Monday, February 25, 2013
I have been wanting to Spark and to blog for several days but have just really been to tired or too busy. We are finally here in �lesund and mostly unpacked believe it or not.
It was a bit of a rocky road getting here as several things went on Monday that made it hard for everyone. The smallest thing turned out to be that our plane kept getting delayed due to weather...we had thought that was a big thing until we got a call from our movers informing us that they had been in an accident! I guess some one rear ended them forcing them in to oncoming traffic narrowly missing hitting a semi truck! Fortunately they did not hit the truck and the moving men were unhurt but did say that it was terribly frightening...like "life flashing before the eyes" frightening! We are so glad nothing terrible happened. Some of our things were broken but nothing that couldn't be replaced. We will hear from the insurance company today.
Since there was a crash the drivers were not able to make it to meet us on Monday night so the company we now work for put us up in their downtown hotel. It is such a lovely and interesting hotel right on the water...like RIGHT on the water. Looking down from the window we looked straight into the water. �lesund's downtown is kind of like what I think Venice must be like with buildings in the water and boats all around. The suite they put us up in was just beautiful. Patrick took some pictures and I will try to post them this week. It had two bedrooms, a dining table that sat 10, several living spaces and two baths...one quite luxurious. When in these situations we have to keep reminding our selves that we don't live there...we work for these people!!! It is fun to pretend though!
Once our things got to our new home in the morning, many of our new co workers arrived to help us to unload and unpack. It was so very nice. The children were given stuffed toys and we were given plants and flowers and the kitchen was stocked with groceries. ( I have honestly never received such a warm welcome by a new employer before.) We ran into a small situation when we realized that the stove in the nice new kitchen was induction an our copper pots would not work on it! The hotel manager went out and just got all new pots and pans for us to use while in the house! They also had a washer and a dryer delivered since we don't have one of those and after realizing that we are those kind of people who don't actually own tools beyond a hammer and a screwdriver, a fully stocked tool box along with a power drill arrived at our house the other day! I am told a chest freezer will be arriving today for the garage. It is hard to keep from feeling overwhelmed to be honest. Can these guys be for real? It is kind of crazy!
They have told us that they want us not to worry about anything so that our heads will be in the game once we begin work so they have done what they can to help us feel comfortable here. Patrick started today at the hotel...getting acclimated once we brought the kids to school and barnehage. He will organize and begin to figure things out. The hotel officially opens on Friday. Mid week he will work for a few days at the restaurant in the downtown hotel to meet and get to know those chefs. I will work there (downtown) on Friday and Saturday. They have asked me to help them. I thought I would just be observing and learning what they do but they have asked me to design a new dessert menu for them! I think they don't have an actual pastry chef there. Soooo I have, like, four days to come up with something for them. I am learning that everyone in this company chips in where they can no matter which property you work for. This level of enthusiasm for a company is amazing!
The surroundings here are just beautiful. It is so wooded despite the many houses in my area and there are mountains everywhere you look. The water in the fjord is in the view of my living room window with mountains in the background. Quin and I climbed up the backyard yesterday to see where it went and could see that you could head into the forest if you keep on the path. We are told you can walk all the way through it to the hotel if you wanted...it would probably take about five hours but you could do it! Way different than the view of the lights from the fotball stadium that we had in Oslo!
My title is a "Whole New Norway" and it really does seem like that. It looks different, smells different (like pine and the sea)...we are finding the people to be a bit different...that attitude of our new workplace is very different and then there is the language! Today I had the full impact of the "other" Norsk language today when I went to the grocery store and found that things were labeled with another Norwegian Language that I had only really heard of before called "Ny Norsk". What am I talking about? Every where you go in Norway there are very distinct dialects that sound very different from one another but there is also two languages... "Bokm�l" and "Nynorsk". In Oslo they speak and learn Bokm�l but up here they tend to speak Nynorsk...they even teach it in many of the schools. Bokm�l is the more common language so fortunately for Quin it is the one taught in her new school but in the little time we have been here she has already noticed that some of the words for things here are completely different from the words for the same things in Oslo. I have now seen it too. I can't speak Norsk very well but I can read it fairly well and today at the grocery store I was struck when "Whole Milk" was not "Melk Hel" but rather "Mj�lk Heil"...It threw me for a loop! There were lots of things like that all around the store. Really...so this is how it is going to be...I finaly begin to get a small handle on this Norwegian language thing and then I have to go and move to where it is a whole 'nother Norwegian language! Arrrrgggg! It makes my brain hurt.
Well, now I have to suit up and go get Quin and Liam again...I look forward to hearing about the first day for them. It is a 40 minute walk so I am getting my fitness minutes in...at least til we get this car thing figured out!