Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Want My Box!

Two years ago we went to Debrecen Hungary to visit my sister and her family while they were living there. None of our suitcases arrived. Kent and KJ's finally showed up after three days while we were still in Budapest but mine was still MIA. The next day we left on the train for Debrecen. I was wearing the same dirty clothes I had on since we left Portland and I was not a happy camper.

Back to the present.... On January 4, I mailed two packages to myself in Oslo thinking how smart I was. KJ and I would both have 5 books each to read, personal training study guides, sketch pads for KJ, a box of our favorite Trader Joe's cookies (Jo-Joes) and the dreaded vitamins. What was I thinking sending calcium, multi and kids vitamins? I think that was a no no. I received the box with KJ's stuffed animals but the box I really want is lost somewhere at the Norwegian Custom's Department. I've been calling them for two days now after we faxed Kent's person number from the post office last Friday.

Debecca, (SP) the custom's officer who has been helping me finally called today and said sorry but I can't find your package. I need to e-mail someone at the post office for more assistance. I thought I was saving money bringing my own vitamins and our own reading material. All, I have now is a headache.

My Hungary story has a happy ending. When we arrived at my sister's apartment. Kent got on the phone with American Express and within 4 days my suitcase was found! They even had it delivered to Debrecen which is miles away from Budapest. Perhaps something magical will happen and my missing package will arrive....

Whale Anyone?

Sunday we were invited to Carolyn's house for dinner. I think they decided we were adventurous eaters because she told me whale was on the menu. To be honest, I really didn't care what we ate I was just looking forward to hanging out with them again. We took the bus to Bekkestua, outside of Oslo where they live. It was a short ride, maybe 15 minutes? She met us at the bus stop and we walked for about 10 minutes to her house. There are many different types of homes in Bekkestua. Carolyn said this was where people built country homes years ago. They have a very cozy house; I like it....

First she served shrimp cocktail and the shrimp weren't from Norway! I think she said they were from somewhere like Thailand??? Was she joking? Well, they were tasty wherever they came from. She had us sample two different local cheeses after we mentioned how we miss cheddar cheese. (It is $20 for a small block. Oh, how I miss Tilamook.) We tried Ridder and Sno friske. We enjoyed both. Maybe now we can branch out from Swiss.

They also invited a friend Paul, who coincidentally has been doing Aikido for 21 years. He was very chatty and friendly. Kent will eventually make it to a class if I have to drag him.

Christian prepared whale and caribou. He is quite fond of whale. We told KJ caribou is a very distant cousin to reindeer. She has repeatedly mentioned that she will not eat Rudolph. She enjoyed the caribou enough to have two pieces. He also made plenty of delicious veggies. Carolyn made lava cake for dessert which was nice and chocolatey. I had some chai tea from Twinings and it was really good. In fact I bought some of my own that I found at my neighborhood ICA.

Carolyn has lived in Norway for about 10 years and has been super nice since we've met. It's been great having someone in Oslo who is so helpful and fun. Hard to believe, I had to go all the way to Norway to meet her.

Oh, I didn't say anything about the whale and it was even in the title of my post. It was fun to try and we'll leave it at that. We want to have them over for dinner however they may need to travel to Portland for a proper dinner from us. Kent makes a mean paella. I can't imagine how much it would cost to prepare here?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Can I Stick It Out???

This weekend proved to have its ups and downs. I've been excited to do the xcountry skiing thing ever since we talked about coming here. But first one needs skis. I have some at home. A friend gave me a very old pair of his. I should've brought them.

Saturday we headed out to small ski shop nearby and checked prices. We were close to getting KJ a package but I had a feeling if we went to the bigger sporting goods store in the city center we'd save some kroners and I was right. It wasn't an easy outing but I think we'll be happy to have skis that we'll use for a long time. And the price wasn't too bad.

Why is the entry titled .... Can I Stick Out? You maybe be wondering, probably not by my previous entries. So far it hasn't been easy being here for KJ. She's had a rough start having been sick, she doesn't have any siblings for companionship, Kent and I are only so much fun, and she can only read Harry Potter so many times. She really misses her school and friends. She is an amazing little person. I know it isn't easy for her going to the Norwegian school but she goes so far without complaining. I am happy to be here but I don't want her to be miserable. I think that is why I'm having a difficult time. Plus, it doesn't help that I am a chronic worrier. So there you have it. If any of you blog readers have any suggestions, please feel free to comment.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I might as well admit it... I like to go the gym. Kent says I'm one of those people gyms don't like because they don't make any money off of me. Today I visited one of the Norwegian chain of health clubs called Elixia. After my tour last Sunday I've been wanting to return and today was the big day.

