Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fried Chicken and Friends

It started with a bucket of KFC. That’s what solidified my friendship with Jon and Emma, the Norwegian exchange students who lived next door to me last year. Never in my life have I been happier to have purchased an excessively large amount of fried chicken because that delicious meal of classic American fast food eventually led me to the fairytale city of Trondheim, where the alcohol is more expensive than a plane ticket but the breathtaking views are absolutely priceless.

Before this year, the country of Norway was a complete mystery to me. I actually Wikipedia-ed its history and watched a (pretty amusing) YouTube video as a crash course for Norwegian culture before I left for Trondheim. But it’s strange how I can be in a place so foreign to me yet feel so completely at home. Because there was no itinerary or pressure to catch all the sights (Trondheim is a pretty small town), I didn’t really feel like I was traveling. I was just chillin’ with my neighbors. There were moments when we’d be sitting on the couch eating frozen pizzas and watching Friends or playing Gauchoball amidst a crowd of shouting Norwegians where I swear I could have been in Santa Barbara again. 
Us watching Friends
Introducing Gauchoball
I did, of course, do some uniquely Norwegian things. For example, I ate reindeer meatballs (“try something new” mission COMPLETE)! If Emma and Jon hadn’t told me it was reindeer meat, I probably would never have known…they taste pretty normal. But as I dipped the meatball in cranberry jam (yet another unique Norwegian combination), I could not help but think of Rudolph and his red nose. 

If I think reindeer tastes good,
does that mean I'm getting coal for Christmas? 
We also did semi-touristy things like play at the Science Museum, which was basically a building dedicated to interactive science experiments, and see the gorgeous Nidaros Cathedral, which according to Jon and Emma was the Notre Dame-equivalent of Trondheim.

We made a tornado! Do you see it?

Nidaros Cathedral is big.
When I told Jon and Emma I’d see them in Norway someday, I don’t think they believed me. Heck, I didn’t believe me…Norway is 5000 miles away from California! But as I sit here thinking about my whirlwind weekend spent in Norway, I’m really glad that by some fantastical fate, I was able to keep my word. Because it was definitely worth all the effort. 

Thank you, Jon and Emma for showing me an unforgettable time. And to bring things full circle, thank you Colonel Sanders, for offering family-size meals large enough for me to share with my neighbors that one day.

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