In August I posted an update on my Norway Times Facebook page regarding some plans for September:
It’s an appropriate day to revisit this ambitious set of goals.
First, I did start writing again. I haven’t been quite as prolific with my articles, and I dare say the last one set off a few alarms concerning my state-of-mind, but I am indeed writing. As I explained to all concerned parties last month, if I can’t be honest in my posts, then there isn’t much point to writing at all. As many of you who wrote to me know, settling in a new country inherently has it’s challenges and it’s ups and downs – along with all of it’s joy and wonder.
On the point of my cheese consumption, a particularly daunting goal, I would like to report that I currently have 11 different varieties of this fine dairy product in my fridge. Needless to say, I don’t see my intake lessening any time soon. And really, why would I? Cheese is good.
Upon reading that 2nd goal, one reader (thank you for your wisdom, Nick) wrote to me:
You can not go without cheese. Your sandwich is not complete without cheese. Your salad is not complete without cheese. Spaghetti without cheese is downright disgraceful! How can you have crackers and cheese without the cheese. No, cancel #2 for sure.
Cheese wisdom at it’s finest.
But, on the first goal:
- See a moose
Today, it happened! Oh glory be.
We are currently in the midst of a seemingly-never-ending train strike in our part of Norway. The train that my husband usually takes has not been running all week. This is closely following two weeks (on separate occasions) that the train was also not running due to track repairs. Given the frequent lack of trains actually going somewhere, my husband has been been fairly creative in figuring out other ways to get to and from work in Oslo.
Today he suggested taking the ferry from Aker Brygge (the port of Oslo) to Nesodden (a 20 minute trip down the fjord), and I would pick him up there. I loved this idea. First of all, because it meant I didn’t have to drive right into the city and mostly because it meant I was going to drive through an area near me that I hadn’t as of yet explored.
There is still something a bit magical to me about living near the fjord and taking ferries as a means of transport. Of course to many Norwegians, especially those living on the west coast, they are nothing but an everyday means of getting from A to B. But to me, it still seems so charming and slightly exotic even.
So, off I set from home to the northern tip of Nesodden to meet the ferry. It is a lovely 40 minute drive and the road in the area is windy and rolling. I love exploring new areas and was joyfully cruising along, passing the fall trees with their golden leaves, and catching glimpses of the fjord. As I curved up a particularly steep and twisty part of the road, there was a car coming the other way going very slowly. I could see the driver looking out to his right.
“What’s this guy checking out”, I thought.
I slowed slightly and looked over.
HOLY SHIT THERE’S A MOOSE RIGHT THERE!
A MOOSE. A BIG MOOSE.
I AM SEEING A MOOSE. FINALLY.
There was nowhere to stop on the narrow road so I continued on for a bit until I found somewhere to turn around. As I drove back down the hill, looking for the elusive beast, I saw the guy (who had been driving slowly) pulled over at the side of the road. There wasn’t much space, so I pulled over right behind him. I was determined to get a photo.
I sat for a while watching. He had moved further away, but there he was in all his moose glory – big and mighty and antlers stretching magnificently to the sky. What a fantastic animal! You would think in all my years of living in Canada and my times in Norway, I would have seen dozens of these creatures. But no. I have often told people that I’ve never seen a moose.
“What!?” they always exclaim. “But they’re everywhere!”.
Well maybe they are. But they’re not where I am.
After sitting for a bit, I was aware that it wasn’t the best place to be parked – the edge of this twisty road. So, as the man in front of me pulled away, I pulled into the road after him. Now I needed, once again, to find a place to turn around. A bit further down the road I saw a place to turn and there was the same man, also having pulled in. I drove in behind him and managed to turn around to get back out. As I was about to pull onto the road, he got out of his car and walked towards me. He was looking rather quizzical. I could even say concerned. Weirded out? Maybe. I guess he was a bit unsure as to why I seemed to be following his very move – very closely.
He approached the window. I realised, rather embarrassedly, that he must have thought I needed help. Or something. I was really planning to just drive away, but my window was open (from my picture taking) so I suddenly yelled out to him (yes yelled, even though he was literally close enough to touch my car):
“DET VAR MIN FØRSTE ELG!”
“IT WAS MY FIRST MOOSE!”
And then I laughed hysterically while grinning and nodding like maniac.
He actually took a step back.
As I pulled out on to the road, I saw him standing watching me leave. I think (I hope) I saw a glimmer of a smile – perhaps some recognition of what I had just said.
Somewhere right now I hope he is telling the story of the crazy moose lady. Maybe with the family over Friday tacos.
And maybe somewhere, a moose is writing about seeing me. Maybe he’s even writing his in his blog, or posting about it on MooseBook.
(Too much? Sorry.)
Happy Friday! And may the moose be with you.
(I can’t stop.)
It’s so amoosing.
(Okay. I’m done.)
NB: The artwork is by my husband. I asked him to draw a picture of a moose and this is it. Yes, he is wearing a belt and a watch. And as far as I know, they don’t usually have tails. Or smoke. This moose is obviously trouble.