Yesterday I gave someone my phone number and given that I don’t actually have my number memorized I had to copy it off of a piece of paper into an email. When I didn’t get the text I was expecting several hours later I realized I gave him the wrong number. I sent the correct number, with a note commenting on how you’d think I was on Mars or something given my recent increased airhead tendencies. I was told to give myself a little more credit, that I was in fact immersed in another culture/language, so that even if I didn’t outwardly feel the stresses of this, I was constantly being bombarded with unfamiliar situations and my brain was probably overloaded. It was a nice little pep talk – I could use one everyday.
Anyway, the point is, I am feeling rather impressively settled for being here just 2 weeks, and sometimes I forget I am in a foreign country. It has been easy to slip into routines both at home and at work. And I’ve met a ton of new people so my social calendar is booked. I could actually use a little me-time, but I don’t want to turn down any invitations at this point! I was prepared for the Norwegian version of the Seattle Freeze (for those of you unfamiliar with the Seattle Freeze, here is an article describing the phenomenon), so this has been a welcome surprise that I am really thankful for.
I’ve come across my acquaintances – hopefully full-fledged friends soon – quite randomly. I met Madeleine, another American PhD student, after emailing with her about the housing situation here before I arrived. Anders and I connected via couchsurfing (there is no meetup here but couchsurfing has a group local to Trondheim) and I’m hoping he’ll let me tag along on skiing and climbing trips! My friend, Felipe, knows people all around the world and was kind enough to introduce me to Carla, a friend of his from Chile who is now living in Trondheim. This week has been filled with grabbing coffee (or hot chocolate in my case), grabbing beers, getting my very own loaner bike, and having authentic Norwegian dinners. Getting out of work at 4pm allows for lots of socializing without having to stay up late.
My weekend’s adventures are going to take me out of the city center, exploring by bike and the bus. The leaves are changing here and despite the lack of pumpkin beer (or pumpkin anything, unless you are willing to spend $12 a can!) fall is definitely in the air. I’m realistic about the fact that this “everything is perfect in Norway” attitude isn’t going to last forever and always. I expect there will be times when I am frustrated or feel lonely here. My hope is that those times will be few and far between and that my first 2 weeks here are just the start of more good times to come!