Category Archives: cultural differences

Humble as pie

Just a few words from me on this Labor Day…. I’m grateful. No, I know this is not Thanksgiving, I’m merely saying that I am thankful. Thankful that I once  again was granted the opportunity to travel across the world, to live and work somewhere completely different from where I was born and raised. It’s a very peculiar situation that moment you realize just how different those two worlds are. Far away from a rich society where everything is about buying and showing off to one where the economy is in the gutter, and the ever-so-friendly clerk at the grocery store smiles while he bags your groceries for you, even though he couldn’t afford to take the weekend off to do something fun, because he just didn’t have enough money to make the bus trip to Eugene, even if it was “only” two dollars and 50 cents.

 

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Annie does things she shouldn’t do

No, as fitting as it might be, it’s not the official theme of my life, but I am, however, creating a category right here on my blog for your amusement. It will be called “Uh oh….” and it’s up to you to feel tempted or forced or use it for pure entertainment shenanigans. I don’t care. I don’t keep a blog to brag about a polished picture perfect cookie cutter life, because, HEY, thats’ not me! I’d rather make my own path than follow the ones stomped by others (high-five, Emerson, my main man.) OK, so in short, whenever I feel the need to vent or amuse or what have you, my category Uh oh will indulge in some of the darker sides of this seemingly Pollyanna-ish exterior, which, by the not, does NOT suit me at all. HA!

So let’s get started, and for legal purposes I suggest you DO NO attempt to copy any of these events, because they were done under the influence of sketchy street vendor foods and 1 dollar Wells drinks. Am I off the hook now?

1) Annie does things she shouldn’t do…..

Interfering with two Eugene Police Officers arresting a guy, handcuffs on and everything. Well cue Blondie (music) or some other über confident singer in the background, Annie finishes her drink and thinks it’s a BRILLIANT idea to go over to see what’s going on. Being a journalist and all that what’s  I do, although, not on the clock here, and certainly not in a state to make sound reports. What I do, like most times, I do this… “Umm… eeeeexcuse me, I am from Europe and you policemen are doing such wonderful work in keeping our cities safe. Would you be terribly bothered if I asked to be in a picture of you? My poor husband Jamie, bless his heart, had taken the wise road into the bar where he was in the bathroom line. The guy who took our photo did so while holding his big foot on the head of the alleged victim, taser on alert and who know what else. I guess, what you should learn from this is never to interfere with officers on the site of a crime unless you are a clueless foreigner in a cute dress giving compliments. But after all, I’m all for trying at LEAST close to everything before I depart. I’d rather look back at the thrill and dangers instead of recreating that damn cupcake recipe for the 100th time. Now we’re talking recreations, folks!

Don’t try this at home, folks. If you don’t have a cute polkadot dress, you’ll get tasered!

Wedding attire… oh my!

It just so happens that our BFF-couple is tying the knot this August. I am freaking STOKED to be there for the happening of the decade. But alas, there are problems looming. I am Norwegian, my husband is an American from hick town Baker City, OR, and the beautiful bride has ties to Nepal whereas the groom desperately holds on to his Polish ancestry. So… there’s the ancestry thing. Should I come all Synnøve Solbakken with blond hair and bunad? Ehhhmm. No. First of all, I am not blond. Second, I gained too much  weight to even fit into my bunad skirt. So what’s a girl to do?

Since Snehata, the gorgeous bride to be, told me I could wear whatever I wanted I decided to take it seriously. How about a comfy green dress with crocs? And also, since Jamie won’t attend, the fabulous Simon Baker offered to keep me company. All I ask.. can it get any better?

He agreed to step in for Jamie on night. His character likes tea, but I suspect he’s a sucker for vodka. Bring it on!

I want to be modest with green and flaunt my crocs. That way Snehata will have all the attention, and hopefully Simon appreciates a nice gesture….

The coolest couple ever. We love you, goofballs!

A fresh start

Wow, you guys. What a rollercoaster ride these past two years have been. I think I hit the low somewhere in May, health issues, career confusion and a bleak outlook on what would come. Let’s just put it this way; things haven’t exactly been easy on Jamie and me since we moved back to Norway. Sure, it has been a thrill to be close to family and friends again. We’ve been on an amazing adventure and I have tried my best to support us both while waiting for an immigration visa for my dear spouse. As of today, it has not yet been approved. If you want the whole story about that procedure, just go to the category UDI to the right. I am fed up with that shit, so I won’t mention it here.

But the thing is…. sometimes hitting rock bottom is the best thing that can happen to you.

James Allen once said,

A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.
Isn’t that wonderful? Don’t sit around waiting for things to happen to you, take control and if the path is rocky, choose a different one, or even jump over those damn rocks. There will always be other options! Always!
So… Jamie and I have decided to take a little detour. We will come back to Norway at some point, but now was just not the time. It wasn’t a waste, trust me, I’ve learned some really valuable lessons I wouldn’t be without ever. I love my country, and I love my family and friends. But I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I have to follow the arrow to a new direction. It’s bittersweet, yet wonderful. It hurts, but still excites me.
Come August, Jamie and I will be back in the promised land. I won’t mention politics at all in this post, but I still believe in equal opportunities for all where ever they may be. And so far, I have not found them in my own country. But maybe some day.
Until then, wish us luck and follow us on this new journey. It will be fun, awkward, wonderful, weird, strange, crazy and unpredictable. Just like us.

What I’m up to

Yeah, not much blogging going on lately. Don’t give up on me yet. I will be back.

In the meantime I am fighting a war against my own government. Yup, you read it right. I officially hate my own country. As much as I sometimes dislike the people here, the arrogant attitudes, the high prices, ridiculous alcohol laws, fucked up roads and bland food, I used to at least think of my home country fondly – even patriotically at times. Not so anymore.

I’m sure you know what this is about. Google UDI and their stupid rules or incompetent case workers and you get the point. This ain’t over.

(insert angry face here)

Trust me – we *will* win this time, and I am currently building up my arsenal. Be prepared, this won’t be pretty.

Lessons learned from Facebook

Apparently, Facebook is now an all-knowing platform designed to numb your brain, convince you about what you need to buy, who to hang out with and what information to take in. There is no such thing as “free speech” on FB, at least according to some of its users. If you happen to disagree with someone’s views or issues, don’t you dare to comment on it or engage in discussion. This is defined as BULLYING. I don’t know about you, but when I post links on my page to current events or crazy news – I want to engage my friends, get feedback and hear their opinions. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, do you? But alas, those who can’t accept that the world is not in unison about everything are not, in my opinion, ready for the daunting tasks of engaging in social media.

But thankfully, there is a simple solution such as “block” or “unfriend”, so that those of us who are adult enough to not take opposing views as being offensive and insulting can carry on.

However, on a sidenote, I should add that the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far are those from my own mistakes. Note to self: NEVER go on Facebook after a night of booze. It’s like faceraping yourself. My apologies to anyone who’s ever gotten a crazy rant consisting of weird punctuation and semantically confusing doo dah. I am sincerely sorry.

image via ibtimes.com

Norwegian garden gnome (troll)

Jamie and I were stumbling home late one night after a party, and came across this guy in the darkness of the woods. It’s life-size carved wood figure! I had to go over and touch him. He was a little scary, but didn’t turn out to be so dangerous after all.