An American in Oslo – Week 4

The Fourth Week

The busyness of the weekend bled into Week Four as well, and most of the St. Olaf students spent Sunday grilling hotdogs and s’mores at Sognsvann, which is a lake near Oslo where people go to ski or walk around. It was a lovely place to talk and eat for a few hours, and I consumed a frankly appalling amount of chocolate while we were there.

On the NORAM side of things, part of the team traveled to Bergen and Stavanger this week to answer questions about studying in the United States. By all accounts, they did a great job; you can find pictures of the event on their Facebook page. Back at the office, things were pretty quiet, I continued to spruce up the English website a bit and wrote a few articles both in English and Norwegian, the latter of which the folks at NORAM were kind enough to proof-read for me.

There were two main activities this weekend: taco fredag and a visit to the Olso Operahuset. The former is a recently adopted tradition in Norway – a bit like Taco Tuesday in the US, except without the alliteration. The taco building options included standard fare such as beef, tomatoes, and salsa, but also veered into dangerous territory with additions like corn and cucumbers. We ended the evening with chocolate cake, coffee, and conversation, and it was an all-around good time.

Saturday’s main event was a concert at the Oslo Opera House, right next to the Oslo Fjord and – consequently – near the site of our Week One sauna adventure. The building itself is fairly new, with work being completed in 2008, and so the Opera is a nice mix of the modern and the historical. This wall, for example, wraps around the coat check area right inside the entrance and looks like something out of Star Trek. I thought the concert itself – a blend of Brahms and Beethoven – was great. My much more music-savvy St. Olaf peers liked it as well, and theirs is probably a much more meaningful seal of approval than mine.

We’re reaching the end of this month-long course, and I hope you’ve found the experience as interesting as I have. Next week will probably be more of a recap than anything else, but I hope you check in again anyway.