Monday, November 25, 2013

Goodbye Norway

Hei hei! I thought it fitting to begin my last post from Norway with some Norwegian- so there you go, the simplest of phrases I learned. And- I learned some others: Neste holdeplass (next stop- the bus driver says this every stop), tusen takk (thank you very much), vær så god (you're welcome), and a bunch of random words. Okay, not so good for being here for almost four months.

All in all, my trip was very productive, successful, enjoyable, and quite amazing. I met so many new friends from all over the world, and I completed a large portion of my dissertation proposal. I have set my proposal date in Tucson for January 22nd. My first two papers use nationally representative data from both the United States and Norway. The third paper uses data from a study my advisor has created and received more than a million dollars to conduct. Exciting stuff!

The weather here has taken a turn for the worse-- and apparently it's not even that bad yet. The dark is finally getting to me: when the sun is out (not often), it is only up for 5 hours. So basically I feel like it is bedtime at 6pm. I'll be happy to escape to Copenhagen, Madrid, and Paris. I have decided to couch surf ( for several days in Copenhagen and Madrid - let's see how that goes.

Stay tuned for some cool stories from those three cities, and enjoy these snowy cold photos in the meantime. :)

Taco night is a Norwegian family tradition on Friday's

Snowy fountain outside of my apartment/hotel building

Snow covered bushes outside of my office

Snow covered tree outside of my office

My resident permit came on the last day possible - now I'm legal (finally)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Some photos

Hello! I don't have many new stories: I've just been working on my dissertation and trying to go outside during the 6 hours of sunlight we have. The weather has been really cold (with a frozen ground!), but today there was a brief respite. I took some photos over the past week, so here they are!

The pathway to my office - the one (and hopefully only place) I've fallen on the icy floor
15% tax on food?! This wouldn't fly in America...

The bus that I was on had broke down - and this is it, still stranded

Wonderful view of the city today - despite the 28 degree weather

The fortress still protecting Trondheim - with the Royal Norwegian flag in the background

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Halloween and Darkness

Good morning from Trondheim! It's getting cold and dark here--fast--and it's time for another blog entry! Since my last entry, I have not left town, but I have gotten a good amount of work done and have brought some American traditions to Norwegians! Last week I submitted an article for publication, applied to a week-long summer program in the Netherlands to improve my dissertation, a conference in Izmir, Turkey, and worked on my statistical model with my host scientist. I also gave a guest lecture (to about 80 students) and had good discussions about cultural differences between the United States and Norway. (The best advice I gave was to buy their Converse in the states...almost everyone here wears Converse shoes and they cost over $100, and only $35 in the States!) I am now working on a resubmission of another manuscript, which hopefully will be finished in the next week.

The sun has been setting before 4pm now in Trondheim - today the sun sets at 3:39 and by the time I leave (in 3 weeks), it'll set around 2:40pm! I try to leave work early so it isn't pitch dark by the time I get home, but that gets more difficult each day. Last night, it was 28 degrees; and while I am no stranger to cold temperatures, there is something about freezing weather that I'll never get used to. Now that I cannot run outside, I tried to join a gym that is right next to my apartment. They tried to make me pay $220 for a one-month membership, so I said "forget it!" I'll have to make up for it when I am home.

During the halloween week, my Russian friend and I carved pumpkins! Although halloween is becoming more popular in Norway, not many people carved pumpkins. There were lots of people that dressed up (I wasn't one of them...bad American!) though. Kirill, my Russian friend, loved the experience, and I even roasted some of the seeds after. (I waited too long to cook some of them and they all started growing very quickly!)

My time in Trondheim is winding down, and it was quite the experience. I will leave just in time (escaping the terrible weather) and my first stop is Copenhagen for 6 days. I will then fly to Madrid to see a UCLA college friend (Amy) for four nights, and end in Paris for a week! Then...back to reality :)
It's not very often you get leaves falling like this in California...

View of the fjords from a short hike

My pumpkin displayed in my office!