Monday, December 22, 2014

4 Months In Norway!

Here's kind of an update for y'all for what I have been up to the last month. It's been filled with preparing for Christmas and visiting exchange student friends as well as being with members of my host-family.

My month starts out with putting up a new youtube video about my 5 favorite things in Norway! 

After that, it snowed!

And then the sun left :(

And (this is the sun at noon, going down) the snow melted!

^ Lunch after choir practice in the city.

I also skyped with some of the Americans who are staying in Norway, it was great to talk with them about their exchange years and tell them about mine as well.


We had a christmas buffet (which is very common here in Norway) where members of my host father's family attended and we ate a bunch of traditional Norwegian Christmas food. (Pinnekjøtt, Ribbe and Julepølse for a few examples). It was some very delicious food.


Another time, we visited my host grandparent's house (They are hosting Time, you know Time), and we made a bunch of gingerbread cookies! (And ate a few too :P) It was pretty fun, we got to decorate a few afterwards too with frosting (and eat those too...). Afterwards we all ate supper together and it was a pretty cool day.

Three Days In Oslo! (19. Desember - 21. Desember)

So this last weekend I had the awesome opportunity to go to Oslo for the weekend. I stayed in Drøbak (about 50 min. south of Oslo) with Fernando and his host family. That was cool because although I got to experience Oslo a little more, I also got to experience staying in another small Norwegian town as well. 

Friday 19. Desember

I had school today, and when I was finished with my Theater Ensemble exam, I quickly hopped on the bus and headed for the train station. Luckily, I had an hour before my train left Halden, so I quickly grabbed a cheeseburger (of course!). The train ride took about two hours to get to Oslo Sentralstasjon where I met my best friend, Starbucks. (#GingerbreadLatteAllTheWay)

Afterwards, I met Fernando and we walked into town. Not thinking, I packed my stuff into a small rolling suitcase (instead of a backpack), and had to drag it around on cobblestone roads... That was interesting... We took a small trip to the Christmas Market on Karl Johans Gate, got some roasted almonds and headed for the Drøbak bus.

(Storting at Christmas time)

Saturday 20. Desember

Woke up, got ready, ate breakfast and hit small town Drøbak!

And took the bus to Oslo, where we met with Anne, Noemie and Pepe. (OTHER EXCHANGE STUDENTS!!!)

After looking quite a bit for a Sushi place, we settled on Burger King.

Then we attended the Oslo Opera house, mainly for their free bathrooms (because sometimes it costs money to go to the bathroom in Oslo).

Pepe and I found this frame inside the opera house. This picture is perfect, haha.

(We played with the lights on the roof of the Opera house, that was fun. These small, random things we do are the things I'll remember forever 😊)

After hanging out at the Opera house, it was time to head out. We said Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc. to these awesome people and I'll see them at the end of January for Mid-Year Stay Camp!

Sunday 21. Desember

Woke up, got ready and I took the bus (with my roller suitcase...) to Oslo. Said 'Ha Det Bra' to Fernando and hopped on the bus at 11. I then arrived to greet Time and Ai who live in Østfold with me in Oslo Sentralstasjon for a day on the town! First thing, I got starbucks. Second thing, we went to the Julemarked (Christmas Market) and met Jessica from 'murica and her Norwegian friend who did exchange in Ohio!

(Jessicas Camera)

After visiting the Royal Palace, we walked quite a while using google maps to find this cafe, Fedora. It's an American Cafe in Oslo. 'Murica food. Time left and would rejoin me later.

I had the Texas Chili and Cornbread! SO GOOD!

After finishing our delicious American meal. We decided to walk to Aker Brygge. The pier in Oslo, get some coffee at Wayne's Coffee and chill at the beautiful harbor while the heavens decided to pour on us a heavy snowfall...

After getting coffee, we met Paul at Majorstuen. Went into a store and took this awesome mirror pic. (Notice how I refuse to wear a hat, and how my hair is because of the snow, haha)

After going to the shop, Jessica, Ai and Jessica's friend had to head out. I'll see Jess and Ai at Mid-Year Stay Camp, it was cool meeting another Norway-USA exchange student too :)

Basically the rest of the night involved Paul and I going to a coffee shop, visiting the christmas market, chatting and taking a few pictures of the streets which are so koselig!

(I'm so proud of this picture of Karl Johans Gate!)

Paul and I walked back to the train station where we said goodbye and then I met Time at the train and we went on our way home at around 8pm.

Exactly Four Months In Norway

So, today marks exactly four months in Norway. I came to this wonderful country on August 22. The time, in my opinion, has gone by way too fast. I think that's a unanimous thought among the other exchange students across Norway.

There are so many wonderful people I have met so far this year that I know, when the year is up, will be extremely difficult to leave. I have told some people I've been here for four months and they say, "Only four months. That's not so long." I say, "Only four months? Already four months!". The bond that exchange students share is something that only exchange students or people who have been exchange students can truly understand. Everyone goes through the same problems at essentially the same time as you. Everyone understands.

For my exchange student friends (more like family) here in Norway, I'm so grateful for all of you. You guys are seriously the best.

So, that's been my month. Hope you enjoyed it :)

Ethan Block

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