Holmenkollen, coffee, and Norwegian friends part IV

Okay I promise there won’t be a part V because this is already ridiculously long.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I made it to the cabin and cabin in a little under an hour and a half. Woop woop!

I was so tired Tuesday night that I was in bed by 11 PM. That’s ridiculously early for me. I slept like the dead until 10:30 AM the next morning, at which point I dragged myself out of bed.

I went skiing up the mountain towards Frognerseteren, which I skiied up a few days ago. I skiied on the path to Gaustad for a bit before I became paranoid that a Yeti was going to jump out of the trees and eat me, at which point I turned around and skiied faster than I’ve ever skiied before back to the trail down the mountain. Last time when I skiied down the mountain, I kept one ski in a track and I used the other ski to brake. This time I put both skis in the tracks and just prayed I wouldn’t crash.

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.

Terrifying though, since I was going extremely fast. Combine this with the fact that my eyes were tearing up from the cold so I couldn’t see, and you can understand why I was a bit scared. Luckily you don’t really need to do much when you’re skiing downhill in the tracks except try to keep your balance. I’ve gotten a lot better at this lately, so I didn’t have any problems, even when the track turned sharply.

Man, I was flying. It was so awesome.

I was a little worried when I got to the bottom of the hill since the ski tracks disappear near the bottom. This means that you need to steer yourself, which is difficult when you come flying out of the tracks. I braked like crazy as soon as I hit the non-track part, then gently turned onto the path below.

So basically…

I WENT DOWN THE ENTIRE MOUNTAIN WITHOUT FALLING.

Celebration, celebration, celebration.

Since the rest of my Wednesday was boring, fast forward to Thursday.

I had five hours of class, after which I went back to Holmenkollen to volunteer. Some of the people I volunteered with on Tuesday were also volunteering again, including Eugene, which was lovely. I met up with them and they told me horror stories about what they had to do the day before and today. Basically yesterday they worked on scaffolding, which involved moving heavy pieces of metal around for 9 hours. Then today they had to dig through several feet of snow to clear the steps in Holmenkollen. They had been working on this all day.

I have no regrets about not being there.

They still had part of the staircase left to clear, so I helped out with that. It didn’t take too long, but my arms were definitely still sore from shoveling on Tuesday so it hurt at first.

Afterwards, though, they fed us dinner. I got to eat meat, which made shoveling entirely worth it. And of course there is always an abundance of coffee when volunteering.

I met a very nice girl from France who volunteered today, and it turns out she lives in my building in Kringsjå! Score!

It was funny too because the Norwegians would occasionally slip into speaking Norwegian with each other. Each time they did so, I would hone in on them, since I wanted to see if I could understand what they were saying. Ivar would always apologize for excluding me from the conversation, but I actually really loved it when they spoke Norwegian. For one thing, it gave me the chance to try and understand them, and of course hearing Norwegian never hurts. Plus the language just sounds awesome. It was cool because every once in a while I would pick out a word I knew (for example, in one conversation they were having I kept hearing snakke/snakker, which means “to speak” or “speak,” depending on the form), from which I could infer what the conversation was about. Also it’s fun since they’ll teach me Norwegian words and phrases. I now know what “shovel/spade” is in Norwegian. Very helpful, right? haha.

I was supposed to volunteer at 8 but since there was nothing to do, I left with everybody else at 6. Eugene and I exchanged phone numbers so that we can meet up for coffee at the campus sometime, which means… I have a Norwegian friend!

Yes, because exchanging phone numbers = friends

Well, another Norwegian friend, since I already have a few. But this friend I met on my own! It will be nice to hang out with her, and she can help me with my Norwegian! 🙂

I don’t volunteer again until next Wednesday, but I’m already looking forward to it. The only problem is that my shift is about 9 hours or so, which is long. Ugh.

Anyways. Some things I forgot to mention:

1. For Norwegian Music, I had to email my professor with the names and email addresses of people in my group. He emailed me back with a description of the weather in Minneapolis. What? I laughed for a few minutes at the sheer randomness of this, then I was just confused as to why he sent me a weather report. I think it might have to do with the fact that I sent him my UMN email address, but who knows.

2. Today in Norwegian we first learned definite/indefinite noun forms, and then we learned verb tenses (infinitive, present, past, and one other which I can’t remember at the moment). Basically there are a few different groups of verbs, but then there are some hundred exceptions to the groups. PERFECT. At that point my brain just permanently switched back to English for the day.

3. The other day I bought salt & pepper potato chips. Okay, they’re definitely not salt & pepper. The flavoring is more complex than salt & pepper and they’re actually very good! But still… not salt & pepper.

Well that turned out to be way longer than anticipated. I need to go pack now, since I haven’t even started (shoot). I leave tomorrow morning at 5 AM, and will be getting back into Oslo Monday afternoon around 2:30 PM. From there I’ll probably go straight to class, then I’ll get back home around 6:30. Expect updates later that night! I promise next time there will be a lot of pictures to go with my posts, since pictures make everything better.

Also, I apologize for any spelling/grammatical mistakes. I couldn’t be bothered to read it through since it was taking too long to write it… so just ignore them as best as you can, please. Don’t hold them against me.

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