Published: February 8th 2012January 2nd 2012
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.”
Thus one might describe my first experience and impressions of the University of Stavanger.
Everything started out as usual; I got out of bed, to a shower, put on some clothes and then headed down to get my share of the free breakfast. It was at this breakfast I had the first acquaintance with "paper cheese" and rye bread, which was not rye bread but white bread with grains. However, I couldn't complain the breakfast was free of charge since it was included when I booked this accommodation. After eating waay to much, I chose again to resort to the easy way out, and took a cap so I could arrive at the university without delays.
Even though I was a bit unclear on where to go at campus, I managed to get the taxidriver to stop at what I thought was the right place. He helped me with my lugage and then he left. But of course we had been driving to far, and I had to go all the way back again. I have to point out that it wasn't that far, but my suitcase weighed a ton! Eventually I made it to the main building,
The Common Room
In all it's pride and glory.
and now the start of my semester here in norway was just around the corner. The disappointment, however, was great when I just got awarded 2 folders; 1 corresponding UNI data and the other corresponding housing data. After a very short introduction I was explained where to find my future home and then I was on my own again. There I stood, at the university hall, with a pink suitcase that was borrowed from my mother in law, and ignorant of what awaited me.
My home wasn't hard to find. What I found was a wooden house, it looked like there where two floors and then there just were a lot of windows. The only thing missing was a door. Whether it was a little too early in the morning, or I just had left my brain in Denmark I didn't know. But the entrance I simply couldn't find until a door opened and out came a girl with some garbage.
Before I knew it I was inside. Inside it was nice and warm, I was standing at the beginning of a long corridor and had no clue where to go. I knew from my papers that my room number was 117. Now I just had to find it. Luckily for me it was easy to find. When I opened the door, I was abruptly pulled out on what felt like a "sailing adventure". The room could easily pass for a ship's cabin, which lacked only a porthole. Despite the fact there wasn't much room, I had no doubt that I would end up loving the place. There was everything I need, and even a private bathroom. The rent was not so bad (3.300 NOK), I reconed I was able to survive. Since I could log on the school's wireless internet, and therefore only needed money for food and stuff like that. However, the uncertainty about the amount of money need for shelter had been nerve-racking. I had been warned in advance that Norway is a place where a good wallet is appreciated if you are to survive in reasonable conditions.
After finally having reached my destination, I was finally able to sit down and relaxe in my blue chair, and just let my mind wander as it pleased. What to do now? There were several of undreamed possibilities which I could go to grips with. There was the unexplored UNI, the common space in Red Boxes (who would figure calling a red building, red boxes....wauw...), as well as all the new people I still needed to say hi to. I decided to get the internet up and running first, since I needed my conection to the world and especially Denmark. Even though I needed help with the internet connection I still thing it went fairly smooth. But what now?My lectures where not starting before the 9. January and introduction was at the 5. January. So I had a whole week ahead of me, where nothing was planned.
Even though I was very tired, I had to find where people did their shopping around here. Since there was no toilet paper, I had to go exploring. Out in the common room there was a guy from China who persistently tried to explain to me the way, and although I thought I had understood his directions I ended up getting lost anyway. Had an hours hike in the rain, only to realize that I did not know where the hell I was. I therefore had to turn around and go back, so I could google the location of KIWI instead. When I then found out that KIWI was only a 10 min walk from Red Boxes I could have sat down and cried.
Because I had googled the location of KIWI it was easy to find, I did my shopping in a jify and hurried back. All my new purchases I put in the fridge and on my shelf. It was at that time I first had a really good look at the communal kitchen. There was a lot of leather sofas, and to my surprise, a large flat screen with what later turned out to be 30 different channels. Among both Disney Channel, Discovery and The Voice. There was also two dishwashers, but they were both broken and also very dirty.
The rest of the day was Red Boxes as an airport. On a regular basis you could hear suitcases being dragged down the corridor. There were always new people arriving. This would undoubtedly be interesting, and I wondered if there was any Danish people among the newcomers or was I perhaps the only one. The next day would prove to be a meeting with a lot of new wonderful people. So I lay down in my new bed, and eventually I fell asleep almost able to hear the sound of the waves.