When I called to inquire the gal on the other end asked me if I planned on joining. Of course I told her.... at least I think I am I thought to myself. Well... it is a fancy gym; it makes 24 Hour Fitness look pretty dumpy. Upon entering I noticed there were little booties in a basket, later I saw lots of people wearing them in order to keep the floor clean. Hmm, not a bad idea. In fact the whole gym is super clean which is very nice. Most of the gyms I've been to at home aren't very clean. Elixia has it all. I think I mentioned this location is the largest in Norway. They have all the usual classes plus a few I thought were interesting a rowing class, Afro dancing, Energy Yoga (with candles) ... to name a few.

I did my usual workout which includes cardio, I like the EFX machine and then I lifted weights. Looking around the gym, I haven't seen any overweight Norwegians not that they are all working out at Elixia. Do they walk more, exercise more, eat healthier than Americans do, or could it be the delicious food? There are only 4 million of them.

It was a good visit. A couple of my friends have commented that I should join, not a bad idea however the Telenor discount was better.

FYI: KJ made it two straight days at school! TGIF

Thursday, January 24, 2008

She Did It!!

Kayleigh is amazing! Staying home for 2 days after Monday's excitement, we headed back wondering what the day would bring?
The teacher was late again. Did I already mention how annoying I find this? I was never late when I taught school for 10 years. What is wrong with these people??? Liliana, the teacher we hadn't met finally arrived. She unlocked the door and the kids marched in. I went in to introduce myself and my daughter.

"I don't speak much English," she said immediately.

Great, I thought. She is Polish too. Did I mention that most of the kids in the class are Polish? So, is KJ going to learn Polish instead of Norwegian?

I went home very upset. I looked longingly at the Oslo International School's website. I send them e-mail inquiring about openings, knowing she won't be able to go there unless we win the lottery. We've tried to think of all the school options for KJ while we're here. There is a French school very close to our apartment but that seems weird. We are in Norway?!? I am ready to pack my bags and head back to beautiful Portland, Oregon, where Kayleigh attends a wonderful skole.

The morning drags by. Kent calls and says he's leaving work to try to take care of his work visa. He will meet us at the school afterwards. We don't make it up to her class as she runs up to greet us. She made it all day without throwing up anywhere. Maybe this is the start of something good.....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Back to School?

Last night we had a little family talk about being far away from home, in hopes of getting some of the anxious feelings off of our chests. I felt better afterwards....

This morning KJ woke up and said her chest hurt and that she wasn't hungry. Probably nerves I thought. The school is a huge place with 600 kids from ages 6-15. (I think) I'd be kinda nervous too. We slowly got ourselves out the door. We were late but so was Guro, the teacher. She was late the other morning too.
" Is she late everyday ?" I asked another student in the line.
He said, "yes."
Great.... It thought. Or maybe we didn't understand my English.
I continued chatting with Victor, I think that's his name. He is from Brazil so I spoke a little Spanish. I think I did better speaking to him in English. KJ thinks he lives on our street. The kids in her class seem friendly enough. Several of them said hi to Kayleigh when we arrived. This is all good... I thought. Guro finally arrived. I guess KJ had enough of me because she abruptly said bye Mom.

The morning whizzed by. I went running and exploring. I found a toy store and a big video store. We can walk down here later this afternoon. I got home stretched out a bit, did a little cleaning and called Amy. Kent met her and her husband during one of his trips last fall. I think one of them was wearing a jacket that had CU on it. (University of Colorado) Amy also has a cute dog. They were hiking around Holmenkollen. It was good to talk to her. Her husband is Norwegian and she said they moved here so their kids could get to know their culture. (Maybe we should move to North Dakota when we get back so Kayleigh can learn more about my culture) JK

When I got to school some of KJ's classmates were already outside and told me she threw up again. Poor kid.. I guess she didn't feel good this morning. She made it all through the school day until the last 20 minutes. We talked to Guro trying to figure out if it's nerves about being in a new place so far away from home or does she have a bug? She suggested taking her back to the clinic for more tests. She said that a bug is going around and that she'd been sick all weekend and another student went home after he got sick. All I could think was what a bummer for Kayleigh's first experience. We walked home and she immediately fell asleep. When she woke up I went to get a thermometer, Sprite and some crackers. She has a fever but hasn't upchucked again but then again she hasn't eaten. Maybe she's allergic to school?

