The adventures of Kurt, Sarah, Ethan, Reid & Leah

Happy New Year!

While we didn’t do anything exciting or have any specific plans, aside from letting the boys stay up to midnight for the first time ever, we wound up being rather entertained on New Years Eve. New Years Eve is quite festive here which was totally unbeknownst to us. We had initially thought of climbing the hill in our local park to see the fireworks in the city as a colleague  had said our area park was a haven for excitement. However our neighbors also told us to be careful, that things can get a bit crazy. So in the end we opted to stay in not knowing if the kids would make it or if the ground outside was icy from all of the rain we had received throughout the day.

Around 11:30pm we took control of the TV from the boys and searched the channels looking for something New Years Eve oriented, finding nothing. We are so programmed to watch fireworks shows on the TV from years of staying indoors due to the sensitive ears of our kids and were a bit surprised to find nothing on our TV of that nature. We did however find this comedy sketch, Dinner For One, which is apparently a holiday classic in Northern Europe. Palmyre told us about it on Christmas Eve, that it plays every December 23 in Norway, and is a cultural touchstone with an oft-quoted line “same procedure as last year?”. It is an old black and white comedy skit presented in English with subtitles. It was certainly comical, and gave Reid his first introduction to how someone acts when drunk, but Kurt and I are a bit baffled as to how it has become such a Scandinavian and German sensation.

And after this, when the clock struck midnight, it seemed everything broke loose in the city. We felt like we were in a war zone with firecrackers going off EVERYWHERE around us. It was surreal. American friends here were all posting to FB, best one being from Amy in Bergen, “We are surrounded by fireworks. The real, illegal-in-most-states kind.” The boys were amazed, running from window to window trying to catch a glimpse. Of course this has now set their expectations of New Years Eve to come.

This photo of the Oslo skyline from a 2008 Gizmodo article says it all …  fireworks everywhere. We were so unprepared for this pleasant surprise.

“Oslo celebrated New Years Eve with more fireworks than you”

In Norway there’s no tradition for fireworks arranged by the city. It’s too cold in January to gather downtown for the celebrations, so everyone just goes out into their gardens or a nearby open spot, launches their rockets and then heads back inside. The result is a view like this, with fireworks shooting up from absolutely everywhere at midnight on January 1.

We couldn’t see any direct fireworks, just lots of glowing lights, but the sound was intense. This is a quick 30 sec video from either side of our apartment. 30 seconds of 15-20 solid minutes of this.

New Years Day was a lazy morning with an icy afternoon walk along the Akerselva river.

It continues to amaze us how they are so drawn to any icy area.

It continues to amaze us how they are so drawn to any icy area.

The icy river walk.

The icy river walk.

Continual stomping on any icy surface.

Continual stomping on any icy surface.

Leah hugging the cow statue.

Leah hugging the cow statue.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We put on a big pot of chili for dinner which was accompanied by Fritos corn chips, something you can’t find here. These were sent from Kurt’s dear friend Kristin Newby in a very thoughtful care package which also included real tortilla chips and two bags of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Kristin’s family spent some time abroad in France and she knows all too well that it is the little things that we miss 🙂 Thanks so much Kristin!!!!

chili

Comments

  1. Ah Sarah, I miss you. All looks great, but come home soon.

    • Thx Amy, Knoxville bound end of July. If time flies as fast for the next 5 months as it has for these first 5, Ill be home tomorrow 🙂

  2. Great photo of you all! It looks like you are having an amazing time and the kids are getting a snow experience they could never get here. Since I am from New Jersey I think fondly of the snow days when I was a child. As an adult however, I would rather look at the cold in your images and experience the 62 degrees it is here this morning:-)

    Miss you!

  3. Carolyn Monday says:

    Love keeping up with my exciting neighbors abroad. You all look wonderful. Hope to have a private showing of your favorite Norwegian keepsakes when you return. Carolyn Monday

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