Sunday, 21 September 2008

Norwegian Hospitality and Weekend Mountain Hikes

Saturday night at Marias was lovely (again) and another great experience of Norwegian hospitality, and of course - delicious Norsk food!

We started of the evening by all mucking in to prepare a salad, and when we finally sat down to eat we were treated to some leftover fish soup (fiske suppe, i think) I can't remember exactly what it was called but it was deliciously warm and spicy - and Maria's partner remarked that it was 'the fish dish for people who don't like fish'! The warm spices delicately overtook the usual strong taste of fish but in a good way - you could still taste fish of course but it was really well balanced with all of the other flavours.

I felt as usual a little awkward not being able to join in fully with everybody conversationally - I sometimes feel almost like a child at an adult dinner party - wanting so much to be a grown up but not at all understanding what the adults are saying! I think I must have been a little frustrated with it because I began talking more, but I am ashamed to say it was mostly in English. I am glad in a way I did though because I got to know everybody a little better, although inevitably I talked alot about Hans then! Everyone is so weet about it though, and seem to be interested in hearing all about him - I think the way I talk about him makes it so obvious to everyone that we are besotted - and it resulted in my hosts holding a toast for Hans; to 'absent friends'. Again it was a lovely gesture and I felt really touched.

There was alot of hassle getting home as Anita and I caught the last bus, and due to alot of drunken imbeciles all thrying to use the same bus we arrived into Sentrum late and I ended up getting a taxi home. This ended up setting me back 200 krone, but Anita absolutely insisted on paying half for it which was so sweet of her, so I need to think of a way I can pay her back!

I overslept on Sunday (again) and was awoken at 11:30 by a knock at the door - I finally woke up enough to put my dressing gown on and I opened the door to see Yvonne (another exchange student from Finland who is also living at Fantoft) started to walk away down the hall. She apologised for waking me (but trust me I was more embarrassed than she was for being so lazy!) and she informed me that she and our other friend (another Exchange student from Denmark) were planning on hiking to Løvstakken (one of the mountains near Fantoft) and would I like to come along??? I was just awake, and the idea of hiking really didn't appeal to me so I declined. Another time maybe. As soon as I had closed the door I knew that I would regret it, so I made myself a strong coffee and had some galaxy chocolate (that Rob had sent me) for breakfast and messaged Yvonne on Skype.. somewhat sheepishly enquiring; "erm, what time are you going?" I had about an hour before they were meeting, and I was still slightly in 2 minds, so I pondered the matter as I drank my coffee.

Of course I was going to go - I knew that I would really - I was just being typical Becky (very, very bad at last minute arrangements - I like to plan in advance wherever possible)

I am so glad I did - all in all I think we walked for about 4 hours (so not the longest hike in the world ever!) but it was pretty tough going and wow, was it worth it - the views from the top were absolutely breathtaking and it was a really nice day spent with 2 lovely people!

The lovely 'elvish' glenn we spied a little way up

Yvonne and Anne begin the climb - not very steep at this point!

Gorgeous view of the fjords from the top - though this does not do it justice

Beautiful view of the lake below - autumn is playing with the colours

Anne and myself (grinning like an idiot) at the top of Løvstakken

Yvonne surveying the world (well, Bergen)

Me, so happy to be at the top!

So all in all the weekend was lovely - we got back from our walk just after 5:00pm I think - we went back to our respective apartments for a shower (very sweaty - nice) and then all met up at Annes and made a broccoli, tuna and sweetcorn pie with salad and drank coffee, ate jelly men and some delicious cocnut biscuits. It really was great, and around 7:00 finally got back to my room feeling absolutely exhausted (in a good way) and in high spirits. I worked on the photos I had taken, spoke to a couple of friends on MSN, and then (the other absolute highlight of my day) I spoke to Hans for about an hour on Skype. Then I went to bed about 11:15 which is really early for me.

It would be great if it ended there (but unfortunately this is an honest account) so I have to say that I had an awful night - I have no idea why but I could not sleep at all. I decided to try reading the book that Hannah sent me for a while - that didn't work. At 1:00am I took 3 valerian tablets to no avail - and all the time I was feeling more and more depressed. It sounds so extreme now but I felt something close to despair, I wish I knew why - after such a good weekend and speaking to Hans and being in a relativly good mood I just crashed. About 1:30am the tears started and didn't stop for half an hour. I was so desperate I ddn't know what to do and what was making it worse was I was getting more and more agitated because I knew I had to be up early and focussed to start my new course. I ended up pouring a glass of wine and downing it in one, hoping it would help to knock me out. I lay back down in bed (and I feel so guilty about this now) I texted Hans to tell him that I was sad and couldn't stop crying and couldn't sleep. I'm sorry Hans. I know it can't be easy for him anyway, and it must make him feel pretty awful to get that text at stupid o'clock in the morning. Anyway the crying and the wine did their job and about 3:00 I finally drifted off to an uncomfortable sleep, nightmares (which I wont go into) and having to wake up at 06:45 to wash my hair...

What is worse than having a bad night is just the fact of having these mood swings - it is seriously doing my head is and making me so tired. One minute up, the next down - and often no obvious trigger. Maybe it is just the strain of all that's happened and being away from home. And I am SERIOUSLY starting to lose my patience with people who say it should be all fun, all a great experience, 'it's only a few months, what are you so bothered about?' Of course it bothers me - maybe it wouldn't bother some people but this is me, not you, and I will not deal with it the same way as you would handle a situation like this (or more to the point how you think you would handle a situation like this)

See, ranting AGAIN - What is wrong with me?

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