Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our First Week

We are still trying to settle into a new routine here in Norway.  So far, things couldn't be going better considering all of the newness.  We came prepared for some of these new things - winter coats/boots, GPS, European plug adapters - because I knew it would be cold, the roads would be confusing, and I would need to dry my hair.

However, other new things have just been left for us to experience with no real preparation.  Here are some examples:

  • The thermostat. Based on most of the other gadgets in our temporary, modern apartment, this looked almost too simple.  No digital screen?  No symbols?  No numbers?! I wasn't entirely sure this would control the air temperature since most places have floor heaters as well.  I did the only thing I could do.. I turned it all the way to one side - first it was counterclockwise.  We about froze to death.  Then I had to turn it all the way clockwise.  We couldn't sleep because of the sauna I had created.  We have since found a happy medium, but it took some trial and error!

  • If the thermostat was confusing due to a lack of symbols, the opposite holds true for the washer and dryer.  Some of it is self explanatory but some of it just isn't.  I stood in our bathroom (that's where most of the "laundry rooms" are here) for at least 20 minutes trying almost every dryer option.  I honestly couldn't tell a difference between the sun, the closet doors or the iron.  The clothes were dried successfully but I'm afraid some shrinkage may occur if I don't figure this out.  And if you are thinking - "just look up the model and manufacturer online, silly" - I am one step ahead of you. But I couldn't find it...

  • Grocery stores.  I already have trouble with figuring out what I need when I can read the labels.  This is going to take some getting used to.  For some reason I only took pictures of meat... possibly because the thought of eating an unknown meat is scarier than accidentally buying whole milk instead of skim.   

Even though every day is bringing something new, we have made a conscious effort to approach each situation with an open mind.  We laugh. We take deep breaths.  We ask each other questions even though neither of us know the right answer.  Maybe because there isn't a right answer (this concept is challenging to me..) because we aren't supposed to be experts at living in a new country.  We aren't putting that much pressure on ourselves to feel completely comfortable just yet. After all, it's only our first week!

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