Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Norway in a Nutshell

I found God and she is in the Fjords! Grete, Petter and I took a trip through the Fjords, Norway in a Nutshell. We took the train through the fjords, then the boat, then the bus, then the train again to a beautiful city called Bergen where we stayed the night. It was the most awe aspiring beauty that I have ever seen. If you ever come to visit Norway, please do not leave without seeing the Fjords. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wishing upon a star

My first week in Oslo, I saw two falling stars. Because I am a dreamer, of course, I made my wish. And it inspired me to write a poem, maybe the poem is a little premature--but I thought it is was fun.

January 20, 2009


There was a star that lived very far
Its light shined so bright
That the other stars were in fright
Dark into the night; one could only hope
to wish upon this star
Because the star was a special star
Not only was the star very bright
But it caused great energy into the night
When wished upon; the energy soared
Creating mystical flights of light
One could only hope their gift was precise


Sunday, May 3, 2009

TEFL Celebration-the TEFL Family

Thank God, my course is over! Although, it was very rewarding; it was very intense and challenging. I felt like I was in medical school for a month. Many sleepless nights. But, I passed with a STRONG PASS! YEAH!

This is the last day--our champagne celebration, we deserved it!


Last days in Prague

Prague-Culture Shock

I definitely had more culture shock in Prague then I did when I arrived in Norway.
My arrival started with some serious lock issues. Let me start at the beginning. After arriving in Prague, a driver took me to my hotel where a woman from the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) helped me to get settled. There was another gentleman that arrived very shortly after me. His name was Daniel and from England. The woman gave us all kinds of information about Prague and then we took a taxi ride to drop off Daniel at his place. It is very cute, nice quaint villa like. I am all excited, very motivated! Hmmm…I wonder what mine looks like! I can’t wait! The woman then has the driver take me to my place, I am kind of wondering why I am not staying in the same building as Daniel…hmmm…we take this ride and we get to a very shady looking place (graffiti filled buildings, trash everywhere) and we stopped at a place that looked like a place in Chicago that I would never set foot in. The lady saw that my eyes were getting very big and I was getting very fearful.

I am stunned so stunned that when she tells me how to use the locks on the doors, I am not paying attention—I mean it is a lock, how big of deal is it, turn the key and push….(WRONG, way more complex). Anywho. We get inside the building and I think I am going to have a panic attack…it looks like a dungeon. I finally said, “is this where I am staying?” She said, it is okay…it is just under construction—wait until you see your flat, you will be happy. I then said, why can’t I stay at the Villa place where Daniel is…she said because you wanted your own apartment and these are the apartments. (I had to be the independent American and get my OWN place…buggin)

We then attempt to get into the elevator. I say attempt because it is extremely small. The lady and I and my two pieces of luggage were sandwiched in the elevator. I could barely breathe. I have never seen this small of an elevator before. We get out…the 5th floor, I am hoping it will be better...again, the lady shows me how the keys work---I’m not paying attention. We get to my flat, and yes it is very nice. Very clean and very nice—quite cute actually and I even have a balcony --- but it views three piles of garbage and an old abandon building. I then ask her if anyone else from our class will be staying in this building with me (this might calm my nerves). She said No. I am now panicked. Actually panic never ended, it just was getting more intense. I have no idea why I didn’t say anything at this point. Like, no---I don’t think I can stay here in this building in this “shady” area. I felt like I was in the slums of Prague. But something tells me that maybe I am being too princessy and need to relax.

The lady leaves and I get settled and call Daniel for dinner. I get ready to leave my flat. I open the door and noticed it is pitch black in the hallway. My panic level goes up again. Why the hell is there no fricken lights on in the hallway? How the hell am I going to lock my door and find the elevator in the dark? What the fffff? Something tells me to walk a little down the hallway…so I do and guess what, a light comes on. I guess they have motion lights throughout the building. For the love of God! So, I go and lock door, and I am beginning to realize this is quite complex. I have three keys, one to building and two to my flat. One of the two to my flat is a skeleton key (these are very old buildings). I realized that I locked the door, but I thought—I better check to see if I can open it. I start turning this key that way, the other this way---I am hearing click, click…but nothing…I can’t get the door open. I panicked again! What the ffffff? After about 10 minutes, the door flies open and I fly through the door almost falling on my ass. I have no idea how I opened it. Hmm….I then decide to leave and get dinner. Daniel and I had dinner then met up with some other people that already finished the training. So we stay out way longer than expected, of course! I ask the group if they could walk me home as I was nervous going by myself at 4:00 in the morning. They had no problem with this. They walked me to my flat. I say thank you and off they go! I go up to my apartment and can’t unlock my apartment. I am panic stricken (with all of this panic, it is amazing to me that I didn’t have an actual panic attack), it is 4 o’clock in the morning and I can’t get into my apartment. I immediately call Daniel, him and the other girl start walking back to my apartment, thank GOD!!! I don’t know what I would have done---except cried. Well, neither of them can get the locks to work either. Great, now what? It is now 4:30 in the morning.

The girl with us has a brilliant idea, lets go to back to the hotel where we originated from, they should at least be able to give me a place to sleep tonight and figure it out in the morning… So we walk back, I am walking in a fury…like a person that may miss the boat! I get to the office, aaahhh..they are friendly and understand that I am a crazy American that cannot open her flat that was probably built in the fourteenth century!

So, they let me stay the night in a room until the Landlord can help me. I wake in the morning, the landlord drives me to my flat…there is the “training session” on the locks “American’s have a hard time with these locks’. I don’t know why –I mean I don’t know a lot of buildings in American that were built in the 1400’s. (okay I am exaggerating, but you understand..maybe 1500’s ) So the Landlord leaves, after he leaves, I decide to play with the locks just to make sure I got them down pat. After much tinkering…I get the lock stuck and can’t close my door, at all! So, guess what I have to call the landloard again…for the love of PETE! Somebody give me sanity!

Landlord comes back (by the way he is quite handsome; maybe my subconscious was onto something!), bless his heart…because he was really nice, a little frustrated (to be expected). So, I asked the landlord, “Lets keep it simple, can I just shut the door…without locking it?” Ahha..yes, I can and guess what? It won’t open from the outside, so it is “locked” but there is a creative way to get it open. So, he tells me…much simpler than before (I guess). I thought dude, seriously, if somebody can figure this shit out and tries to break into my apartment…maybe they should just keep whatever they are looking for, they will probably deserve it!!

So, I am feeling much better about the lock situation (not the neighborhood), but okay….but it isn’t over. I then have to get to the ATM to withdraw money. So, I stop on my way before meeting everybody. The ATM door is locked (for the love of God) and you have to use your credit card (swipe it) to open it. Okay, so I do this…..I go in and get my money. I then try to leave…guess what? I AM FRICKEN LOCKED IN THE ATM BOOTH! I can’t get out!!?? I mean seriously, people. By this time, I am so beyond being angry that I am laughing my ass off! I call Petter, laughing like a crazy person which was probably better than the call 30 minutes earlier where I was crying and wanting to come back to Oslo.

After about 15 minutes, I got a hold of someone in our “group” and they came and rescued me. Thank God for cell phones. Well, after those incidents the lock issue happened two more times (Lanlord is married  --but I think he thinks I’m cute which is fine for now!) Cute Landlord finally fixed the lock, Aaahhh, I wasn’t the crazy American after all, there was a problem and it wasn’t me!

Welcome to Prague.