Jafs is little but mighty- rivaling all other outdoor restaurants and fast food in the area with long but quick lines and filled up seats with people eating. It’s quite a busy little restaurant. It’s in the perfect spot which is right in the center of Alesund with a beautiful view of the water.
It is owned and operated by my husband’s two cousins! I did not realize it was owned by family until my second visit to Norway. However despite it being owned by family, I still LOVE thier food. I got it everytime I visited.
If you go to Jafs, get ice cream and fish and chips. Their fish and chips are “probably the best in the world.” Let me tell you, I crave this fish. The batter for the fish and the aioli sauce is awesome!
The move is becoming more and more less like a fantasy. I can feel the depression and anxiety showing it’s ugly face. I am going on vacation to Norway tomorrow and I don’t feel the normal excitement I have the past few times I’ve gone. This time feels very different. It’s a practice for moving.
This trip is also for a wedding. My own wedding was made up of sacrifices and compromises that made my wedding not really what I wanted. I didn’t have all of my family there nor the big party that I have grown accustomed to with my cousin’s weddings. Many relatives of mine even complained that I couldn’t invite them. I even settled for my wedding dress. I liked it but my first choice I was talked out of. I talked about a five year renewal of our vows where I would do everything that I wanted but that has come and gone. I will likely wait till the 10 or 15 year anniversary. I’m really angry. I’m really happy that my sister in law is not making the mistake I did and is getting what she wants. It’s like my vendetta now that my friends and family get what they want when they get married.
(Let’s make this less depressing….)
What do I want for my wedding renewal?
My dress. . . . .Japanese Lolita. I want to be as adorable as possible. I even want my hair to have a little crown and I totally want a cool scepter.
Food. . . . Italian style of course. I want Chicago style Italian Beefs, Baked Mostaccioli, Italian Subs, and Chicken Caeser Salad. A potluck is also possible, that way we can have enough food and some Norwegian food as well.
My cake. . . . Birch tree design (My favorite tree, though I am VERY allergic to it) with fresh or faux flowers set on top of a tree piece for affect.
My original wedding was a Midsummer Wedding. I want to keep that. This is why I would like my party in a giant hall with the possibility of a bonfire like they would have in Norway. I think I’d actually like it held at a place called Fisherman’s Inn- a wedding reception area that we have in the US near my parents.
I also wonder about a destination wedding instead. Picking the place is the hard part. Perhaps I could choose Spain, since I have family there as well.
That’s all for now guys. I better keep on packing up stuff. I also work today. . . .WAH!
I’ve met numerous awesome people on the internet such as Becoming Finnish , Find Balance (noneedforscales) , and BeautyBeyondBones . Finnish/Australian, New Zealand and American women. . . . It’s amazing that the world seems so much smaller now because of social media. In fact- that is how I met my husband.
I was doing a project for Sociology class in college. A friend mentioned to me that his former high school had a foreign exchange student from Norway. He said I should interview him. I messaged this boy named Kim on facebook. I interviewed him and we remained friends for several years.
One day I was doing homework at my college alone, messaging Kim at the same time for hours. I finally got him to say he was in love with me by saying “I love chocolate.” He booked a trip to meet me and we started dating. A year later or so we were married. Kim moved to the United States and obtained a Green Card. Now we are celebrating 5 years happily married together.
My husband is an inspiring person in my life because he is a hard worker and is passionate about exploring the world. Kim has studied in Thailand, Japan and the US. He even learned Thai massage in Thailand, that adds to his massage therapy reputation as having rare techniques and the ability to do deep tissue that is both relaxing and medicinal. He inspires me to want to step out of my comfort zone and try new things such as traveling more and exotic food. He has taken me to Norway several times and helped me understand the culture more and explained things to me.
Kim moved from Norway to the United States with basically nothing. We went to resale stores to try and get what he needed. He relied heavily on others at first- even getting someone to rent him an apartment was out of kindness. He was alone in the apartment. I was still living with my parents. I remember visiting him and just watching television on a tiny TV. Soon he did something I dreamed about as a child- adopting a cat. He let me choose the cat and I knew right away which cat I had to adopt. His name was Stoney or soon to be called “Stoner.” He is a beautiful black cat with green eyes and a very friendly personality. Stoner was the first major gift Kim gave me before we were even married. Stoner lived with Kim until I eventually moved in.
My husband continues to inspire me and teach me about love. He has taught me that fear is temporary and exploration of the world is important. Kim has helped me become the woman I am now.
I feel that it is very necessary to learn Norwegian- not just for getting a good job, but to fully embrace my new country’s culture.
Luckily, I have had three years of Spanish in high school and one year of French in college. I know a thing or two about how to learn a language. Being very strong in the art of the English language helps as well. Things I used to just loathe learning and having to do in school suddenly is quite important.
