|Since it's getting on to Christmas...|
I have been in Norway for a week now and it's getting easier and easier to understand people. When I first got to my new place, the landlord spoke English to me, but I put a stop to that immediately: if I need to learn the language, speaking English is not going to help. So, ever since, he spoke Norwegian to me.
At work too: I speak Norwegian. I don't always understand everything and at the end of the day I am so happy to be able to just watch Bones or NCIS in English (Norwegian subtitles though), so I can have a little reprieve. I even speak Norwegian with my Dutch co-worker, unless we are alone, then we speak Dutch.
Today at work was another day of listening to Norwegian and hoping I got everything. It didn't always work though and several times I had to ask. But even then we try to do it in Norwegian. Sometimes I just have to read a bit further and it all becomes clear, other times they have to explain the whole thing to me. And I doubt whether tomorrow I will have retained only half of what was being said today. But I am getting there.
There is however one person that is extremely hard to understand. He comes from Denmark and where I feel American English always sounds like an Englishman being lazy, it's the same for Danish people: Norwegian the lazy way! But fortunately he is willing to repeat whatever he said (and he had to do that often). He is also new to the company and still learning his way around, although he is a bit further along.
Tomorrow I will be getting my first route-taster, as I will be going along with an experienced driver. Unfortunately I won't be able to do any driving for about two weeks still, since I don't have a social security number which I need to get both my driver's note ànd my company pass. But, I do of course get the chance to learn all the routes and how to handle the tickets before that.
I should also be learning how to put snow chains on the bus, although according to today's trainer, they are not used that often. But I should still know how to put them on, just in case...
The weather so far has been really good. It started off with really nice weather, turned to a bit grey but dry, then turned to snow over the weekend and this week is supposed to be dry but very cold (-6 during the day). They don't seem to be big on clearing the snow away here and it can be pretty slippery in places. They tend to use grit on areas where there are a lot of pedestrians, but the street on which I live is a dead-end street and it has not been cleared at all, so I walk very cautiously.
It has already been one week since I have arrived and so far (bar one day last week where I was wondering what the &*%$# I was doing here) I am enjoying myself. Yes, bureaucracy is bad, but it is everywhere. Yes, the weather is cold, but that was to be expected: Norway in winter! Yes, I only have a small place, but I have a place and don't have to sleep under a bridge or anything. Yes, the people are a bit stand-offish, but the ones I got to know so far have been very helpful and friendly.
On to week 2!!!