mature Ole Bull next to flag gift from USA How famous was Ole Bull […]

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View from Landås and at airport

I mentioned a new sign (piece of art, actually) that will greet travelers when they exit our new airport terminal that’s opening in August: Art at Bergen Airport I also promised the view from Landås. I deliver thusly: Different angle: Bergen as seen from Landås And a bonus because you’re here: A child having fun […]

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Down memory lanes

Lygra As Eddie and I carefully set our feet down between sheep droppings, we caught a whiff of fresh manure. Instantly, I was transported back to my childhood in Norway, spent in the country with a potato field in front of the house, a couple of steers grazing in a pasture next to the carport, […]

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Magnet

I’m one of those people who covers her refrigerator in magnets, as seen on part of my fridge door: Typical me: An empty to-do list because I forget I have it Some are functional, meaning they actually hold something in place, like temperatures and times for a couple of favorite dishes. Quite a few are […]

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Sunny

Bergen just broke a weather record from 1952: The number of consecutive days with precipitation in June. In 1952 it was 24. This year it was 26; we had rain every day from June 1 through June 26. I pity those who will go through breaking this year’s record because clouds and wet every single […]

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Local

I was asked by a foreign-looking gentleman today, who spoke broken Norwegian, if I knew the area. And I do. He wondered if any of the buses at the bus stop we were at went to the bus station. Perhaps oddly, they don’t. It used to be that all buses eventually ended up at the […]

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Happy 2017!

Happy 2017! Time to look back in order to look ahead. Or not, considering how awful 2016 was. 2016 was rough. Thanks to social media, it felt like one beloved and/or influencial public figure after another left us in a continuous stream throughout the year. Even for those of us not experiencing death personally, there […]

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The Norwegian war on Christmas

I hear Americans go on about a war on Christmas because someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Bizarrely, Norway seems to be showing up the Americans on how to actually wage a war on Christmas. There are some true and some fake stories about a war on Christmas here in Norway. From a […]

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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 […]