Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Life is Average

“Okay, let’s talk about bibliographies,” I told my writing workshop at UiB. “Are you guys used to MLA, or do you use something else?”
Mostly nods, some blank stares.
One guy raised his hand.
“Are you talking about My Life is Average?”

Finally, Saturday night,  I began to regret my college sobriety. Oh, I drank a bit in college –the occasional classy glass of wine with a friend (Shoshi I miss you!), or half a cup of beer at a friend’s birthday, and of course that one time when Ellen borrowed OJ from our RA to celebrate after I’d defended my thesis, but for the most part I watched as my friends got drunk and toasted me. Yet Saturday night, as I nursed a bloody finger, I thought I’d have done better to have drank a little more and mocked a little less.

Connection between bloody fingers and beer? Well, after a few weeks of using orange juice for Kiddush, I’ve decided to branch out. I went for cider last week, but this week, having consumed considerably more beer in the past month than I’m used to (three whole glasses) and begun to like the taste, I decided to try beer. Probably even the hardiest drinker from the States would have also forgotten about Norway’s puritanical alcohol laws and attempted to buy their six-pack after 8. I returned for a morning alcohol purchase. Digressive question: does this lead to morning drunkenness among Norwegians? Anyhow, I bought my beers, but used the last of my cider for kiddush. Then, Saturday evening, after chilling at a friend’s apartment where everyone was pre-partying before a rave at the Bunker (also called the Cave, the local party spot in the forest seems to have many names), I came back to try a beer for havdalah. And realized I don’t possess a bottle opener.

Now, everywhere I go, I go fully equipped; with my swiss army knife I feel like a boy scout. But I checked, and it doesn’t have a beer opener. Maybe they figured boy scouts don’t need them. Anyhow, I remembered once seeing an enterprising friend open a beer with a piece of paper folded many times, and decided to try it. Which ended with my middle finger bleeding and bandaged (after all, I am prepared for all normal emergencies). I finally opened the beer, cleverly utilizing a wine opener to pry the lid off. And scared my sister on skype, when she saw me chugging the last of the bottle. Well.

I met the board of the Bergen Jewish community. They’re all Israeli, all working people who shake hands heavily and sound so… Israeli. The rabbi, Joav, flew in from Oslo to speak about the start of cheider. He advertised for a seminar in Oslo for their kids to come to, and interestingly, their first question was about security. And, also interestingly, he had a really good answer: nobody knows exactly when or where the seminar is except the people running it—the kids are taken out of Oslo to somewhere nearby for the weekend, with security. Wow. After having received such friendly responses from the people here who are slowly figuring out that I’m Jewish, it shocked me to remember that the number one concern for Jewish parents in Europe has to be their kids’ safety. 

The Bergen weather forecast site has a caution symbol on it for tomorrow, with something that seems to translate into “really heavy rain.” As Bergen always has really heavy rain, I’m not sure what to expect, but I’ve started to build an ark. And my neighbor wants me to get it out of his driveway.  

So far, September has held true to its promise

September has come, it is hers
Whose vitality leaps in the autumn
Whose nature prefers
Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace... 

No comments:

Post a Comment