From the title you may have guessed that I have been abandoned in Norway. Well, abandoned might be putting it a bit too strong. It is more the case of Luke going away for meetings for four days. Four whole days! Normally I would think great, perfect opportunity to have a pampering session, have a longer lie in and have control of the TV remote (it’s the little things) . However, this meant I was faced with being on my own in a place I didn’t speak the language and wasn’t 100% sure I could walk around, without getting lost, and then be able to find my way back to the hotel. After having a mild panic about these facts I also realised it was the perfect chance for me to go and explore, and try to look for a job. Even if I did get lost I was sure, almost, that I would be able to ask somebody for help. So, I set off armed with my trusty map, a mountain of CVs and my ‘Nye i Norge’ book.
It was lovely wandering around and I discovered that there was a lot more to Aalesund then I first thought. They had some amazing bakeries, homeware shops, a H & M and even a Colours of Benetton! It made me feel a lot more confident about our move here! The job hunt proved a mixed bag. I had a few positive results in that I had a conversation with them and they didn’t mind that I didn’t speak Norwegian yet. I had one very awkward moment when I asked (in very bad Norwegian) about jobs and the lady responded very quickly, and more difficult for me in Norwegian, about the need to speak Norwegian as all their customers are mainly Norwegian. She had a point there and all I could do was nod, smile and pretend to understand whilst trying not to appear too flustered! Yet there was a positive from this situation, I have found a shop which has amazingly quirky things for the home (it’s called Kremmerhuset) . So, although I didn’t get a job I have seen all the cushions I want for our flat. I am not sure that is quite what Luke intended when he was encouraging me to go out and hand my CV to lots of places.
It was then time to have the spouses’ meeting , where I still feel a bit of an imposter as I am not a spouse. It was lovely, lots of coffee and cake and it was nice to talk in English and not have people look blankly back. There was also a lady from the Red Cross who came to talk to us. I may well sign up for the search and rescue, once I am confident that my searching wont end up turning into a rescue for me. I almost needed rescuing as I left the meeting. I went down in the lift as I didn’t know the right door to get to the stairs. To my horror I arrived at the ground floor and nothing. No doors opening and no beeping, there was just a few moments filled with absolutely nothing. I rapidly pressed a lot of buttons while trying to remember if anyone was still in the building and what the norwegian for help was. Luckily it is ‘hjelpe’ so I think even I could have managed that. Thankfully one button worked and I ended up going back to the floor of the spouses’ meeting, much to the amusement of the host who I had just said goodbye to. I hurriedly explained about the lift and made a bashful exit down the stairs. I think I will be avoiding that lift from now on.
After that mini-trauma I decided the safest thing to do would be to head back to the hotel . I nipped into a deli to get some dinner for later,
a really lonely looking meal for one, and then I went into the shop. I didn’t quite get the shop bit right as the checkout girl scanned the items and sent them to the other side of the till. I went to retrieve my items first and then realised, as she was trying to get my attention in front of a long queue of people, that you are meant to pay first and that they use split tills to speed up shopping. There is no waiting for the person in front to slowly pack up all their items first like in the UK. My saving grace, so that she didn’t think I was shoplifting, was to play the English card. Well it has to be useful for something! I then went to the gym before dinner and my day brightened up a little bit (sorry Luke!) when a man looking incredibly like Thor (well, the Thor from the recent movies) was in there. I kept expecting there to be a bolt of lightning. He even had the long beard and hair! When I first saw him I almost fell off the treadmill, which could have been a really possibility as my balance on them is’t very good at the best of times, whilst blurting out ‘I don’t believe it’. I had joked to Luke that if I met Thor in Norway then I would run off. Preferably with Thor. Unfortunately, the only place I was running anywhere on was the treadmill as I don’t think look-a-likes count. At least I think he was look-a-like…
Luke finally made it home after a fall, missing credit card, delayed planes and lost suitcases. Who said business travel was easy and just filled with drinks and meals? We then did a bunk from the hotel. Well, we are going back tomorrow to check out. I Just hope they realise that as we sped away with all of our suitcases without paying. We have left our skis and Luke suits in the room so hopefully they will realise that we are coming back, even if we aren’t staying there tonight. We had left to move across to a new island, called Ulsteinvik, and set up home for the next few weeks in a lovely apartment.
This meant each being able to buy food to use in an actual kitchen! I have missed cooking so much but I was a little disappointed when I gleefully told Luke I would cook him a nice dinner for Sunday and asked him what he would like. He responded , after much thought, ‘beans on toast please’. Great, thanks, that will really take all of my culinary skills to prepare that dish!As well as buying proper food, moving into a flat also meant getting a quilt set each because in Norway they have a small quilt per person. This will save a lot of arguments over quilt stealage!
The flat has stunning views and I am just glad that I am living somewhere that has rooms that are actually separate from each other!