The top reasons why Norwegian ice is my biggest foe

Nothing says “spring is coming to Norway” like the melting of snow. Unfortunately that is then followed by cold nights that transform the melted snow into treacherous sheets of ice.

That might sound a bit dramatic, but bear with me. In my less-than-two years of living in Norway the ice has been my longstanding foe. The results of our battles range from embarrassing encounters to broken bones.

Don’t let the pretty view fool you. This is White Walker Hill covered in powder, when it’s blanketed

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Top 5 (ish) things I love about Norway

We moved to Norway a year and a half ago and though it’s taken awhile to get our sea legs, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been writing this piece for some time, but it’s been hard to whittle my list down to five. So here’s five-ish things I love about our new home country.

1. Community

I’ve never experienced such a strong sense of community like I have here. Yes Chicago is known as a city of neighborhoods, but it’s nothing like this. While Read more ...

Top 5 things I miss about America

I recently went home to my beloved Chicago to celebrate my birthday and was immediately reminded of all that I missed about America.

Sweet home, Chicago. (Photo by JH)

I had a few free hours after sleeping off my jet lag and instead of exploring my city, getting a manipedi, or catching up with friends, I spent it sitting at Starbucks, writing and watching. Honestly, I couldn’t have been happier. Everyone around me was speaking English (and American English at that!) I had small talk Read more ...

In the wake of Trump, Norwegians still give me their condolences

Unlike my friends in the US, it’s easy for me to watch the news and not be bombarded with Donald Trump, his political appointments and latest shenanigans. Living in Norway, I still follow it all closely online, but I’m not overwhelmed by it on TV, social media, or in cafes and shops.

It wasn’t always like that. Right after the elections, even across the pond, I felt overwhelmed by the incessant chatter: How did Trump win? Was it a mistake? What were Americans thinking!?!?

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Living in Norway: The adventure of learning Norwegian

I’ve always liked learning new things and part of me was excited to go back to school. I’m in Norwegian language courses, or as they call it “norskkurs” (NORSHK’ koosh).

My first class was in a small suburb of Oslo and I was struck by how many people from different countries were there. We had students from Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and two Americans. The other American was a sweet chic from Minnesota. (Hi L!)

My first day of Norwegian class.

My first day of Norwegian class.

I’ve had … Read more ...