I want to Ski!

I think I should stop checking the weather. I'm a bit of a weather nut. In Portland I'm always looking to see when the rain will stop and here I'm waiting for snow. We left this morning to check out the local ski resort. We got on the train at Majorstua and headed north to Frognerseteren terminus about a 20 minute ride. Our first stop was Holmenkollen, the site of the international ski jump.
We walked up to check it out. It's hard to believe someone would actually want to do this??? We wandered around a little with a stop at the gift shop.

We got back on the train which was now full of cross country skiers headed to snow. This is great I thought, just what I was waiting for. I wish I had some skis. At the last stop everyone got off. You can ski right there, how cool is that? This area is called the Nordmarka, which is 30km deep forested area with tons of hiking trails and xcountry ski routes. We hiked to an area where tons of norkies were sledding, skiing, etc. We wanted to inquire about renting skis. After we found the place and the cost we are probably going to buy our own. We then hiked up to Tryvann, the small ski resort. It seems a lot smaller than Ski Bowl, where we like to ski at Mt. Hood. It looks fun though but they really need more snow.

On the walk home from the train stop I found the gym I'd like to join. I left KJ and Kent and went in to take a look. One of the sales people gave me tour. The gym is called Elixia and of course it's a chain in Norway. This location she said is the largest in all of Norway. I do like the gym. I like lifting weights, cardio stuff, spinning, yoga. I hope I can talk Kent into this. Maybe it will help that we get the Telenor discount.

Oops, I forgot to publish this from last weekend.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Weekend

This weekend we got a taste of Oslo, plus the weather was super nice.

On Saturday we treated ourselves to brunch at a cute little spot not from home. I had a salad/sanwichy tuna type dish, Kent and KJ both had 2 eggs, lots of bacon, and croissants. I also had a yummy latte and Kent had an americano. I'm not going to tell you how much our brunch was because I'm trying not to drive myself crazy everytime I buy something. Next we went to the Norsk Folk Museum on the Bygdoy Peninsula, which was a short bus drive from our apartment. The museum is a combination of indoor and outdoor sights. Inside we saw folk art, furniture, dress and customs, toys, and puppets to name a few. We preferred to open-air collection which consists of more than 150 reconstructed buildings. Arranged geographically, they provide a great sample of Norwegian rural architecture. The stave church is the highlight which dates back to the early thirteenth century. It was moved from another region in Norway (Gol) in the 1880s and was restored at that time. We enjoyed wandering around and imagining what it would've been like to live in one of the green cabins. We agreed that we're happy to have our house in Portland with our new kitchen.

We left the museum and headed by bus down to the local public transportation headquarters (the Norwegian name escapes me) to have our photos taken for our bus passes. How exciting. Now we are official public transportation users! I hope I remember how to drive?

We returned home to prepare a gourmet dinner of chicken hotdogs wrapped in a lomper (sp) ... A lomper is like a smaller version of lefse. Carolyn told me this is the Norwegian national treat. Not bad with a beer? Hmm. I got to watch No Reservation too. I wouldn't hurry out to see it but it was entertaining.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Is it already Friday?

I feel like I'm on a vacation, but I imagine this feeling will end soon. Kent thinks for him it will be when it seems like the end of a business trip is approaching except he won't be heading for home until this summer. I did comment today that I felt like our apartment was feeling kind of like home. I miss our routine; i guess it's comfortable to me.

Today's weather, nothing like yesterday. It is cloudy and misty. I still manage a quick run. It's a good way for me to start the day. When I return KJ and I have school. (We've been trying to do this everyday.) We have 2 workbooks from school. Mrs. Johnson let her take all her school stuff home. We decide to do a little writing and some math, Kayleigh's favorite subject. She also does a page from her Summer Bridge Book which has a little of all subjects.

After school is out for the day we have some lunch, I shower and we head out. We are going to the post office again to pick up Kent's Ipod. He forgot his precious Ipod and thankfully Jamie our dog/housesitter was kind enough to mail it. Sad to say it isn't at the post office closest to our apartment and it appears it's going to be a hassle to retrieve. This is usually the case when in another country. (I'll info you all when and if he gets it. I'm also a bit concerned about the 2 boxes I mailed before we left. Where are they?)

