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I-Haul

When I see the word “haul” the American in me automatically puts a “U” in front of it. I haul, however, without a truck or trailer. I own no car, so life is about getting stuff home without one. Or getting stuff back out. Hauling becomes a project as well as a test of wits […]

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The frigid north?

Snow in Fyllingsdalen as seen from my living room A lot of people think I live in the frigid north. I don’t, actually. Where I live, an umbrella is far more useful than a fur coat. Norway is more like Washington state than upstate Alaska. The sister cities of Bergen and Seattle both tend to […]

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Exploring "explore"

Explore:1. travel through an (unfamiliar) area in order to learn about it. 2. inquire into or discuss (a subject) in detail. I tend to “explore” according to definition 2. You’d think I’d be quite the globetrotter, since I live abroad and have always had a passport. However… I am not a bold or unconventional traveler. […]

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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 […]

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Water and bones

As healthy and as long-lived as Norwegians are, they are plagued by one baffling disease: Osteoporosis. As a woman who has lived here for part of her childhood and all of her adulthood, this is something to be concerned about. Is it genetic? Is it dietary? We may have the answer, finally. Good dietary habits […]

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Misguided versus misogynistic

Yesterday’s post about a badly behaving co-worker, reminds me of another time a male co-worker behaved badly. In that second incident, a good man made a mistake. I did go to HR this time. I felt he needed to know that he had been terrifying. Norwegian men can get so tall. The guy in this […]

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Threat or warning?

I always joke about how I don’t make threats; I warn. That’s because I don’t believe in idle threats. I think if you threaten somebody, you should also mean to carry the threat out. So I may as well warn. It’s a bit weird to write the above, because I’m a relatively harmless person. But […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 […]