I tried so hard to remember to blog during the week, I promise. But since I didn’t, let’s take a look at the past week’s antics.
**** Major highlight: On Friday, Lotte and I were working with a patient who we were uncertain of his ability to take more than a few steps and with minimal-ish support he walked 8m (~25ft)!!! #PTrocks
Ok, other than that incredible moment, this week has been full of some new and fun experiences.
Monday didn’t bring anything out of the ordinary- it was probably raining, which would have cleared away a lot of the snow leaving me sad because it left yucky muddiness in its wake. I don’t think Tuesday was much different. However, that evening was exciting in its own right. The fire alarm went off! Typically when an alarm goes off, you rush out of the building in a mad fury, right? Not in Fantoft. People casually looked outside their room or didn’t even leave their room at all. Since this was the first time I had experienced this here, I decided not to take any chances. Plus, I had to run over to the gym to sort something out anyways. So I threw on a coat and my boots and departed down the 6 flights of stairs with my neighbor, both of us rather confused that we were the only ones evacuating. Once at the gym, I told the lady helping me that the alarm had sounded and she replied that she works pretty often and actually sees the fire trucks here at least once a week. “Probably someone cooking pizza,” she says. That’s great. As I walked back outside I saw the fire truck and some firefighters entering the building, casually. At least, they have a quick response time. I mean they must, right, if this happens weekly.
As that was the highlight of my Tuesday, I am happy to report that Wednesday was more fun. I started the day by welcoming more snow. I know that everyone I work alongside with at the hospital must be so over the view, but I just love the mountainous landscape and on a clear day, the water to the left. I just can’t get enough. Work that day probably involved learning more useful PT information and practicing my limited Norwegian phrases on the patients, like “Ha en fin dag/Have a nice day.” I’m getting there guys, baby steps.
During the day, I had told Lotte that I needed to get some indoor soccer shoes because my buddy had invited me to train with her team the next day. Well, actually she had invited me for Wednesday AND Thursday, but the Wednesday practice was going to be outside. I wasn’t ready for that just yet. Anyways, Lotte told me that she and her mom were going to have dinner and actually go to a sports store because her mom wanted new cross country ski boots and that I was more than welcome to join. So, of course, I more than happily obliged. We had an early dinner, at least by American standards it was early. However, here 4 o’clock is a reasonable time to be having dinner. Not going to lie, I was hungry by then anyway. We ate at a place called, Egon, and they graciously had a menu in English. However, Lotte and I found chilidog was the same in any language. While neither of us got said chilidog, I couldn’t help but get another hamburger. Sometimes a girl just craves a hamburger, is that so wrong? To be fair, it didn’t seem like there was really any traditional Norwegian fare on the menu.
Once we devoured our delicious food, we headed off to the sports store where I found a pair of snazzy new soccer kicks and her mom scored a pair of ski boots. After Lotte talked me into getting a comfy wool long-sleeve, her mom dropped us off downtown where Lotte waited for her dance class to start and I rushed back to Fantoft to hopefully make a spinning class I had foolishly signed up for that morning. Luckily, or, at least, some might say, I made it back with a few minutes to spare to change and rush over to the gym.
Disclaimer: the only reason, besides it being good for my health, that I was compelled to make it to the class was that the girls told me after so many times that you make a reservation for a group class and then cancel, they will start to charge you. Ain’t nobody got time for extra fees.
When I entered the class, I thought I must still be early as there were only 7 of us in a room that could easily accommodate 20-25 spinners. However, as the instructor introduced herself, I realized this would be it, and I had rushed for no reason since I would have clearly not taken a seat from someone else dyyyying to take this class, and therefore (hopefully) if I had not shown it wouldn’t have counted against me. Nonetheless, there I was now committed to 55 minutes of pain. As the instructor introduced herself, she asked in English if everyone knew Norwegian and I sheepishly shook my head ‘no.’ She was nice enough to then proceed with instructing the entire class in English. As grateful as I was, I begin to think I should have just said nothing because I felt like her eyes were on me most of the class, maybe to make sure I was understanding her? Either way, I couldn’t not give it my best effort. The workout left me pooped. Pooped, but feeling good. I think I made up for missing soccer practice that night.
