I don't read the paper. Unless it's lying on a table at work, I don't read one. So, knowing what goes on in the world means listening to the news on the radio. But sometimes I buy a newspaper. Like when I'm in it!!!
Today I bought one. Because I was in it. A small photo on the front page leading to a two page spread about me and the company I work for (Tide).
Here's the translation of part of the article on page 4 and 5:
Mara J from the Netherlands learnt Norwegian before looking for a job
Moved North to drive a bus
She knows the district like the back of her hand and speaks fluently Norwegian. The accent says Mara J is an immigrant.
About 20 drivers with foreign nationalities work as busdrivers for Tide in Haugaland. A handful of these moved North on their own initiative. Amongst them Mara J (42).
-I wanted to try something else than the Netherlands and the EU, she says.
The busdriver from the Netherlands loves winter and is very interested in biathlon. She had Canada as her first choice but quickly found out that finding a job as a busdriver in Canada was impossible. So she learnt Norwegian.
In November last year she moved from her job as a tourbusdriver in Emmeloord in the Netherlands to a job as a public transport driver in Haugesund, Norway. After first finding out the possibilities in Bergen, Norway.
-I came to Haugesund on a Tuesday and the Monday after I started training, the 42-year old says, who previously also worked in England, France, Italy and former Yugoslavia. And speaks 6 languages fluently [not quite true, I speak 5 languages fluently and am able to understand basic Italian].
She quickly found out that the Norwegian learnt in school is completely different from the Haugesund and Karmoy dialects. She needed 3-4 months to really get to grips with the language and the routes. She found a place to live in Torvastad and loves her job and private life. Perhaps the 42-year old has put down roots.
-I like it here. The [my] social life is better here than in the Netherlands, according to the busdriver.
She only knew the union representative on Facebook before moving. Nobody else.
Learnt Norwegian first
It so happened that another Dutchman started at the same time as Mara. A total of three Dutch and two Germans work for the company. The thing they have in common is the fact that they learnt Norwegian before coming to Norway. Most come with their families. Mara is single.
The education system and a society where everybody has equal opportunities is tempting for some. Unemployment and bad economic times in large parts of Europe are another important cause for people to consider Norway.
-It was one of my reasons to move too, even if I did have a steady job in the Netherlands before coming over.
She realises it's expensive in Norway. That is compensated by the higher wages though. -I have as much money [at the end of the month] as I had in the Netherlands, says the 42-year old.
So, there you have it: another interview with me. Another fifteen minutes of fame! The article continued about the company and how the company is faring this year (pluses and minuses etc.).