Monday, January 08, 2007

now the ground shifts beneath my feet

Spent yesterday exploring early in the morning. Sundays are very quiet here. No one opens shops, all the restaurants are closed, and people are either sleeping or out walking. I took The Underground into the city. Wandered and explored the immigrant quarter. There seem to be a lot of Asian shops around here. I think that's where I am going to go to buy my fruit. Had a cheeseburger, fries, and a coke at Burger King inside central station since it seems like that's where you can get the best burger. Norwegians don't seem to particular on hamburgers. I realized, holy shit, this 5 dollar meal in the states just cost me 13 dollars here (around 86 kroners). They don't joke around with their prices here. I've spent most of my time eating at 7-11's since its one of the cheapest places to go. I'm seriously amazed at how expensive everything is here. To ride the train one way is 3 dollars (20 kroner). I wonder if wages here are particularly high to offset the costs of living. I'm not so sure if I'm going to travel abroad after school is out just because of how much money I'm already spending.

Found the laundry. Found the police station. Discovered campus which is very pretty. It snowed all through the night and day two days ago, so yesterday the city and outskirts were covered in snow. I went stomping around and wore my giant coat. Its very lonely here. I spent a lot of time sitting on a bench watching children ice-skate while they played music over these loudspeakers through the center of the rink. They played this really scary song about a wolf-king coming out of the dark forest and throwing a large party for all the people of a village.

I wandered around and hung around the coast-line watching some men fish off the pier. They brought in a large fish, couldn't tell what it was. I also found a sushi place. Though sushi runs around 200 kroner for about 9 pieces. So i think that meal will wait in celebration of something. Tried to find a place where I could buy liquor. A bottle of wine would be nice or some whiskey to warm me up while I read. But they seem pretty strict here about alcohol. Talked more with Lee about her studies. She is leaving in forty days to go back to China. I also ended up meeting the other three Chinese roommates I have. They all come from Singapore and are very nice.

I like the fog that comes at night and sits over everything. I miss the sun like no other though. It hasn't shown its lovely face in three days now I think. Its really amazing how it warps time.

Today I went out with my three roommates from Singapore. They are pretty funny because they are so tiny but really motivated and sort of just leap into the city and things. I laughed watching them eat these huge hot-dogs from 7-11 with their giant mittens and hats and down coats. They don't like the cold much. They also showed me where the Visa office is, so I got that taken care of which was a relief. Took me four hours though. There are so many beautiful women here. Its kind of overwhelming.

I ate the worst chow mein I've ever had in my life. I do not recommend the hot deal for 10 kroner at 7-11. There are a lot of foreigners and refugees here. I overheard people talking that Norway is a good place to get asylum and there are a lot of people from Africa and the Middle East.

There are also a ton of babies. Everywhere I go I see strollers and babies and Norwegian mothers holding their pink babies and they have these really funny plastic canvases that zip up around the strollers to protect the kids from the wind and rain.

Its been raining all day now. It melted all of the snow and the wind picked up. I think the worst thing is the wind. It makes everything sting. I'm going to try and transfer my money back to my account in the states. It seems ridiculous to try and enter their welfare system for simply six months. I need to go to SIO bank and see if they will do the wire for me.

Things are strange here. A lot of time to think and a lot of solitude and quiet. I don't know how I am adjusting. I sort of wonder now why in the world I came here of all places. To the dark and cold. I have to register for classes soon and meet up with advisers and discover campus a bit more. It still seems so daunting even with a Visa and permit to live here all taken care of. I'm going to go read for a bit and think some more. Get some more writing done. If anything, this is a good place to write. Not a lot of distractions and a good, simple desk with a wonderful window and a heater right next to my feet.

please help me. please help me find my way. i'm lost.


Anonymous said...

$13 for a hamburger?! geez, that's pricey. and three days without the sun must be crazy...especially coming from vegas where the sun is out all the time, even if it's freezing outside. i like the first picture that you posted though. and don't be lonely, julian. i'm sure things will seem more lively for you once classes start.


Anonymous said...

you should have gone ice skating will all the little kiddies. oh by the way, youre actually lucky you weren't here this weekend because our water heater broke. we had no hot water all weekend because the plumber was out of town. that's cool you went out with your roommates. we're having dinner with grandma on tuesday. i'll be sure to fill her in.

Anonymous said...

i really enjoyed the photographs, and i'm sure you take them mostly for us, so thank you. it is windy, cold and dreary in this part of the world. i have to wake up at eight am for breakfast, and i finally got a peek of the sun through our window. otherwise, i haven't seen it at all. a lot of sleeping and quiet-time goes on around here too, and i also am trying to cope with the expensive food prices. i went ten hours without food today, mostly because i was intent on accomplishing things and forgot to eat, but i think i was also trying to avoid spending money. i'm sure things will get better once class starts, too. you're a wanderer, after all.

; ) reim