Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Oslo:
There are things that will remain unknown until you arrive here. Like the time period to get your social security number, knowing that you need to have your name and address on your postbox in order to get your mail delivered, and things like that. Perhaps learning to speak Norwegian would help a bit but not a lot since most people can speak if not understand English. The best thing to prepare is to keep an open mind, have great tolerance and just know that it will all work out in the end.
Over the first two years, if your judgement of Norway teeters on dislike or hatred, you probably haven't given yourself enough time. Norway may not be for everyone, but between myself and those I've met, we tend to agree that in order to find your feet, to learn how to brave the winters and the dark, to gather a strong social network, to learn the language, to get through the standard bureaucratic checklist, to ease into the job market, to build a home, and to understand the cultural details that are not immediately evident, you need a good amount of time.
Set aside some time in your first few weeks to explore your area. The sooner you understand where you closest shops, bus stops, schools, supermarkets, bars, libraries, hospitals, and doctors are, the sooner you will feel comfortable.
Eating in Norway can be something of an adventure. Be wary of west coast menus that feature traditional peasant-style dishes Google Translate doesn’t recognize. You look like less of a goose asking the waitress when you order, than asking when she places a steaming pile of horsemeat or lard-boiled potato dumplings in front of you.
Blogging for me was not a natural inclination, however, after the Oslo bombing and how close to my “new” home it was, prompted me to start writing and to help my fellow expats out. We only live once and giving back is important.