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Remnants

Comments here and there in the blog world, prompted the question about whether or not I had kept anything from childhood. The answer is no. Both times I left California (age 8 and age 20) for Norway, it never occurred to anyone in the family that it would be for an extended stay and so […]

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Neither here nor there

Earlier this week, in a comment on my Halloween post, Protege asked me a question: Do I ever feel the urge to return to California for good, or do I feel Norwegian at this point? My answer was neither. Although many people believe I am Norwegian, I’m not. Not even by blood. I am a […]

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November

A warm “fohn” wind blew yesterday morning. A cold and wet wind blew yesterday afternoon, and I – who didn’t have an umbrella – took the bus home. Typical November weather. The wind comes in hard and sideways and dumps huge amounts of rain on you, also sideways. And it makes the darkening evening even […]

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Halloween: It lost something in translation

I can barely remember childhood Christmases or Easters. One Christmas stands out because it was the last before I moved to Norway at age 8; one Easter stands out because we ended up spending the day in the ER getting stitches put into my sister’s forehead. The holiday I remember best is Halloween. I always […]

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The war that never ends

In an attempt to escape Halloween (I’ll talk about that later) yesterday, I went to a theater play. “Operasjon Almenrausch” (sorry, little info in English) was more like a live docudrama, and what a great way to tell a story! Extremely clever staging, with the action taking place all over and the audience seated in […]

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Meat market and other memories

Wednesday’s photo was taken from a bus stop at one of Bergen’s main intersections, between our historic, Hanseatic wharf “Bryggen” and our open-air fish market. In the comments, Alice asked me what the building in the middle was, and this was my reply: The building in the middle with the stepped gable used to be […]

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Asleep

It has bugged me for quite some time that I couldn’t remember where I was when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon exactly 40 years ago today. I knew I was in Norway, on Grandpa’s family farm in Mundal (in Lindås, not the Mundal in Sogn that former vice-president Mondale came from) and […]

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To the scared Swedish youth: I’m sorry.

(This is an English translation of a Norwegian original.) Today I came across a well-written essay from a Swedish teenager. She was scared to death about her generation. She is worried about what will become of them. They seem to be so self-destructive. They are still embarrassed in the school locker room, while being happily […]

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Til svensk ungdom som er redd: Jeg beklager.

I dag kom jeg over et godt skrevet innlegg fra en svensk jente via Aftenposten. Den svenske jenten er livredd for sin generasjon. Hun opplever generasjonen sin som selvdestruktiv; de er sjenerte i fellesdusjen, men publiserer nakenbilder på nettet. Hun savner at foreldrene bryr seg, og henvender seg til oss som født på 60-tallet. Det […]

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Norwegian not spoken here

dialect (noun) a particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group. accent (noun) 1 a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, esp. one associated with a particular nation, locality, or social class. (From my Mac’s built-in dictionary.) My friend Sravana was musing about learning Norwegian. She was […]

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The bilingual advantage

A researcher, Bente Ailin Svendsen, in linguistics at the university in Oslo has concluded that bilingualism is an advantage (Norw. article). It doesn’t lead to confusion; it leads to greater flexibility. The article says about her findings (quoted text my translation): Bilinguals react faster to stimuli than do monolinguals, and the brain seems to stay […]

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Please ask at next window

A couple of times people have asked me what it takes to move to Norway. Besides a plane ticket, I have no idea. One of my childhood memories involves visiting all sorts of pawn shops and the like with my grandparents in search of old-fashioned steamer trunks. Big, solid black trunks that open up like […]

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Learning from the radio

Since I’m home, I’m indulging in listening to daytime radio. Radio’s always educational, and so far today I have learned that the reason for low doorways on older farms was to be able to knock an intruder on the head as he entered. Having lived in such an old farmhouse myself, I instantly thought a […]

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The sound of rain

Today was a do-nothing day, and nothing much inspired me to write. But I got nostalgic. I slept in and could hear the gentle rain falling on the ground outside. Rain against window is a storm; rain falling straight down to the ground is a farmer’s rain. That last reminded me of the wet summers […]

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The joy of small electronics

There is much to be tickled and awed by on the web and if you read sites like Neatorama or Boing Boing or even Cute Overload, you’ve already seen a lot of the stuff. Thanks to link curiosity via something else Neatorama posted, I came across this little video on machine mimicking nature. http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1348306/robots_inspired_by_animals.swf Robots […]

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The high school guidance counselor

Paula kvetches about her daughter’s high school guidance counselor in this post. I put in my 2 cents in the comments, but I thought my own readers deserved to hear my own kvetching. I actually liked high school, though I didn’t like homework (but always did it, because I am unable to cram) and by […]

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My favorite art exhibit

An annual rite for me is to go to the tourist information office and pick up the season’s new guide to Bergen. It’s just as useful to us locals as it is to the tourists. The tourist information office used to be on Bryggen, the old wharf, a logical place but the office itself was […]

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Fruit is overrated

Yes, dear reader, I am one of those people who doesn’t go nuts over fruit. Unless it’s dried. I like the dried version and it likes me. What had me thinking this? Well, I had parked a blog idea, swiped from Paula, and thought I’d offer it up this Sunday. But I was bamboozled by […]

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Småsko

Småsko, literally “little shoes”, is a rather odd word in the Norwegian language (well, I think so). There is no storsko (large shoe), for example. But it has a very specific meaning: Småsko is simply any kind of regular shoe that doesn’t cover your ankles, and is generally used of children’s shoes. That’s one meaning. […]

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Emergencies of the past

Imagination prompt generator has asked if I was ever rushed to the hospital and what for. My visits to the hospital total two my entire life: One was the day I was born, the other was at about 9 months old, when my mother woke up in the middle of the night and had an […]