Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The People you meet while doing…Laundry

The Laundry mat, or the laundry facilities of a dormitory or student living community such as the one at Sogn Studentby can be one of the best places to meet other people for love or friendship. In our society, no one walks around nude, so we all must wear clothes and no one likes their clothes being constantly dirty so they must be washed. I met Kristen at the laundry facilities in Middlebrook Hall at the University of Minnesota, and had my first conversation with her and her best friend and roommate Meghan Halverson.
After that first meeting, I spent the next six months chasing her until we became a couple and the rest is still in progress :-D

Friday morning, I woke up around 10:00 AM and went down to start some laundry from the week’s activities. When I first walked down, I met a guy named Pablo who helped me figure out how to use the machines that were slightly different considering all the directions were in Norwegian and all of the temperature settings were in degrees Celsius. After figuring that out, I purchased some laundry detergent at the REMA 1000 Supermarket at Sogn, however, couldn’t find any dryer sheets! Puzzled, I talked to the store clerk as I was checking out, and he said that he had never heard of them and that they didn’t stock them. Let’s just say, it made it interesting folding clothes after coming out of the dryer without the dryer sheets, although Frank explained to me that more likely they use Fabric Softener during the wash cycle rather than the dry as we do in America.

Anyway, while competing for machines I met Thomas and Tamara, both students from Germany who were doing laundry at the same time as me. Both of them have great English and were able to carry a conversation. Seeing that it was a nice day, I asked them what they were up to the rest of the day and if they would be up for venturing to Sognsvann, the Lake close to Sogn and Kringsja.

Myself, Tamara and Thomas at Sognsvann

The three of us headed out to Sognsvann and did some swimming. Man, was that a cold lake!! I have been in cold lakes before in Minnesota, but even this was beyond cold. It was very refreshing. The water was surprisingly clean as well and very fresh. There were a lot of people in and around the lake enjoying the day.

The Lake at Sognsvann0

From the Lake, Thomas went to join his law school buddies, and Tamara and I walked to campus and met up with her “buddy group”. We walked up this real tall hill entering campus and I convinced Tamara to take a few pictures. I got a great profile shot of her looking out over the hill, while the one with me isn’t that good. But oh well, that is photography. There were a number of “buddy groups” and students that had occupied the top of the hill and both Tamara and I agreed that we should try to drag our “buddy group” over to the hill. I though the hill would be perfect to roll down and make a video with, and it looked like others had rolled down smaller parts.

We got to campus, and met up with the buddy group. However, it wasn’t as much fun as I thought it was going to be. Trying to make the best of it and not make a stink I participated. We started out by going around a circle and introducing ourselves and what had brought us to Norway or something. I dived right in. I told everyone that I was from the USA, specifically Minnesota (the best kept secret in the US ;) and that from coming to Norway, it really reminded me of home and Northern Minnesota because of the trees and clear blue sky. I told the group that I understood why Europeans settled where they did, they settled in places that reminded them of home. Everyone else went around, and then there was the awkward silence that comes from a leader that doesn’t know what one is doing or doesn’t necessarily care. Attempting to capitalize on that lack of activity, Tamara and I suggested we all go to the hill and roll around and play instead of just sitting. The buddy leader didn’t like the idea. I also suggested we all play duck, duck, greyduck which then I explained how the game was played, but no one seemed to be in the mood for running around. Overall, I was pretty disappointed with the leader, and should have rolled down with Tamara while it was sunny.

Saturday, there were plans for all of the international students to go to the picnic on one of the islands. We were all going to meet at 11:30 at the Oslo Central Station and catch a bus to the ferry. However, Saturday morning it poured rain. So instead of going to the island, I hung out with Tamara and her friends. A bunch of us went over to building 8 and ate a pasta lunch with a bunch of international students and ate till we couldn’t eat anymore.

Sunday, I and all the other SUST group members had dinner together. We made chicken fajitas with chicken, and peppers provided and cooked by Andrea while I provided the Tortillas, cheese, salsa, and onions. It was nice of all to eat together and hopefully this will inspire other meals together to continue a group identity of our own and possibly strengthen friendships that are still in their infant stages, in my opinion.

Now it is Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll continue to keep this blog updated and continue to take more pictures :-D

until next time,

Andrew

3 comments:

Kristen said...

I really love that picture of the lake! It is beautiful!

Kristen said...

You'll have to admit, they were 6 fabulous months of chasing. :-D

Franky J said...

Good post, keep 'em comin! :-D