Winter Break

This week there is a winter break in my part of Norway. This means that a lot of the people I work with, mostly those that has children in school,  are away on vacation or are at home taking care of their children as they don’t have school this week. Many Norwegians have a cabin in the mountains, know someone who will take them or work somewhere where they can borrow a cabin for a week or parts of it. If you don’t have access to a cabin you can always visit one of the many cabins of the Norwegian tourist association (turistforeningen). This week the weather is not too good, but if it had been it would mean a lot of people in the skiing resorts. And if you can pick any week to go skiing you would not pick the one where you had to use half the day queuing when you could have the slopes all to your self two weeks prior. Many Norwegians have a special relationship with their cabin as you can see in this genius video by Ylvis:

The Cabin

As the prices go up on all travels when school is out. You don’t want to go somewhere else this week if you can d it another week either. In my office this means that most of the people who has children in school age are away on holiday this week, or at least part of it. And those of us that does not are in the office. It’s not very busy for me this week, luckily I planed to do a few things this week that I normally don’t get the time to. I must say that winter break seem like the wrong thing to call it here. Everyone is talking about how spring is coming soon the temperatures are quite high for this region and there is wind and rain. In the mornings it’s getting much brighter and yesterday you could probably get a small dose of vitamin D from being outside in the sun. In the mountains nearby there is still a lot of snow, but this week there is a lot of wind and bad weather, but hey if you are a true viking you would have learned by now that “there is no such thing as bad weather only inappropriate cloths” (a loosely translated norwegian phrase, that only works in Norwegian. Because in our language it rhymes).

Due to the winter break I have no band practice this week so I’m enjoying a nice quiet evening on my couch drinking tea. Looking outside the window I would say it was the only season we seem to get here in Stavanger which is fall. Spring, summer and winter only drops by on rare occasions.

Norway in the Winter Olympics 2014

Olympic Rings

Olympic Rings

The Winter Olympics 2014 is now over. Norway reached their pre-set goal of 26 medals 11 gold medals, 5 silver ones and 10 bronze. This made little Norway second on the medal overview only beaten by Russia. Without doing any maths this means that Norway has the highest amount of medals per capita. So all in all we should be very happy with this Olympics. But like most things there has been a lot of ups and downs in the games.

We’ve had a waxing crisis and lost some of the things we thought we’d at least get a medal in. For a better understanding of the waxing crisis I can recommend this blog post from a Frog in the Fjord. The medals we expected but dd not get was mostly in the cross-country relays and at the men’s biathlon relay. The ice skating team got no medals. Petter Nothug did not do as well as expected. We had a lot of fourth places and other stuff that made sure that there are things to improve and complain about after the games.

Norway took 26 of these home!

Norway took 26 of these home!

But there has been great moments as well! Norway taking all the medals on the women’s 30 km cross-country including a bronze medal to the woman who has a tendency of coming 4th. The other two, who had taken gold and silver almost seemed happier about her finally getting her medal than thinking about their own achievement. The 19 old who got a bronze medal in Slalom despite a medal looking almost impossible after the first leg. Our combined team and their joik of happiness after winning. Tirill Echoff a young biathlon girl looks like she is ready to take over for our “biathlon-queen” Tora Berger. Our figure skating girl exceeded expectations. And of course Ole Einar Bjørndalen, that is now the most winning winter olympian, did very well in his last ever Olympics.

The Olympic games are supposed to non-political, but luckily the corruption and the horrible anti-gay laws of russia has not gone unnoticed and hopefully this will be something that will keep being addressed after the Olympic Games are over, maybe more so now when people are no longer trying to keep from mixing politics with the olympics.

The Black Rider

Photo of the Theatre from their website

Photo of the Theatre from their website

This Tuesday I went to the theatre to see the show that is currently playing, The Black Rider. The below is the description of the play from Rogaland Teater’s home pages.

THE BLACK RIDER
– A MUSICAL FABLE BY TOM WAITS, ROBERT WILSON AND WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS
The Black Rider is the story about Wilhelm, a young accountant who falls in love with the daughter of the forester. But in order to marry her he must first prove himself to be an able hunter. Unfortunately, poor Wilhelm has never fired a rifle, so his chances of winning his chosen one are slim. But then he receives an offer he can’t refuse – from a young man who arrives in a black sportscar and calls himself The Devil. Wilhelm is given some magic bullets that always hit their target. But in the dark and magical forrest, nothing is as it seems, and the big question is: Was the strange fellow in the black sportscar really The Devil himself. and if he was, what price will Wilhelm have to pay?

Join us on a magical jouney through the dark forrest, accompanied by Tom Waits’ fantastic music!

The Black Rider is based on the German fairytale Der Freischütz, burt William S. Burroughs has included some autobiographical elements in his version. In 1951 Burroughs killed his wife while trying to shoot a glass of water off her head, in an attempt to recreate the Wilhelm Tell myth.

Here are som clips from the show:

THE BLACK RIDER A MUSICAL FABLE BY TOM WAITS, ROBERT WILSON AND WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS

The Black Rider ” November”

I’ve been wanting to see this show for some time and was supposed to go see it last week but it got canceled due to illness. Luckily they started playing again and I was able to go see it with a colleague. The show did not disappoint, it was very surreal. Dark but filled with a lot of humour. All in all a very enjoyable evening with dinner, the show and a few beers at the bar that is in my street, right next to my apartment. I should really do things like this more often!