I recall reading articles in Spanish and having to translate every word. Then we had to look up the words we didn’t know in a Spanish-English dictionary. We would then read the articles in Spanish during class, even if we fumbled through most of the words. It was really hard to do and time consuming. I do that now with Nemi comics in Norwegian. I fumble through the words and learn what they mean from my husband. It’s a good way to get used to the language in your mouth and pick up words.
I also use the duolingo app on my phone. It gradually increases in difficulty and helps you retain words you’ve learned. Duolingo is great to use when I have some down time and keeps me learning.
Norway does have language classes. They technically have two languages in Norway- Bokmål and Nynorsk. Wether I learn one or the other is the question. Right now I’m learning a mix of the two. The area we will be living in has both languages.
It feels so foreign when I try to speak Norwegian! I get a lot of sounds wrong right now. Some grammar rules are strange too. With the help of my family and especially hubby I will get a grasp on it.
By the Sea– We will be living near the coast or on an island. It’s very serene.
Socialist– Yes, I actually like that they are Socialist. It works well for Norway and their people.
Healthcare system– Healthcare in Norway costs about $400 a year vs my $10,000 per year. Big big big big reason to leave the States.
Kim’s Family lives in Norway
Less Stressful life- Lifestyle of Norway differs from the United States. ?Mental illness is more taken care of?
Personalities of Norwegian Peoples– It’s not go-go-go all the time like it is in the States. They are far more relaxed overall, but they are “cold” or in my experiences reserved and shy with strangers. The notion they aren’t social is a myth however. They know how to party hard.
Safe– You can walk around at night without the fear of being shot or raped. Your children are safe left alone. The mentality of Norwegians are just different in how they treat one another.
“Allemannsrett” or All Man’s Right Law– You have the freedom to explore uncultivated land.
Forests– Norwegians love their forests. Hiking is HUGE in Norway! They have trails everywhere.
History– They have a rich history and culture that I am already a fan of. Like, I’m a nerd.
Right to Vacations and Time off– Ever feel pressured to never request off or feel guilty for requesting time off in the States? I do. That all is unheard of in Norway. They want you to take vacations.
Work to Live not Live to Work mentality
System for Retirement– Social Security won’t exist for my generation.
Food– Some preservatives and additives to food are not allowed. Food is fresher and healthier. Their food culture overall is a healthier one. Being a type 1 diabetic, this should help me a lot.
My brother was first in falling in love for Norway when he was young. He started to like metal like Led Zeppelin. Then he explored Christian Black Metal like Extol, Lengsel, Antestor, Drottnar and Frosthardr. Later he discovered bands such as Darkthrone and Mayhem. The music he loved soon made him realize his love for Norway itself. He began to study Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic (he’s good at learning languages, period). He even learned to write and read runes called Futhark.
In the meantime, my passion began. I, however, started with a passion for Finland. I started reading Tove Jansson books on Moomins and The Kalevala despite the ongoing explosion of Finnish music in the United States due to Bam Margera. I started to like Finland for being “an oddball in the North” to not copy my brother. I soon discovered music after seeing “In the Shadows” by The Rasmus and “Join Me in Death” by HIM. My passion for Finland stated to grow thoughout high school. I did projects on them whenever possible and then I started to like other Scandinavian nations’ music such as Lykke Li, ABBA, Combichrist, Mercyful Fate, Leaves’ Eyes and Deathstars. I even started to claim I would one day revival Bam Margera in my love and would be the “Bam Margera-of-the-Viking-Nations,” becoming more and more obsessed by the day. I read everything I could about Finland, memorizing the details.
Wanting to learn all I could about Scandinavia, I soon realized what Anthropology and Sociology were: the study of cultures and societal make up. So what I did was actually a science! I discovered this during my studies at a local community college. I befriended my anthropology professor and was near certain I would continue my passion by studying the North professionally,
That didn’t quite happen.
I had a project to do for Sociology and I chose to do Norway religions. A friend at the time told me to message this boy from Norway that he knew in high school on facebook and I could interview him for this paper I had to do. That boy from Norway is now my husband.
It was NOT intentional. We knew each other for a couple years, messaging back and forth about everything and anything. Kim and I battled our emotions. We really thought we were crazy to think a relationship would work but it turned out just fine in the end. One day we admitted our feelings for each other, met in the United States, started to date and were married about a year later. Our passion for learning about different cultures and science is mutal. It was only a plus that he turned out to be Norwegian.
Now, he wants to go back to his homeland after 6 years in the United States.
None of this would have happened without my brother and black metal. In the end now, I took my brother’s original dream for myself.
So, Sal, thank you for being an inspiration for me and helping me to learn my passions.