Monday, 28 January 2013

The Union Gazette

Mara Jellema had joined a union and spoke Norwegian
when she came to Norway to drive a bus
Photo by Vegard Holm
As I got back to the staff room today, the union rep asked me whether I had been on Facebook today. Well, no, I hadn't as a matter of fact. Turns out, the interview was published! Remember about the interview? If not, read here!

And here, for your pleasure, the English translation of the Norwegian article:

With the union book in her luggage

Dutch Mara Jellema is not like most.

After thirteen years as a coach driver in her home country she wanted to go out in the world. It was a choice between Canada and Norway. It became Norway, because it was here she found a job as a [bus]driver. Today she drives a bus for Tide in Haugesund.

She started to learn Norwegian in November 2011. Mara Jellema never went to Norwegian classes {not quite right, he must have misunderstood slightly}, but learnt the language from a book course, but first and foremost through listening to NRK P1 {Norwegian national radio station}, something she did in all her free hours. 

Organised before she arrived
Mara has always been union organised, so when it became clear that she had gotten herself a job, she sent an e-mail to LO {National Union}, in which she wrote that she wanted to become a member. The e-mail -which was written in both Norwegian and English- got an answer three days later. From the union rep for Tide in Haugesund, John Terje Nordskog. He also got Mara a place to live.

She has already been to the first annual meeting in the club {Tide has its own NTF-club for all its members}.

The best job
On the 27th of November of last year Mara came to Norway. On the 2nd {3rd actually} she started her training to get her Norwegian kjoreseddel {well, not quite, but let's not get back to that story}. On Wednesday 9th of January Mara Jellema had her first ordinary shift as a bus driver in Norway and Haugesund. 

-I like to drive a bus and I like to communicate with people. It's the best job to have, she says.

-How long do you think you will stay in Norway?
-I have no idea. Perhaps five years, perhaps the rest of my life, she answers.

Mara has lived in several other countries before: England, Italy, Yougoslavia, France and Belgium. In March she will move into a newly done-up apartment {well, that was before...}. And her two cats Wuppie and Linette will come to their new home in Haugesund.


  1. Very nice - you'll have passengers asking for your autograph;-)

  2. Thank you for the English translation! You look so nice in your picture!

  3. That is so cool! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. congratulations ! your became a celebrity !
    Didn't now that you lived in Belgium. Where ? Nice picture of you too !


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