The first 2 weeks: Struggles

Let me preface this post by saying I love it here. The people are rad, the country is beautiful, and the $30 lunch plates are usually pretty good! With that being said, there have been some struggles along the way that have really…rounded out…. this experience. Here they are.

  • I broke my phone the first week I got here. I woke up one morning to a damp side table, destroying my travel journal, my orientation papers, and best of all my phone! Waking up to not having any real mobile communication in Norway was a real kick to say the least. On the bright side, I became proficient on texting on my Ipad and wearing a watch to actually check the time on it. It’s tough knowing what time it is in Norway when the sun is starting to set by the time you wake up. Is it midnight yet? No? Just 4 PM? Alrighty.
  • The hoops I jumped through to get a new phone were nuts. Luckily my phone got to Norway’s UPS pretty quick, but luckily for me, Norway had no idea what to do with my package. This meant I had a nice morning trip to Norway’s one UPS warehouse on the edge of the city in some industrial looking district. I took 2 trains and a bus and walked aimlessly for about 20 minutes before I saw the UPS logo on a truck in the distance. I walked to the building and eventually found a receptionist desk run by the nicest looking middle eastern man you’ve ever seen. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t know much english, so I phonetically sounded out and used hand gestures to communicate my 14 digit tracking number. At one point the communication just went to s*** and together me and the UPS guy in Oslo dug up my phone. Amazingly we found it.
  • Grocery shopping in general is the biggest struggle. I’ve eaten a lot of vegetables and fruits, which is good! But I really miss my American diet sometimes. Norway is also super into Coke Zero. The only soda I’ve seen in this country is Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. There’s no middle ground for your soda thirst.
  • I almost got fined a hefty 1000 kr for riding the T-bane without a riding card on the first week. Luckily I had no idea where I lived yet, so the transit officer couldn’t enter me into the system to fine me. He just kicked me off the train.
  • Jet lag is your biggest enemy. I can’t tell you how many beautiful Norwegian sunrises I’ve watched at 10 AM while already having been up for 5 hours.
  • I’m a very average height in Norway. This isn’t a struggle as much as it’s a hit to the ego. I’m a pretty good height in the US, but I’m extremely average here.
  • It’s cold
  • Most internationals will start a conversation with a “hello, my name is___, I’m from ____, what do you think of Donald Trump?”
  • Not a lot of people know exactly where Minnesota is. Puts a lot into perspective. I usually just tell people south of Canada, somewhere in the middle of the US. Most people nod and smile.


Well, that’s all for now. Other then my complaining, I really love it here. As I try to figure things out, I will keep updating this.

And because I know Mark Sharp is following my journey with extreme diligence, happy late birthday, Sharp!

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