Lazy Weekend Again

After a hectic start to the year I decided that it was about time to have a lazy weekend. To fully recover from my illness. Friday I met some friends for a glass of wine. Saturday I got up to watch some of the winter olympics and wash some clothes to reduce the pile in my laundry basket. The winter olympics was not very fun to watch for a norwegian, but the laundry was wonderful to get out-of-the-way. Now there is room in my laundry basket and I have clean clothes.

after a while I went for a walk and decided that I would go to the library to borrow some books. When I got there where a lot of people, but plenty of space and not as much noise as one would think with that many people. I wanted to try the new Renaa cafe at the library because I’d heard so many nice things about it. And it did not disappoint! I had a wonderful smoothie and a great sandwich that tasted great and was not as expensive as I expected.

Very tasty sandwich and smoothe!

Very tasty sandwich and smoothie!

Being able to sit in the library eating a good meal, reading a god book is really something I could get used to. After finding my books I discovered that there was a mini concert and a few people who came to talk about Black Rider, a theatre show that is currently playing at the theatre here in Stavanger. This show has music by Tom Waits and this Saturday there was a tribute concert to him and the band giving this concert was at the library to give us a taste of what they where doing that night. This was a nice surprise for me and made me even more exited to go see the show on Tuesday 🙂

One of many good things happening at the library in Stavanger.

One of many good things happening at the library in Stavanger.

The rest of the day was spent reading and watching TV. Sunday morning came with much of the same as the previous day. Some ups and downs in the winter olympics, but when I went for todays walk the sun was shining and my mood was good. Now I’m going to cheer for the Norwegian biathlon boys and continue to enjoy this weekend.

2014 Olympics, so far, with Norwegian eyes

The winter olympics is the mots important of the olympics for the Norwegians. This is the one where we’re getting, at least should be getting a lot of medals. The media have been filled with all sorts of Olympic news. Before the games began there was a lot of focus on Russia’s laws banning people from talking about being gay in a positive or neutral manner in front of people under 18. This has been reflected in some of the commercials made for the olympics as well.

When the games started the Norwegians got of to a good start winning some of the medals we hoped for. But the cross-country skiing girls team got news that one of their teammates lost her brother. The IOC reprimanded them for skiing with a black band on their arms. According to the Norwegian media everyone is now a bit angry with IOC for reprimanding us for this. Everyone was very happy that Ole Einar Bjørndalen won a gold medal as he is old and very likable.

On Sunday we “only” got some bronze medals. One of them was challenged by the russians in all possible ways, but it looks like we get to keep it. Monday came and there was no medals! And IOC said that Marit Bjørgen might lose her gold due to the fact that some company had used a photo of her for advertising when they were not supposed to. Norwegians not very happy with the IOC here either. And the IOC apparently not to happy with Norway. People are generally calling each other arrogant in the media.

Tuesday the medals started coming again with two golds and two silver medals all should be well. But one look to the Swedish media one would thin we did very poorly. Because our cross-country skier with the largest ego and mouth did not do to well, he has now been left out of the team for the next race. The skier who lost her brother did a very good race, she came in 4th with a broken ski pole.

Wednesday we got a bronze medal by a guy who has died his hair in the colours of the norwegian flag and everyone was happy about the result. Today we got a bronze medal, but as it was a day with potential for more medals and some of our favorites did not do as well as expected it appears in the media that we’re not to happy. We also lost our first curling match (we won the 3 first we played) and will probably lose our ice hockey game later today.

Came over a good story on the internet telling you to cheer for Norway if your own contry is not participating. Enjoy!

6 Reasons to Root for Norway at the Olympics (When the U.S. Is Out of Contention)

Stress, illness and National Championship

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here. This is mostly due to the fact that I’ve been very busy lately. And since Murphy’s law seem to apply I also got quite sick when I was at my busiest at work and with preparing for the National Brass Band competition. This was actually the first time I had to go to the doctor to get her to write a note saying I could not go to work. I’m not sick often, but this time I got two in one. I had a virus and a bacterial infection and a lot of fever. The worst part of the illness it that, even if I’m much better now I’m still very tired and I get dizzy for no reason. But I’m soon of the antibiotics and the horrible-tasting cough sirup. I can go to work and I have no fever. So I’m not complaining (too much).

I was just about able to go with my band to Bergen for the National Championship this year. And even if I felt old and a bit useless, having to take naps and not being able to participate in all of the social events the weekend was good fun. We were happy with our playing and we got loud cheers from the audience when we finished.

Grieghallen, where the Competition was held.

Grieghallen, where the Competition was held.

I also got to meet some friends who live in Bergen. Apart from those whom I met at  Grieghallen during the daytime and at the party on Saturday night, I got to meet up with a good friend and her daughter who had turned 1 years old just days previously. I also got to eat dinner with one of my former roommates. The food and company were excellent 🙂 The party in the evening on Saturday was nice, as always, even if I could not party at maximum speed and intensity.

Very good sushi at Sumo and a tired but happy Maja

Very good sushi at Sumo and a tired but happy Maja

On Sunday I slept on the bus on the way home. Went to my parents and slept for a little while on their couch before we went to eat at my brother’s place to celebrate mothers day. I managed to keep from falling asleep on his couch, but it is safe to say I did not stay up late once I got home.