Not only had Wednesday brought more snow but, so did Thursday and I was just giddy with excitement. Which is weird, because like my roommate at Duke can attest I was ALWAYS complaining about the cold in Durham. She being from St. Louis was not at all phased by the North Carolina “winter.” Love you, Christine! Anyways, I think it really is just how the snow accentuates the beautiful Bergen surroundings.
Thursday was a pretty typical day at work as nothing really stands out while I write this. Lotte and I may or may not have stolen the scooters from the boys this day… Maybe that was Tuesday? Either way, we were really cunning, or so we thought. However, after we finished our treatment sessions the scooters were gone! Darn boys. Oh well, there will be more days and more chances to steal scooters. Thursday night was the night I finally got to play some soccer! It has been months since I had touched a soccer ball since I have been on clinical rotations and so I was excited. But would I be able to keep up? Had I lost my touch? Only one way to find out. So I met my buddy, Ingrid, by the university and walked with her and a teammate down some dark roads, up some stairs, past some soccer fields, past the stadium of the professional team here in Bergen, Brann, and finally to this little grade school (I definitely wouldn’t be able to find it on my own, even in daylight). As we walked, Ingrid apologized for forgetting to tell me that the training would start with an outside run and since I didn’t have gear I could just wait inside. No need to apologize, I would gladly wait in the warmth of the gym than layer up for a freezing run. A little more about Ingrid’s team- it is a club team here in Bergen called Nymark that her assistant coach informed me the club is 95 years old. Wow, quite a history of soccer, or football, here in Norway. Ingrid’s team, in particular, is composed of university-aged women from Bergen and some surrounding areas. While their roster is roughly 20 players, that night there were only 9 of us. Just enough to make 3 teams of 3 for some small, yet exhausting, sided games of futsal. All the ladies were so great and even though all the communication was happening in Norwegian, the sport is a universal language. We made some great plays happen, from killing it on defense to some sweet assists to some dirty shots. I had a blast and they kept telling me, see you Monday! Monday would be the next time they trained and since I didn’t die Thursday, why not keep going?
See, this is what happens when I don’t post one midweek. It’s just getting too long, so take a deep breath, grab a snack or a drink, hit the loo and just take a moment before continuing on to the weekend portion of this post.
Take a look at these pretty pictures while you take a break from reading.
As many of the pictures revealed, Norah and I tried cross-country skiing! But before that, I have to tell you about Friday night. Friday night was taco night! Taco, taco, taco- yum. Friday taco night is probably equivalent to our Taco Tuesdays stateside. One big different is that people here make their tacos at home, instead of going out and complimenting them with a nice, fruity margarita. I was excited for this night, it was really all Lotte and I could talk about all week, so the anticipation was killing me. But now the night was here, finally! As I was getting ready to head out, I slipped on the aforementioned wool top that Lotte had convinced me to buy and couldn’t help think, I wonder if she’ll wear hers, too. By the way, we had purchased matching styles- it was just so cute. Anyways, I shrugged it off and hopped on the bybanen. YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED. Ok, maybe you will since I just mentioned the shirt. As Lotte opened the door, we both burst out with laughter and recounted how we thought how funny it would be if the other was also wearing the shirt tonight, but we both agreed that it was too cozy to care if we matched.
As we started preparing the food, waiting for Norah to come from Cross Fit, we would catch our reflection in the window and just burst out laughing again. We’ll have to think of a cool team name especially since the boys at work are Team Everidai Fysio, or something like that. When Norah arrived she was quick to note our matching attire and asked if we planned it. Maybe on a subconscious level we did since we do basically spend all day together. Anyways, Norah’s arrival marked eating time and I couldn’t wait to dig in. I have to admit that the tacos we created aren’t too far off from what many tex-mex places do back home. For those readers that don’t know, I’m orginigally from San Diego, and, therefore, Mexican food, in its purest form, has a special place in my heart that can really only be filled by the nommy carne asada and guacamole you only find in SoCal. Either way, I still love food- surprise, surprise- so I was intrigued by the fragrance of the seasonings and fresh toppings that were laid out across the table.
