Maybe it has been a cliche to say ‘roses have thorns’ but it has never changed that fact about roses. This in a way reflects my current life in Norway. There have been high sweet moments as well as low dull moments.
I have liked several things about Norway:
It is an organised society. It is reflected in the way buildings have been structured in the cities, the way people observe traffic rules, the bus schedules, etc.. People’s minds are in tune with the systems that have been established. There is order in the society
- The aerial view of Trondheim city.
There is a sense of equality. In this case, my emphasis is not really on the gender aspect, but on the gap between the rich and poor. It’s hard to actually know the difference; the society is in some kind of equilibrium. Many people live in wooden houses which are built in almost the same way. They don’t drive big cars, it is hard to spot a flashy car.
- The above building is the apartment where i live. It’s so lovely inside!
Norway is very clean. It is hard to spot garbage lying around carelessly. They have a system of sorting garbage that is very efficient. Garbage is sorted in to 3 types: ‘plastic’, ‘paper’ and ‘other wastes’. It is interesting coz before you throw away anything, you have to ask yourself which container is the right one for the kind of thing you want to throw. They also recycle bottles made of glass and plastic. So when you have drunk soda,water or juice from a bottle; you take it back to the mall and they give you money in return. I wish this could be done in Mombasa, it will save both the environment and the resources.
Time keeping. As you know in kenya we have the ‘African time’. So it has been quite a change in my part to adapt to the time conscious society. Here time is like gold, you chase it, coz it definitely does not follow you. I have missed the bus severally just by being 30 seonds late.
- The atb bus is the main ‘matatu’ in Trondheim city. It operates on a very punctual time schedule.
I love norwegian music especially the worship songs. They are deep.
Security. Norway is safe. You can walk anywhere, anytime without being worried. The crime rate is very low, if by mistake you forget something on the bus or a shop or anywhere,you can be 90% sure you will get it back.
How can i end this list before mentioning the good people i have met! Some people have been very kind and warm. I thank God for the Opedal family, who are also our mentors, they have been very open and welcoming to us,(simiyu and i). I also have wonderful housemates, it’s blessing to share an apartment with them. I have also interacted with several wonderful students.
I can mention so many things i have admired about this society but now, let me note the ‘not so good’ things.
- The cold culture. Most norwegians are closed, in this i mean there are not very social especially to strangers. You dont feel the excitement we have kenya when a visitor is in our midst. Actually, you can be new in a place and people behave as if they have not noticed your presence. It is not easy to have a sense of belonging.
- They don’t dance in church. A very lovely song can be sang that makes me feel like jumping but when i look around, people are just standing or even sitting down. Its abit boring sometimes even in the student fellowships for young people to be so dull like old folks.
- The language is a major challenge. If you dont understand norwegian then you miss out in many things. They use their language everywhere; school, church, hospital, bus, parties…..And even where there is translation,you still lose almost half of what is communicated coz the interpreters sometimes lack the right words to express what has been said. So i really hope to learn this language.
- The time keeping can also be crazy. Being 10 or 15 minutes late to an appointment can be really disrespectful.
There many things i could mention but let me stop there for today.
Wish me luck in this norwegian world!