Thursday, September 3, 2009

Playing to the Firmament

We took a trip downton to the NAV office this morning to attempt to sign up for a family doctor and to register for child benefits. We need to find a doctor before we need one, and we can also sign up to get extra tax-free cash to help with the kids. Norway is good like that... here's a little something to help with the kids. Buy 'em something nice. Thanks!

Navigating a foreign bureaucracy, however, is never a very pleasant exercise.

After the NAV office, into the university for the first big department meeting of the year. It was a lengthy meeting and I could only understand the gist of what was happening (Oliv was kind enough to jot notes to me to help me follow). I catch many words now, but they don't stick together the right way. I realize that even though I've come so far in learning Norwegian, I still have so far yet to go.

Everyone is very encouraging. Even strangers are encouraging. I can complete long conversations in Norwegian, and sometimes I feel powerful. But my comprehension is still crappy unless people speak very slowly. My pronounciation is also weird, vowels baffle me, and my word choices are puzzling to others.  I think I say things like sound like: "Thank you for that you are helpsome." Entirely understandable, yes, but weird. I feel like I'm playing the part of the foreign guy on a TV show, the one who says things in a charming but bizarre manner.

Ååååå... ja vel. It's all good, and it's still fun. I come home and we make popcorn and play music and enjoy our family. And watch the sun set on the fjord. Here's the view tonight from our window. It's all good.

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