Next we head to Ark Bookstore. They have a nice selection of English books but the prices aren't so nice. I spy several books I'd like to get but I'll keep waiting for my box of books. I do buy KJ Harry Potter 5. Last week Carolyn loaned her HP 7 and she's already finished it for the second time. The girl likes to read..... Speaking of reading we hop back on the Trikk and head to Majorstua neighborhood where the closest library is. On the way I also find the yoga studio I want to check out. The library is not bad. I really like a good library. They have some books in English for both KJ and me. In fact we find the very Roald Dahl book that was in her writing lesson today, pretty cool. We inquire about checking out books. All we need is our passports and we can check out 2 books and keep them for one month. We will be back.

This evening we have movie night. Kent invited Reas and Jin me to join us.They are two very, young and bright Chinese boys who are also here working for TTG. KJ and Jing Me decide we should watch Stardust. Hmm, some of us have seen it more than once. Kent and I went to Seven Eleven earlier and rented No Reservation which is a chick flick. I bet you know the one I wanted to see. We had a fun evening. I enjoyed chatting with them about how they like Norway and about China. Tomorrow they are off to Lillihammer. I hope to see them again.

A Sunny Day in Oslo

Today is bright and mild. My run at the park was the best yet. Eventually I'm going to have to pick it up if I plan on participating in the Hood To Coast Relay again in August with Melissa's team. I don't want to let them down!!!

KJ is staying home from school until Monday and she'll get a fresh start next week. No pun intended. We decide to take the Trikk (the street car) around our part of Oslo. Kent purchased us bus passes for one month and they are good for all public transportation. The Trikk stop is close by so we hop on and take it a short distance to Soli Plass. (plaza) We are going to the post office to mail some letters and cards to KJ's pals. That was easy enough. I'm not used to public transportation and am a bit of a wimp. The Max in Portland is great but I'm a typical American and usually drive too much. In Oslo I don't have that option since we have no car. I guess I better get on with it. KJ wants to continue on the Trik so we take it to Carl Joahan's Gate, a pedestrian street filled with shops and cafes. We were here last February. It's a fun place to hang out especially on a sunny day. I buy KJ a donut at Seven Eleven for 14K (way too much) Trust me, I am not one to buy donuts for my kid, but what the heck? We end up walking to the palace and taking lots of pictures. (We promise to get them on the blog soon) We end up back at Soli Plass, jump on the Trik and end up by the Kaffebrenneriet, Oslo's local coffee shop. I've been wanting to go there since day one, so we stop in for a small latte and a very small hot chocolate. (49K together) Ouch, I love going out for coffee so this is a drag. One last stop at the market and then back home. It is close to 4 o'clock and it's already dark. It was a fun afternoon!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not much has been going on here since Tuesday's incident. We're basically taking it easy.

Wednesday was a very gray, rainy day. I'd say it was a typical Pacific Northwest winter day. The kind of day where I'd rather have it be just a little colder and snowing. I thought it was suppose to do that here in the winter.

Wednesday, Jeannette, the land person of our apartment picked KJ and Me up for a trip to Ikea. She had told Kent she would get a couple night stands for the bedroom. The shopping trip was quite fun. Jeannette is a beautiful Norwegian who is studying at the university to become a doctor. It was a long ride to Ikea so we had plenty of time to visit. She told us growing up she lived in many places: Singapore, Santa Barbara, (USA) and Belgium. She studied oriental medicine and lived with a Chinese family for 2 years. Besides studying she also teaches Thi Chi and Xi Gong (SP) She explained all about acupuncture to KJ. (I'm thinking about having her treat me for sleep deprivation.)

We love Ikea. We really didn't buy anything very excited but we always have fun there. The new Ikea in Portland is fairly close to our house and this summer we purchased furniture for KJ's room. We did buy another Spooka which is a cute little alien light for KJ. She has another one at home too.

After Ikea Jeannette had to stop by a mall to take care of her broken computer. The mall has over 300 shops including Buid-A-Bear Workshop, one of Kayleigh's favorite places. In fact, we went right before we left Portland. We looked at the directory so we knew there were 2 locations in the Oslo area! I found a sporting goods store and bought a yoga set. For 299K we got a yoga mat, a ball, (KJ's favorite part of the set) and 3 stretch bands. So now we can practice yoga. (I may actually join a studio nearby but I think it is too pricey?) Jeanette asked me about my yoga practice. I told her I enjoy it but am not all that serious. She commented on how good I look for being an American and commented, aren't all Americans fat? We walked around a little and then headed back. Jeannette informed me that there is a bus that takes you directly to the mall. (Good info...)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Laughing Matter

Today Kayleigh threw up at school all over her teacher's desk, herself and sadly to say her teacher.

