If you haven’t guessed, vafler is Norsk, aka Norwegian, for waffles!
Side note: (don’t you love these?) Engelsk = English
Ok, so I promised a post like yesterday, but let’s be honest, I’m lucky if I make it out of bed before 11AM on the weekend. I wish I was joking about that one.
This post is kind of a catch up of the last weekend and this past weekend, giving me the chance to entertain you with anything I forgot for the last post. Mostly, this post is about food! Om, nom, nom, nom. And, besides our dinner with Thale, more particularly vafler! But, of course, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I hope that you have already had something to eat before continuing to read this, if not- you had fair warning.
Thale took us to Mingel, a gastropub that had just recently opened in Bergen with a modern, yet rustic feel as the menu was on a clipboard-like thing. After she kindly translated the menu (meny)- you know you guys are probably going to know just about as much Norwegian as I do by the time I leave here, you’re welcome- Norah and I were scratching our heads deciding what to get because there were entrees such as pumpkin salad and fried chicken (Shout out to my Durham peeps and Dame’s!). Luckily, there was an option to have a sampling of a few things, so that is what we decided to do- pumpkin salad included.
All these delectable bites were paired with a Fjell Pale Ale. Yum, beer. While Norah and I want to sample as much traditional Norwegian food as possible, this food was off the hook. And, besides, fish is a very common Norwegian staple, so at least there was ONE entree with it. Needless to say, I was stuffed after this meal. I probably could have gone without eating the next day, but my buddy, Ingrid, had invited me over for vafler. You know I really need to be better about taking pictures, but lucky for you guys I had vafler later in the weekend. However, my buddy’s were homemade and to add as toppings she had jam, brown cheese, and Norwegian style sour cream- trust me it was delicious with the jam. I could have eaten the whole plate, but I thought it best to share with her roommates. After we had stuffed our faces, we sat around and I got a chance to talk culture with Ingrid and her roommates. One of the most interesting customs was their National Day, May 17th, where there is no work, only parading. I could tell the girls becoming more excited the more they talked, clearly it is a time that unites Norwegians, making them feel extra proud of their heritage that day. They also described to me how each person’s outfit is different depending on where they are from, and is usually passed down within a family. For example, Ingrid’s was her grandmother’s, I believe. They showed me a picture from the celebration last year, and all the dresses were incredible, with such intricate detail. This stock image I found below does not do them justice, but of course I didn’t want to take someone else photo and paste it here. However, to get a better idea of just how unique and beautiful the dresses are, do a quick google search.
We could have talked all night, but we were all getting sleepy and I still had to catch the bybanen back to my apt, so I was off for the night. Oh, this was the night that Hurricane Thor was suppose to prevent anyone from leaving home, I guess even Norwegian weather-people can over exaggerate, too. Thor did lay down some snow, and as much as I am a Cali girl, I have to admit there is something very peaceful about snow and the way it transforms landscapes.
Saturday was a chance to finally catch up on some errands- groceries and laundry. After fighting for about 5 minutes with the laundry machine (there is a card system and you have to reserve a machine ahead of time, it didn’t cooperate with me) I was able to get my clothes and linens a-washin’ while I hit Rema 1000 (tusen =thousand), the cheaper of the grocery stores, to get some essentials for the week since, you know, Sundays are not a shopping day here. My productivity early in the day was rewarded by going with Kaja, Ida and Norah to Norah’s clinical partner, Cecilie’s (remember e= ah), birthday party. I may have mentioned that a big thing here is to have a pre-party before going out since alcohol is so expensive. However, Cecilie stepped her hosting skills up with bacon-wrapped dates, mini salmon wraps and champagne. She definitely set the bar high for these pre-parties. After socializing and having a couple drinks, we caught the bus down to the city center where bars were overflowing with warm bodies, a sight very familiar. As we elbowed our way through the crowd at one bar Kaja said had shuffleboards, we had barely made it 5 feet inside. I guess shuffleboard will have to wait until next time. Norah and I hung out for a bit, but wanted to catch the last bybanen back before the late night tax was started. Apparently, after 1am 50kr is added to the bybanen fare, not quite sure why, but we decided it wasn’t critical to stay out much later. Little did we know the bybanen would be as packed as the bar, we got to know some strangers pretty intimately on our 15 minute ride back to Fantoft. Literally, sardines, or mackerel since that’s more popular here.
Again this post is getting lengthy! Sorry guys, but I’m almost done. Admit it though, you haven’t even realized that you have spent the last 10 minutes reading the barely coherent ramblings of a wannabe blogger. Ok, well if that is true, you’ll have no problem hearing about more waffles!
Sunday, Kaja promised to take us to one of her favorite coffee shops. Yes, I slept in until 11:30. Yes, my first meal was lunch. Either way, she didn’t want to meet until 2pm, so I didn’t miss much of the day. This place, guys! Oh, wow. Talk about sensory overload.
I think I could go in there everyday for the next 3 months and see something new every time. I don’t know if you can zoom in but just right of the beaded hanging lamp is the sign informing you the restroom is down stairs, it is not exactly rated G. Well, neither is the nude portrait of the female owner in a corner that is not visible. Luckily, it looks like Kaja’s head is blocking it. Either way, this place was fun and the waffles!! I guess the coffee was good, too. I don’t know if this place is a good representation of coffee here, but I might have to get used to my lattes without caramel.
After scarfing down those waffles and instantly wanting more, I suppressed the craving and sipped my coffee while we hung out with Kaja and her classmate, Solveig. A couple hours passed and we were out of coffee and tea, so Kaja thought it might be fun to explore a little bit. As we walked out, she kept asking Solveig which way we should go. Thankfully, wherever Solveig was going was semi- in the same direction we were trying to go. Directions are not Kaja’s strong suit. After some contemplating and consulting google maps we were off! Without getting lost (yay, Kaja!) we ended up at a pretty park near the aquarium and a waterfront that gave us a stunning view of Bergen’s city center and the bay itself. However, there were parks along the way and as Norah snapped some pictures, Kaja and I played with in snow. Duh.
Ok, I think I am officially caught up, well except for today, of course. But nothing out of the ordinary happened. I scootered a bit, treated some patients, had a pb and j, and got a work out in.
If you aren’t bored yet, keep an eye out as we, hopefully, venture out of Bergen and have more fun at the hospital.