Ok, so maybe the tacos end up looking more like burritos, technicalities. Might as well just call them delicious. Our friends here are so incredible, they love sharing with us all parts of their culture from activities to food, lots of food. In addition to the tacos, Lotte had gotten a mix of candies for us to sample. So you guys remember Sweet Factory or like how at Trader Joes they have a variety of candies in bulk containers? Here, it’s like sweet factory in every grocery store, it’s dangerous.
Thankfully, Lotte only got a small assortment for us to try and my favorites turned out to be these little chocolate patties that had little M&M like chocolates embedded in them. NOM. Needless to say, my belly was happy Friday night.
I anxiously awaited Saturday as Thale said she would take us cross-country skiing as long as the weather was decent. When I woke up to no rain on Saturday, I was excited! Before long we were meeting up with Thale and her awesome pup, Alina, to get some “essentials,” which turned out to be orange soda and chocolate. Norwegians sure love their chocolate, and I don’t blame them, it’s quite delicious. Once we got the necessities we were off into the mountains just outside of Bergen, a place called Bontveit.
God bless, Thale. She hadn’t been to this particular ski spot before and didn’t realize that the first bit was quite the uphill. She was such a trooper and basically pushed Norah and I up the hill since we looked like awkward fawn learning how to walk for the first time. At one point when Thale was helping Norah, I was in charge of Alina and tried my best to coax her to pull me up the mountain. She would for a couple feet, but then was like, naw, you’re too heavy. Anyways, we finally just ditched the skis and hiked up the hill until we got to a spot that was relatively flat so that we could practice the technique. As skiers blew past us, we waddled around just trying to get a little rhythm- ski, pole, ski, pole. Finally, when we were feeling a little more confident we tried a little downhill. When I say little, I mean little, like a boulder probably wouldn’t gather enough momentum to make it down. Of course, that is a grand exaggeration, but I have no shame in saying I didn’t want to die that day. If it had been a traditional ski slope that is more than 50 yards wide I might have considered throwing caution to the wind, but this hill was maybe 10 yards wide with curves for days that I would fly right off of.
No doubt, I had a great time and quite the workout, but maybe not as much as poor Thale. I know Alina had fun, too, rolling around and stomping through the snow.
After a “successful” couple of hours of skiing, Thale wanted us to try this American diner that had a school bus you could eat in. Duh, we were so there.
Guys, you’ll never believe this, but I actually didn’t get a burger! I know! I’m surprised, too. Instead, I opted for reindeer patties. They were so good! Smothered in a gravy with a little berry sauce on the side. Man, I’m getting hungry now just talking about it. Anyways, it was definitely a great post-skiing meal and, again, my stomach was sufficiently happy for the day.
That night, since Norah and I decided not to go out, we were greeted by the lovely sound of the fire alarm at about 11:30 PM. Twice in one week, how could I be so lucky?!?! This time, I was impressed with how many people were gathering in the lobby. I guess we weren’t the only ones enjoying the comforts of Netflix. We exited the building so we could watch as the fire trucks approached and just like last time, they were there in a timely fashion. Also like last time, a couple of them jumped out of the truck nonchalantly and entered the building. I think the most trouble they had was figuring out which key would turn off the darn alarm. Finally, after about 5 or so minutes of fussing they were able to kill the alarm and we all mozzied back to our apartments.
Alright, I have to be honest guys, I think I am just about tapped out as far as writing goes today and I am sure you are quite tired of reading my incoherent ramblings. I am cutting this post off here and will have a short-ish and sweet post about our Sunday shenannigans up tomorrow.
Enjoy your superbowl Sunday!