This morning we got ourselves out of bed around 7:30. No need for alarm clocks when you're still jet lagged. (When will this end?) I immediately got the coffee going. Did I tell how much we love the coffee maker here? It's called a Mocha Master and it is really fun to watch as it brews the coffee. Did I mention that I don't care for the coffee much here? It's quite bitter but Kent seems to like it alright. (Oops, I'm getting off the subject.)

KJ said she wasn't hungry. Is this my daughter, I thought to myself she's always up for food. Well then I told her to take her medicine so we could go. She absolutely can't stand her antibiotic. She takes it 2x a day for 10 days. I asked the doc for liquid since I thought pills would be too hard to swallow. (Big mistake) After she choked it down we got our coats on and left.

We arrived just as the bell was ringing which is so not like us. It is so dark here in the morning; we felt like we were walking to school in the middle of the night. At home we leave 20 minutes before the bell rings rain or shine. I walked KJ up to the class where all the kids wait in a line until the teacher comes and lets them in. Guro was late. Later we found out she wasn't feeling well. I told Kayleigh goodbye and left.

I decided I needed a run since yesterday I didn't go. (Got to have my exercise) I actually went a little farther trying to run around the outside of Vigeland Park. It didn't happen. That is one big park. When I returned to the apartment I thought I'd do a little cleaning, blogging and continue my search for buying some used xcountry skis.

The phone rang... "Tracy, where have you been?" said Kent on the other end. "The school called and Kayleigh threw up."

I threw some sweat pants on and ran up to school thinking ... was it a reaction to the antibiotic, nerves, food poisoning?

When I got to 5M KJ and Guro were sitting in the classroom chatting. Hmm, maybe it's not that bad?

Guro explained in her Norwegian accent, "Kayleigh came up to my desk to show me her work and just got sick all over the desk, me, and herself."

Kayleigh added, "I threw up some more on my way to the sink too."

"The children were excited because the math teacher came and took them out to play while the room was being cleaned." Guro told me. "Kayleigh's sure to be very popular with the other kids now."

Guro thought the whole incident was funny. Hmm, is that the right English word she really wanted to use. I guess I 'd rather have her feeling this way than upset. She is a character.

She told us to go home and get well and to come back on Monday. She said this was one of her most memorable days of teaching. It will probably be one of ours too in Oslo that is.

We are home now taking it easy once again. I said to KJ when are we going to see Oslo. Her reply, "Mom, we have 7 months."

FYI... We are planning on having KJ take the medicine with food in her tummy tonight. If need be we'll go back to the clinic tomorrow.

Off to School

Monday morning KJ started the Uranienborg School. It is located about 5 minutes walking time from our apartment. She insisted that Kent come with to the registration which took all of 5 minutes. Kent commented that they don't ask for much documentation. Hmm, they did look at her passport.

Off to meet the teacher and class in room 5M. The class she's in is called mottak. This is a class for kids who don't speak Norwegian. They are in this class until they are able to learn in Norwegian then they move into the class according to their age.
Guro is one of KJ's teachers and the only one we've met. She is an older woman who speaks 10 languages! She told us they've been waiting months for the American girl to arrive. When introducing Kayleigh to the class, she had them all go up to the front and say their names, age, and where they're from. They also pointed it out on a huge map she pulled down. I rather liked this.
There are only 12 kids in the class ranging in age from 8 -12. The students come from Poland, (a bunch) India, (the only other kids that speak English and they are brothers) Turkey, Hungary, and Brazil.

After the introduction Kent went back to work but I stayed with Kayleigh for support. I must admit of how proud I am of her for going to a foreign school. I told her when I was her age I didn't even know what a passport was and she's already been to 4 countries. I thought moving to Portland was a big deal.

Being a former teacher this class is different. How do you teach kids who speak so many languages and come from such different cultures? Guro proved to be very chatty. While the kids ate lunch (they eat in the classroom) she and I visited. She worked as a secretary in Yugoslavia at the embassy, studied in Moscow got married and then moved to Bulgaria.

