Monday, May 14, 2012

A (Wonderful) Day in the Life

Today I:
Cheri and I on the peak of Løvstakken

  • Finished grading EVERY SINGLE one of my high schoolers’ essays, including the backlog of late journal entries that have piled up over half a year
  • Arranged with a folkeskole in Copenhagen to let Amanda and I visit an English class next week when we’re in Denmark (the trip’s fully funded by Fulbright, did I mention?)
  • Uploaded Word to my new computer and made friends at the Eplehuset
  • Had lunch at Godt Brød, the yummiest bakery in all of Bergen, with Kyle and his American friend Mark. Mark is just like Kyle. By that I mean delightfully goofy, with a cheery American aptitude to be friendly to everyone and that American grin so easily missed among the stolid Bergenser.
  • Spent a very worthwhile hour on the phone with Orbitz, rebooking my flight to Sacramento this summer now that the airline I was supposed to fly is cancelling all flights out of Columbus starting in June. I ended up with a cheaper flight than the original. Also cheered up the customers service people at Orbitz.
  • Changed 100 euro into 600 kroner. Magic.
  • Sent my father an email. I don’t do that enough.
  • Hit up the library, Kiwi, and post office. Expect your last batch of postcards, oh loved ones of mine.
  • Hiked up Fløyen in the rain and wind. Looked out over Bergen. Hiked down.
  • Fresh salmon for a delicious dinner during which an Iranian woman steadily blew Mark’s mind about what life is like in the Middle East.
  • My first taste of brennevin, an Icelandic alcohol made from potatoes and so good that they had to put it in an ugly bottle to bring sales down. It didn’t work.

When I told Perle this picture sums up our relationship, she responded
 'Yes. You're silly, I'm classy.' I think I have the better deal.
All in all, a perfect day.

Every time I speak to my mother over the past couple of weeks, she’s anxiously asked whether I’m going to be okay when I return to the States. It’s like she’s conditioning me to be sad when I get back. I know I’m going to miss Bergen regardless, but her questioning has prompted me to really savor every second.

 I had a fabulous cheider with the boys on Sunday. We brought in the State of Israel with a bang, playing games where we ‘’drained the swamps’’ (making quite a mess), snuck past British immigration, and trained in the Haganah. Then they held a hilarious debate about whether to accept the offer of Uganda as a state (Uganda’s bigger! Israel has nicer beaches! Uganda has all those nice African people!). They pored over the map I'd drawn, asking questions about the borders and which directions Israel was attacked from in the War of Independence. Teaching them Hatikvah made me quite emotional. Any national anthem is calculated to sound stirring but something about these kids, singing of their hope to return to Israel in a language they couldn’t understand, hit my buttons.

Looking forward to the visit of Yael, my Swedish friend, and 17 Mai, Norwegian national day!

Sunny Days at Fantoft

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