Archive for Month: July 2016

I don’t like the Seagulls in Stavanger

Yesterday I went to Stavanger to visit one of my former track mates, Victoria. She was the first one I got to know when I first stepped onto the track here in Haugesund more than ten years ago.

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Christmas party with the team 2010. Photo: Line Valen

Even though we only see each other once a year, we always have such an incredibly great time together. Yesterday was no different. We went to a café to eat pastries — without coffee. I think she’s the only friend I have left that doesn’t drink coffee, and that makes me feel less alone in this world.

I was thinking about starting a support-group for those few remaining souls passed 20 that detests the taste of the brown liquid, but after the date with Victoria I feel much better about the whole thing.

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After an unknown number of people had passed through the doors of the little café called “Ostehuset” (The Cheesehouse) we checked our phones and realized almost three hours had gone by!

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In the “Colorstreet” in Stavanger

By the time we left we’d gotten hungry again, so we stopped by a bakery to buy “Solskinnsboller” (Sunshine rolls). As we were walking by the marina and eating our rolls, I suddenly felt something drop down into my paper bag.

Apparently some ugly-ass seagull didn’t think I needed those extra calories, and decided to send down a dollop of stool — right onto my beautiful sunshine roll.

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You can’t see it that well, but at least it didn’t get on my clothes, or my head! (Victoria got to experience a full-body seagull-poop-shower last week)

Luckily, Victoria is always prepared for everything, so she supplied me with an antibacterial wet-napkin. About ten minutes later, my feet had had enough of walking in new shoes, so she gave me a blister band-aid. She’s Miss Convenient herself! Thanks Vicky <3

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Catching up in #Stavanger #Colorstreet 🏘

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Q&A Answers — Part 1

I know I said I would answer all the questions from the Q&A on Friday, but I received about ten times more questions that I had anticipated, so I’ll split it into several shorter posts instead.

Naras Prameswari:
Q: What has the been the top 3 moments of your summer so far?
A: That’s a great question dear “Tante Kalkun” <3
1. Seeing my family again for the first time since Christmas
2. My grandparents’ 50th anniversary-party
3. The Norwegian premiere of “Over the Bridge”

Lee:
Q: What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
A: I’ve never really had many nicknames. But my dear friend Matt calls me “Track Mom” because of my many motivational speeches during our long runs.

I was also called “Glass-leg” in elementary school because my legs were so skinny the boys were afraid of hurting me when we played soccer. (That was before the weightlifting and bodybuilding happened, mind you.)

Q: What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?
A: Cold Stone ice cream.

Q: What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?
A: I just got a phone call from a 91-year-old man and his wife who had read my story about care for the elderly in the paper. They said they loved the article and that they were beyond thankful for the fact that I brought attention to the issue. That meant a lot to me.

Q: Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
A: I used to be really impulsive, but after my first year in college, when I started pursuing a career as a filmmaker, I finally saw the value of planning and time management. I find that planning and habits go hand-in-hand, so yeah, I’m a creature of habit… sort of.

Q: When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?
A: May 14th 2016, when I ran my first half marathon.

Q: Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends?
A: I know a lot of people, but I only have a small handful of people I really see as my close friends.

Q: What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced, but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?
A: On the plane from Norway to the US last August I was thinking about trying out a church in Sioux Falls, but I wasn’t sure, so I prayed. A few hours later I take a cab from the airport to campus, and as I’m about to leave, the driver gave me a receipt where he wrote the name of a church in Sioux Falls on the back. He also said — in an African accent — “This year it is very important for you to spend your time and money wisely. If you have 10 dollars in your pocket — think twice before you spend it. This year that will be very important for you. God bless you.” And then he drove away.

At the time I didn’t think too much about it, but I kept it in the back of my mind, and saved as much of my money as I could. (It was quite the contrast from the year before, when I lived like a queen, bought a car, went to the movies five times a week and ate out every weekend, haha) Little did I know that the dollar exchange rate would crash, and had I not taken his advice I wouldn’t have been able to pay for my tuition in January.

God is good.

 

 

I’ll answer more of the questions in another post.

Bless y’all,
Maria

Public Vacation and the Elderly

I’ll answer all the questions from the Q&A on Friday, so you still have time to ask whatever you want. Just click HERE.

This week has, so far, been pretty busy journalism wise. I’ve had five stories and one column in the paper since Monday. Three of them were two-page features, and the biggest one was three full pages.

The latter one was, by far, the most in-depth news story I’ve ever written. I was assigned to “investigate” the differences in elderly care across Norway, Sweden and Denmark two weeks ago. And before I knew it I was waist deep in trying to figure out a huge social issue — not too different from what I did with Over the Bridge actually.

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Don’t worry, I have brand new shoes — I’m a fan of hygienic work environments. But sometimes I need to stretch my legs… it’s an athlete-thing.

I’ve already mentioned that there’s a thing called “Public Holiday” here in Norway. It’s three to five weeks in the middle of the summer where practically everyone gets time off from work. I used to love that concept — until I started working as a journalist in the paper. It’s sooo annoying because I can’t seem to get a hold of anyone.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 22.37.05I’ve already stopped counting the number of times I’ve interrupted people’s vacation to ask them stuff I need for my stories. But hey, someone’s gotta do their job, right?

Through endless phone calls, trying to communicate in Swedish and Danish, I finally managed to get the information I needed. (To my American readers: Swedish and Danish is NOT the same as Norwegian — it’s more like Scottish and Indian English compared to American English.) Norwegians are usually pretty good at understanding them, but they seem to get lost in translation as soon we open our mouths.

Anyway, it was a great relief to finally get the story out in the paper yesterday.

It’s almost sad I’ll be done with the internship in just two days. I love it there.

Bless y’all,
Maria

Q&A

Good afternoon!

Now that I “write for a living” (lol) it’s much harder to come up with stuff to write about in my free time, so I need some help from you beautiful souls out there. What do you want me to blog about?

I talked to a fellow blogger the other day, and she said I couldn’t call myself a blogger until I’d done a “Question & Answer-round” (also known as a Q&A) with my readers. Seriously?! You sayin’ my 137 post over the past 17 months didn’t count as “blogging”? Haha, well well.

As you know, I’ve been trying to avoid all mainstream blogging trends, Q&A’s included, because I don’t even see this website as a “blog,” it’s more like a public journal. But maybe it’s time?

Do you have any questions for me? What do you want to know? It could be anything.

Use the comment button on this post or the contact form in the menu above. Do whatever you like, and I’ll do a post where I’ll answer it.

If you can’t find your comment after you click “send,” don’t worry, it still made its way to me.

Go ahead and ask,
Maria

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