I already feel the need to be like everyone else for once in my life. I don’t like this feeling. I understand not a word around me and my clothes make me look blatantly American. It doesn’t help that I can only speak English. We were going to get me a water and I was so embarrassed at everyone staring at me that I made my husband do all the talking. I felt really shy. I don’t want to lose my own identity in the process of becoming more part of Norwegian society but I know that I will definitely change.
Part of my identity is where I’m from and I belong to this region of Norway now. We discussed Norwegian traditional dress- the bunad. Each region of Norway has a different dress style called a bunad. You where the style of bunad according to where you were you were born. I will be making a bunad for the area I live in now because buying one already made is very expensive. A hand-made one will be more sentimental but hard to do. My mother-in-law wants to take a sewing class and make one with me. Sounds like fun, but another way I will be less American.
Everyone has a niche here. Like, every woman here knits. I found it interesting considering it’s more of a dying art in America. People read, play video games, and have general nerdom for something. I read about this when reading about Finland. Even Moomins have their niches. I was told hobbies were common in Norway due to having more time to actually do them versus America where you are a slave to your job. Work to live not live to work is the European way of things. It’s very foreign to me. I have hobbies but have not done them in a long time. Crocheting is one that I recently picked back up doing. I actually can draw, hike, read and such. I am soooooo looking forward to doing things I enjoy more. My main niche, like everyone else here, is still questionable. Am a crafter? Artist? Perhaps. We’ll find out soon.
I am getting started at the local gym. I think I just might nickname it the Cerulean Gym from Pokemon considering everything around here seems to have a nautical touch and rightly so. Alesund is surrounded by islands and water. Anyways, I don’t want to even THINK about getting a trainer or anyone to help me. Last couple times I tried to do that in the States it was a disaster. No one understood my medical needs and it ended up hurting me. I want to lose weight and prepare to do hiking in the summer, but all at my own pace.