I have quite a bit to tell you as the last couple of posts were focused in other things.
Well, first thing is that I got offered a PhD position at work, which means that I’ll be living here in Oslo for another three years. I’m very happy about it. Any of you out there in the science business know that finding a PhD isn’t easy, so I’m extremely glad that I have this opportunity.
Work has been going just as great. Starting doing some actual experiments which is really exciting. The bad side is that it means having to work the occasional weekend. But you know what they say: if you like what you do you won’t have to work a day in your life.
We’ve been to visit a few chicken farms in the last weeks. It might not sound terribly exciting for you guys, but for me and Margrethe, my PhD buddy, it was like a breath of fresh air. Please take that metaphorically because if there’s one thing you won’t get in a chicken house it’s fresh air. What I mean is that we had spent a month reading about chickens and seeing pictures of chickens and analysing graphs and graphs of chicken data, but we had yet to go to a chicken house and actually see the chickens we’ll be working with. (Another PhD/general hard study thing: you’ll notice that the small things become really big things. Ask Gavin how completely socially and mentally screwed up I was sometimes after a week in the library studying for exams).
Went to a loppemarked a couple of weekends ago. A loppemarked is a flea market, or a mercado de pulgas, for the Portuguese speakers. Apparently it’s a common tradition here this time of the year. There’s one almost every weekend. I bought a toaster and a couple of decorations for my room. One of them is a Xmas decoration so it’s not up yet, but it’ll be brilliant when it’s up.
I’m going to another one next weekend. Will let you know if I get something fun.
I’ve started picking up on some “Norwegian” stuff. Things that seem normal here but that are certainly not normal where I’m from or anywhere I’ve ever been before. One thing is they eat a lot of food that comes from what looks like toothpaste tubes. Margrethe offered me some of hers the other day. It says hot taco on the label. And it looks like a very weird brand of toothpaste. She assured me its cheese so I tried it. It’s completely weird squeezing it out of the tube onto your bread, but I tried it and actually, I loved it! It really does taste like hot tacos! Just made my sandwich so much more interesting. But that’s not all! They have caviar in the same type of thing. Tubes of caviar that they spread over their bread during lunch. I haven’t tried it yet and I think it won’t be too soon before I’m compelled to try it, but for me it’s bizarre because I always thought of caviar as this super fancy super expensive food. And here they are eating it out of tubes for their lunch break. One of my friends responded to this story with “That’s a first world country for you!”
Speaking of first world country, another thing that I have observed that is completely absurd coming from Brazil is that the grocery shops don’t open on Sundays! That’s so crazy! I’d say Sundays are prime shopping days in Brazil, as everyone is working all day during the week it only leaves the weekend to do all your errands. But here no one could be bothered to work on a Sunday. In Brazil there’s always someone desperate for the extra cash and willing/desperately needing to work on the weekends. It has meant that I have had to adjust my weekend routine of doing absolutely nothing on Saturdays and running errands on the Sunday.
As I’ve mentioned I would I have started taking tap dancing lessons. Today was lesson number three. It’s been great fun. It’s loud, active, silly and quite hard. Just as I’ve expected and predicted I’m significantly more uncoordinated on my left side compared to my right side. And that’s saying a lot because its not like my right side is dancing circles around the left or anything. Basically I’m awful at it. But I’ll fight on. Have 13 more weeks of the course so there’s still chance I’ll get better, maybe even marginally good at it.
I’ve gotten a flat mate. His name is Martin. He’s been great so far. Calm, relaxed, fun. He’s studying at the police academy which is cool because I’ve never met anyone that was a police officer or trainer before. It’s also good to have a guy around because you never know when you’ll need a light bulb changed or something heavy lifted. Just kidding. I’m actually really glad to have someone else in the flat to chat to and hang out with sometimes. We went for sushi on his first day here and that was enough to win me over.
Speaking of sushi margrethe’s has introduced me to her favourite sushi place in Oslo and I have to agree with her that it’s really fantastic sushi. It’s no Osaka da Granja but its still really good. We’ll just have to be careful and try not to eat there too often because eating out is very expensive here.
Ok, I think I’ve blabbed on about enough mundane and uninteresting things. Last thing I’ll mention is that I’ve also started taking biweekly Norwegian classes. I hope to see marked improvement in my language skills by the end of the term.
Ok! That’s all, folks!
Ha det bra!