Other then learning Norwegian the class has a math teacher who comes in on Tuesday. They have another teacher Lilianna who comes Wednesday-Friday. They have gymanstics (P.E.) on Wednesday followed by arts and crafts. They are knitting now so that will be fun, very Norwegian and KJ can knit.

After lunch the kids continued working. Kayleigh's assignment for tomorrow: learning the colors in Norwegian which all three of us did last night.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dinner with new friends....

My old friend from Bismarck Nancy sent a Christmas questionaire which I luckily responded back telling her I was going to be in Oslo for 7 months. She replied that she had a old college buddy who has lived in Oslo for 10 years. How great could that be since we really don't know anyone here. Nancy introduced us via e-mail. I was quick to ask Carolyn lots of questions. I've always been good at that. Before I even met her I felt better about coming......

Last night she picked us up since she was in the neighborhood and we had a great time with her and her family. We had a delicious dinner which was needed after several nights of frozen pizza and pasta along with iceberg lettuce (KJ's new favorite vegetable. Is it actually one?) We had some very tasty trout, potatoes, a salad with real veggies including avocado and yummy white wine. I wish I would've eaten more! Do I sound obsessed with food? Truly, I enjoyed meeting and spending the evening with Carolyn her husband, Christian and their kids more than eating... It was fun talking about North Dakota, UND, various people we both knew from home and teaching. Carolyn was a teacher too. This isn't the first time I've had this happen; meeting someone from where I used to live.

I forgot to mention KJ wanted me to comment on the bag of candy she, Kaj and Malin (I hope I spelled your names right) received. In Norway the kids aren't allowed to have sweets during the week only on Saturdays. It was her lucky day. I think I like that rule.

Thanks again for dinner Carolyn and Christian if you're reading the blog...

Vigeland Park

Here are some pics from our short trip to the Viglandsparken on Friday. It was a beautiful sunny day so I dragged my sick kid for a short visit. I hope you all don't think I'm a horrible mom but I thought a little sun would do us some good! Heck,, I live in Portland!!!

Kayleigh wanted you all to know we climbed 102 steps while we were there!

Gustav Vigland was a famous sculptor who worked with bronze. He started work on the open air Viglandparken in 1924, and was still working when he died almost 20 years later. His work is really fantastic. There is a central path that takes you to the footbridge over the river where all the bronze figures are to view. They are human figures all in different postures. Everyone's favorite seems to be the angry baby. We like it too. This is a very unique place!

FYI: We will be posting lots of pics but having trouble with our bandwith so please stay tuned....

Our New Home

Kent and I actually looked on-line months ago for a place to live in Oslo. Having looked while he was here on business in September and not scoring we thought we'd give it a go in Portland. While living in Austin, we actually found our house on-line before we moved to Portland. A handy part about looking on-line is having a helper who is there so they can check it out for you since the pictures on the site don't always tell the whole story. I'd say we're doing pretty well with this method of shopping. In Portland we had our pal and outstanding realtor, Teresa as our house hunter. Rich, the head chief at Tripod checked out the place here. In fact he moved into the apartment for 6 weeks with his family last fall. So it is a well lived Tripod home.
It's a basic old building. We're on the first floor. It has 2 bedrooms, ( KJ's is tiny) one large bathroom including a double sink, heated floors (already mentioned) and a washer and dryer, kitchen and living room. It is a furnished apartment although we need a few things such as a chair and some cute rugs for the floor. You should see the size of the TV. My tv addicted family isn't watching it much. Boy, I wonder why?

I guess we are in a pretty swanky neighborhood which is called Frogner. So far I have no complaints. Vigeland Park is minutes away with the famous nude art. (more to follow) We'll be spending lots of time at the park as it is a great place to hang out and I've already been running there a couple times. There is a market reasonably close, with a coffee shop on the way and KJ's school is nearby. This is all good news since we don't have a car.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A trip to the Clinic

TGIF... The sun was out today in Oslo and it was suppose to in the 30's. Kent and KJ both got a good nights sleep so we're 2 out of 3. I think she was feeling better and not coughing as much. She said she wanted to take a walk to Vigeland Park and get some postcards. Kent on the other hand, thought we should take her to the clinic. He called to find out where to go. He decided that he would show us where the clinic was on the way to his meeting in case we wanted to go later.

Last week we watched Sicko about healthcare in the U.S. It was an eye opener for me. Parts of the movie are about healthcare in other countries. There was even a part in the extras about the best country to live in according to the U.N. and guess what country it is? Yep, Norway. In part, because of their excellent healthcare (among other things.)

