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And now for the next days

January 11, 2012

The event at the student pub was an…amusing presentation about Norway (I need to ask them what youtube video they used, it was great). The pub itself is something that seems surreal to have on campus considering I come from a “booze is PERMA-BANNED” campus. The policies are that you can’t bring any liquids in (people inspect backpacks and such). Also, they can’t serve anything over 21 proof. Like all bars, you can’t take it with you.

The presentation they delivered was about Norway traditions. Apparently, HS graduates wear either blue or red overalls (blue for economics people, red for…anything else). They traditionally do a lot of things that would get them in trouble, but it’s tolerated because of the tradition of celebration. Another way it’s different from the US. While there are some pranks near the end of High School, they are firmly cracked down on by the overseers there. Of course, it may be in part that I went to HS during a climate of fear (the Columbine incident happened during my Junior year IIRC. That…really changed things). Supposedly, I get the opportunity to do this myself as an exchange student to experience a part of growing up in Norway. I don’t know if the Authorities will give the same leeway to a 30 year old 4th year college student from the US (plus I will probably be neck deep in my group projects).

One part had 5 exchange students participating in a traditional norwegian “kick a hat off of a stick.” Kind of like limbo in reverse. You miss, you’re out. Every “full circle”, the hat is moved higher until we only have one left. I participated (I figured my old Kung Fu training and 6′ of height would help). I took 3rd place (I ALMOST got it that one time).

After that, a group of students went off to this one bar/dance area (kind of like…that one place I went with my friend HCS a while back). Tuesdays are “half price wine night.” It was still expensive for a bottle of white, but half price is half price, and I wanted to say I did it at least once. Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t the greatest because I was sitting in an area where I couldn’t hear ANYBODY, so I couldn’t follow any conversations. Also, I had…very little food so the wine had an especially strong punch. I showed myself out a little early because I honestly think I would have gotten kicked out if I went any farther. Hopefully, if/when I go next time, it will be with people I can more actively engage in (I am told some people got so wasted they didn’t go to class the next day XD).

The next day (I always do these in 2 day formats despite myself).

Luckily my Wednesday class is later then the others (good way to shake the Wine out of my system, luckily no hangover). Like I said before, this first unit is OATS class in a nutshell. My first group meeting is on Friday. We don’t have a project idea yet (the task this week was to make and sign a group contract, which we did yesterday).

After that, it was time to go to get my vaccination record confirmed…or so I thought. The e-mail we got said 3PM, but the official planner said 2:30. I just hung around with 2 other US exchange students (one from UNO, one from Minnesota) until it was time to head out. All the people at the office did was ask me if I had been to other countries, my address in Norway, and my cell phone number. After that I talked to some asian girl from Poland for a while to kill time and then headed home. After that it is just a simple routine thing (ate food, took a nap, did my required reading for tomorrow’s class, etc). Now I’m just writing this and hoping the ice stays melted today (it was pretty nice today, it got above 40. Just like Omaha, it’s been an unseasonably warm winter).

Well, it’s time to get some sleep (that’s what I tell myself but I know I’m not tired yet). I have an early class tomorrow. It supposed to cool down a lot back home and not here. Never thought I’d be significantly warmer up in Norway, but again, unseasonably warm winter.

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Here’s some random things I’ve noticed that I haven’t found a way to work into any other entry that I want to put before I forget.

-European credit cards and ATM cards have a chip inside of them. As a result, some (especially older) card readers can’t handle US credit cards (they also all have PIN numbers)
-Ice on the sidewalks is not treated (well, there is sand, but not anti-ice chemicals or that kind of stuff).
-The side roads have 2 lanes, the right lane is presumed to be for people on bikes.
-Temperatures are a lot more…stable here. The difference between daytime and night time seems relatively negligable. I haven’t seen a day where the high and the low are more then 10 degrees (Farenheight) apart. Any Nebraska native KNOWS that isn’t how it is back in Omaha (both a blessing and a curse. I wouldn’t want those heat waves we got last summer stay 90+ at night).

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