I can still remember my line manager asking me to consider joining the DNV Trainee program. What a dream! To live in a country filled with fjords, mountains, and adventures waiting to be had. I just have to wait out the snow. In the meantime, I keep repeating “8 month is a long time!” And I’m glad! Here’s a “Welcome to Norway” story for ya.
5 pieces of luggage for 2 hands
Leading up to departure, I had one recurring fear: transporting the luggage from the Oslo airport to the new apartment. My luggage consists of an oversized duffle bag, a carry-on suitcase, a laptop bag, a Kelty backpack, and a bike. The first three were all no-brainers and had to come. The backpack? Well, Norway has mountains, and I am a backpacker, after all. So yeah, the backpack, tarp, stove, sleeping bag, water filter, etc. were all coming, too. Now, the bike? Well, I have been dreaming of taking a cycling vacation for 3 years, and I lot of people have been encouraging it. The bike deserves its own post, but I’ll wait.
The means for transporting the bicycle had remained unproven up until the night before leaving. I will always be a last-minute person. Thankfully, I have a resourceful family. We found a bike shop willing to sell us a true bike box to replace my failed attempt at repackaging the bike in its original box. With the packing solved, the fear of transporting luggage returned. Why not just hire a taxi? Well, taxis are incredibly expensive, and it would have likely cost ~$300!
The flight over to Oslo was fine, and even though I was recovering from a mild case of food poisoning, the flight was pleasantly uneventful (except the man next to me from Newark to Oslo). After exiting the plane in Olso, I immediately producing a cloud of white exhale as I scurried to the customs counter. All the travel hiccups were much easier the second time through airport. Passport, check! Luggage cart, check. Luggage, check. Get Cash, Train ticket, and take elevator down to train. Check, check, and Checkmate Oslo airport. Oh how often pride precedes destruction.
Walking to the train station, I was still producing white plume of exhale! As the train was arriving. I asked for help, and as I was picking a seat, I heard the computerized conductor say, “This is the direct train to Oslo-City Centre”. Arrggh!! And in a scamper, the train’s toll man and I threw my stuff off…. well, only 4 of the 5 bags!! I forgot about the small suitcase, the one with all, and I do mean all, my work clothes. But I had no idea. None whatsoever.
So, I boarded the next train, still clueless, sat down and started making conversation with a Danish father and son in town for a wedding. The new toll man came walking up to my row, so I reached for my pocket, but instead of asking for my ticket, he asked if I left a bag on the train ahead of us. To prove my ignorance, I said “No, I don’t think so, but let’s check, there should are 5 bags.” 1, 2, 3, 4… uggghhh. I was naked and very ashamed. The kind, though cross-eyed, toll man said a bag was left for him at Oslo City-Center, he just needed my name to confirm my name (kudos, to my sister for legibly labeling all the bags). The remainder of the trip, I just kept thinking how glad I was in honestly, deceptively-friendly Norway. And what I would have worn to work on Monday! With one pair of jeans and some t-shirts, it wasn’t much.