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Miles: Holmenkollen

February 9, 2011

Hei hei!

Updates:

I performed at an open mic in my student village. It went well, and it felt nice to be behind a microphone again. I miss slam poetry more than I thought I would, but I am glad that I’m taking a break.

Went to an “Oldies” party and danced my butt off. God I love 50s rock music. So much sock-hop. So good. Also, maybe it’s just my love for Ferris Bueller, but “Twist and Shout” may be one of my favorite Beatles songs.

Scandinavians love ABBA. Big time. I can’t complain.

I started my Gender Studies class. It seems promising. The reading list looks great and I think I’ll learn a lot of interesting things about the way different countries approach ideas of equality.

My academic competitive naturing is showing a little- I have made it my (unimportant) mission to be better at speaking Norwegian than the Germans in my class. (It is common knowledge that Germans have the easiest time of the internationals at learning Norwegian.)

Tromsø tomorrow! So excited. A trip is exactly what I need right now.

Today a few friends and I took an adventure to Holmenkollen—the giant ski jump in Oslo. Starting two weeks from tomorrow, it will be the homebase of the Nordic Skiing World Cup: the olympics of cross-country skiing. I’m hoping, if I’m not traveling, to sneak into an event (or just go on the free day…)

I’ve never been particularly interested in ski jumping, but being that close to people willing to shoot themselves off a slope and use every muscle they have to ensure that they don’t land in a way that could kill them was pretty damn cool. They look so weightless when they’re falling, and it’s really sort of beautiful. It happens so silently—you hear the skis against the track, and then you hear nothing. There’s just floating and falling. Not so bad to watch.

After watching for a while, we walked up to a kafé and had kaffe og muffins. We talked about all the museums we still want to see, and tried to explain the difference between a Beagle and a German Shepard. (My definition of Beagle: “A four-legged glorious bird of prey. Duh.”)

Now I have to do homework. I probably won’t update again until I’m back from Tromsø. Please please cross your fingers and send all Northern Lights vibes toward Norway.

Things I have learned:

MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY’RE AT. A few times now I’ve heard someone say something that, in my opinion, sounds uninformed or just plain rude. I’ve been working on resisting frustration and seeking explanation. I remember that not everyone comes from the same background as I do, and that there is a lot I have left to learn. I don’t know much about Europe at all, and rather than judge people’s tolerance levels or education on a US-scale, I try to remember where they come from and learn from them. I’m not here to lecture anyone.

KNOW YOURSELF. I know what I want, or I know that I don’t know what I want and am hopeful that I’ll figure it out at some point. A lot of people I meet are here to do a grand Euro tour and see different countries all over every weekend. I’m not here to do that. I want to go home knowing as much as I can about Norway and what it’s like to live in Oslo. (Who knows, in a year and a half I may very well be back here doing my Masters…) I do want to take trips and intend on it, but I want to see fewer places and see them more thoroughly. I want to see Norway. I want to see Scandinavia. I’m not interested in marathon sprinting my way through Europe. Occasionally I feel a little weird for not wanting what other people are doing. I’m trying that whole “be true to yourself” thing. Why is it that the cheesiest advice is always the most applicable?

(My goal for a far(ish)-away trip is to go to Holland and see the tulips. Really, I want to go for the tulips. I’m that nerdy.)

 

Playing at Holmenkollen

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