We decided we might as well take her as long as we were there. Unfortunately it is a private clinic, not public so it isn't free. The public clinic would be a pain to get to so we decided to stay. We filled pit a very small amount of paperwork and were sent to wait in the hallway where there were chairs. It was quite pleasant. After waiting a few minutes we were called into an exam room by a young woman. We didn't ask but we thought she was a physician's assistant. She spoke English (I forgot to mention everyone does, at least it seems like it) and asked Kayleigh many questions about what was going on with her. She basically has a rattling cough and has had it for over 10 days. She recommended doing a blood test which would let us know if it was viral or bacterial. We went back to the hallway. A few minutes later another friendly woman escorted us into the lab and took Kayleigh's blood from her arm which was a first for KJ. After she told her she could choose a present for being a good patient. KJ choose a troll, go figure. We went back to the hallway and then back to get the results. KJ has pertussis which is whooping cough. It is a bacterial infection in the lungs and causes an awful whooping sounding cough. She prescribed an antibotic for 10 days. Off to the apotek (pharmacy) to get the medicine. Kent aslo got a netty pot. He thinks he has a sinus infection.

The trip to the doctor including the netty pot was around $200. I'm thinking this is less than we'd pay at home if we didn't have health insrance.Regardless I'm glad we went especially since KJ is going to start school on Monday.

What are we going to eat for 7 months?

Friday January 11, 2008

Tuesday after a short nap we walked to the market in order to feed ourselves and have some food in our kitchen. I knew Norway was expensive but after a short trip to the grocer I'm a little concerned about our diet. I'm very happy that I threw in some favorite stuff in my luggage such as peanutbutter, Jo Jos, (Trader Joes special xmas cookies) some leftover Starbucks Coffee, a few Luna bars, hot cocoa mix and a few marshmallows. Oh, we also have 6 bottles of wine that Kent had been bringing during his prior trips. Alcohol is insanely expensive and I can't imagine 7months wineless.

I think we will be living on pasta, frozen pizza and scrambled eggs. Oh, I did buy a head of iceberg lettuce and carrots so we could have some veggies in our diet. Everything is so pricey because Norway is so far from the rest of civilizaton and do they grow anything here? I think it's too cold. So why is cheese out of my price range? Aren't there plenty of cows here? We picked the Swiss over the cheddar. You don't want to knkow how much it costs and parmesan... oh my!

Last night Rich took the 3 of us out for dinner at a spot in the neighborhood. We all had average entres... for expample spaghetti with meat sause and we all had water except for one coke and the check was 750 croners which is about $150....
Rich lived in Oslo for a year. He commented that the Norwegians aren't known for their culinary. I guess I'd have to agree.

I plan on having an open mind to eating in Norway and hope to figure out how to grocery shop and cook while we're here. I did see some good looking salmon I'm going back for this weekend. Heads up to all of you who offered to send me stuff... I may be contacting you sooner than I thought.

We are here.....

Friday January 11, 2008

We arrived in Oslo Tuesday afternoon all jet lagged and grumpy. After a very expensive taxi ride we made it to our new pad for the next 7 months. We opted for a cab over the train into Oslo since we had too many pieces of luggage. Believe me the train was way cheaper!

The apartment is quite nice. I especially like the heated floor in the bathroom so does KJ. The shower is part of the bathroom with a couple drains so the water can escape. It's a lot of fun using the squeegee to clean up the water....ask KJ.

Not a whole lot has gone on since our arrival. Kayleigh and Kent are both sick with nasty coughs. We have been sleeping a lot. I don't recall feeling so wiped out on my other international travels. Must have been all of our holiday partying. (JK) Kayleigh did have a crazy sleep over with her old buddies before we left on New Year's Day and then the Saturday before we left she went to Lilly's iceskating b-day bash and spent the night. Can we say lack of sleep?!? I'm not a big fan of sleep overs. Kent and I thought..... she can catch up on her sleep on the plane. Who actually sleeps sitting up for 9+ hours?

Kent has been at work for 2 days.. I guess that is why we are here. He works for Tripod Technology Group. They have had work at Telenor which is a huge telecommunications company in Scandanavia and other parts of Europe and Asia. He agreed to be the guy in charge in Oslo for Tripod for the next 7 months. Hmm, last night at dinner with Rich, the guy who started the company seems to think Kent might want to relocate. I think he was joking. I like adventures but I also like my home sweet home.