Published: August 25th 2009August 25th 2009
International Student Picture (NOT MINE, I DON'T OWN THIS PHOTO, IT is COPYRIGHTED)
I had to include a photo. This is the photo of all the international students at Bodo University College. I am by the large white sculpture on the left (kind of offset from the middle) but you can't tell it's me. When I zoom in on it, I can see my hair and my Era jacket.
"I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever know. Don't know where it goes, but it's home to me and I walk alone..."
Well that is the tune I've been humming for almost two weeks now. And it's a very true song to me -- flying solo always comes at a price. And although my homesickness has been a million times more severe this time than any other time I've wandered off on my own (for reasons that I'm sure all those close to me know), life in Norway is starting to have certain appealing aspects. In fact, I woke up the other day feeling kinda skippy as I went out on a bus ride. Unfortunately, by the afternoon, I was back to my tissues and locked in my room. But last night, I read some past entries in my journal that I've been sporadically writing in for the past two years and the things I read, my thoughts, especially those from recent entries, were just full of sadness and drama. Of course, my entire life hasn't been full of sadness, but it kind of hurt to relive the moments of hurt and desperation. It's true -- things weren't going all that well in Juneau. They weren't horrible by any standard and there was quite a bit of happiness in my life, but there was this sad undertone that was constantly prevalent in my writing. And it's weird that I yearn so much to be back there now. It could be because the last four days were some of my favorite from all summer. Of course Mel would say it's because I got to go up in a helicopter ride with Jenn (our favorite pilot at ERA) and so I was on Cloud 9 for days to follow, but it was a lot of things and a lot of moments that I can still picture in my head. And it's true that during the summer, my life was sort of like a soap opera, crying was a frequent occurrence, "Tainted Love" was my life theme song, and I overlooked some budding friendships that didn't really grow until near the end of summer. But I guess it was all of the chaos and the people and the involvement that made me feel like I was really living. And then I came here and it's so calm and quiet...a little too quiet most of the time. I would almost pay to be back in the chaos.
But I have been hiding a bit too much lately. Although I can honestly say that my exposure to people (when I actually go to campus because all of my classes have not started yet) has always resulted in good experiences so far. Yesterday was my first Norwegian language class and it was nice to be back in a classroom, taking some notes with the other international students, and meeting my new professor, Kit. Of course, it didn't last long as most first days don't and we were out of class in about 20 minutes. So instead of coming back to my dungeon, we went to the bookstore and bought the book for the class so we could do the homework for the next class period. And in the bookstore, a familiar voice coyly said "What's up, Alaska?" That brought a smile to my face. The voice of course was Brad (*insert "Oh Brad...yes Janet" just for Mandi*), one of the fellow Americans. And he looks like a typical U.S. Brad too with his blond hair and strongly defined masculine features. And in typical American boy style, he was dragging around a thin beautiful Ukraine girl that giggled at his jokes. Ah, they were both pretty nice though!
After paying over 600nok for my books, we (aka me and my interesting new roommate who has proudly declared herself the happiest person in Norway...yes, I want to throw my shoe at her) went to grab a bite to eat and wound up sitting with Brad and some of the welcoming committee students that were trying to wake up. Not long after I finished eating, I headed off downtown by myself and hit up some shops, the post office, and even tracked down a charger for my Nintendo DS from one of the several Game Stops in the GlassHuset. And then of course I returned to my dungeon. The past two days have been very sunny though and it has been quite nice even though I've been hiding a little much. I had absolutely nothing to do today (my library orientation got canceled) but I still trekked out into the world and ended up in the gym where I tanned for about 6 minutes and tested out the Norwegian treadmill and bike machines. Apparently, as some geeky scientists quite like myself who spend way too much time alone and in front of their computers have noted, exercising induces endorphins that are supposed to make you feel better. And in a way, it kind of did. It definitely made me feel more tired and less jittery than I have been lately. But my heart still yearns for the chaos.
But...I am going to try and become more involved. I joined the scuba diving club, am way excited about this fishing trip on Sunday, and today I even signed up for this free dinner tomorrow with the Master's of Aquaculture people and the science faculty. As bioscience exchange students, Brad, Libby, and I got invited to join them for dinner and to talk at this Kjerringoy trading post. So I'm attempting to reconnect with the world. We'll see how it goes with the science geeks as they are generally easy to talk to!! You just have to ask what they're interested in researching and then they can go on and on about themselves forever. I only hope that next week comes quickly so that I can have more classes and more things to do!! We'll see. For now, I'm off to finish my dinner of yogurt, pineapple, and muesli and then watch some more Top Chef. Goodnight!!