Festive greetings from Norway! I finally arrived on Tuesday night, after a remarkably smooth and prompt flight. We set off on time and arrived early, and all in all it was a very uneventful journey. Just what I needed to restore my faith in airlines after such a long and ridiculous wait for a flight.
The five days I spent stuck here were actually quite interesting, and I met and chatted to a lot of people I would never have spoken to otherwise. Some of the most notable were a girl who had flown from Chicago and was trying to get to Frankfurt for Christmas, but who eventually gave up and went back to Chicago because she was concerned about getting stuck in Germany and missing the start of term – can you imagine spending Christmas alone in an empty American dorm? Then there was the lawyer who evidently spent a lot of time flying around and who was used to staying in 5* hotels courtesy of his firm, but who opted to go to one of the airport hotels out of curiosity (it was the same one I stayed in the first night, and in my limited experience of luxury hotels it was pleasant, clean and unremarkable), and the lady who I met in a queue for a hotel booking agency who came with me to the extravagent Rathbone Hotel. It’s quite a good job that we travelled together really, since I think if she had been travelling alone she would have ended up on completely the wrong train. And then there was the fantastic waiter in Pizza Express who chatted to me for ages about the philosophy of food and gave me the titles of two books about eating according to your blood type and so forth.
Since I arrived here I have discovered that even twelve year old Norwegians speak English better than I can ever hope to speak any other language, I have drunk alcohol-free Christmas beer, walked through Oslo in -23 degrees and thought my cheeks were going to fall off, learnt the Norwegian for blueberry, parrot, poisonous, double-sided tape and exit (all have proved varyingly useful) and today gone to some food shops to buy Christmas food at staggering expense. The transport here is slightly more expensive than in London; the food is about twice as expensive.
Any Newnhamites will have got the email from the JCR President about an alumna who is looking for an au pair – it looks like that au pair is going to be me! We spoke on the phone today and have exchanged a few emails and providing we don’t hate each other when we meet in London next week, I will be going to Paris for six months at the start of January! It has all been extremely sudden but it honestly feels like an opportunity sent directly by God just for me. I am almost waiting for something to go wrong because it sounds so perfect so far.
Because of my impending departure from the UK, I am slightly juggling my post-Christmas plans. I am hoping to be returning from Norway a few days later to make up for the days I missed, so I will probably be getting back on the 29th or 30th, going to Anna’s for New Year, possibly staying at KT’s for a day or two and meeting up with anyone who happens to be in the vicinity of London and wants to see me, and then going home on perhaps the 4th to wash all my clothes, repack everything I own and go to France.
I expect I will be back for weekends at some point, so I still hope to swing by Cambridge in February and I want to visit my Yorkshire family at some point. But at the moment I have no idea how things will pan out! It’s all very exciting.
This will probably be my last post before Christmas, maybe even before I go back home, so have a wonderful Christmas everyone and I hope the snow isn’t too much of a hinderance. See you all as soon as possible!