It’s been a bit more than a month since I settled in in Oslo with the kids. As things have started to become quite busy I decided I’d write something a bit more personal, more relevant to family and friends.
Back to school at the Lycee Francais Rene Cassin in Oslo
The first day was awesome for the little one (4 years old). Last year he cried every morning for the first two weeks so we were prepared for the worse. Here he came in, sat down at a table, started drawing and listened with lots of interest to the teacher’s assistant messing around with a shy girl. I suppose he was pretty excited to hear someone else than his mum and dad’s voices!
For my eldest son, who is soon turning 7, it was much harder as most of the kids knew each other from last year. It took him a week to start making friends. One moment got me really upset: he came back from home ad I asked him about new friends. He said that he came up to a group of girls and asked to play with them and the girls said… NO! How awful. I felt really sorry for him and angry too, but my main reaction was to praise him for being brave enough for asking and reassured him he should keep trying and some kids would eventually say yes.
What has been new to me was to make lunch boxes. Both the French schools in Sydney and in Zürich had canteen with 3 course meals and hot food. Here, kids eat at their desks! They don’t even go to another room to eat! Thanks to the Parents en Norvege Facebook group I bought an Aladdin isotherm bento box. The way it works is that you put left overs in there in the morning, you reheat it in the microwave and make it’s quite hot, close the lid and the meal should be warm by lunch time (11.15am here!). Now every other day we make sandwiches. Pretty hard to fit square sandwiches into that round box though. The other area for improvement is that there’s nothing to hold the cutlery and we need to add a separate bag for cut fruits and veggies. There’s a divider inside but it means what’s inside will be warm too.
So far so good, lunch box have been coming back empty every day. YAY!
Work out in Oslo
Last year I was working every week with:
- one 90 minute dance class on Tuesdays
- 2 hour tennis on Friday.
It worked really well, not really loosing weight but on my energy level and balance and well being. When I arrived here we walked a lot: in the city, to the beach, to the parc, to the swimming pool. Then one day for some reasons we stayed at home all day with the kids. I got really grumpy so when hubby came home from work he told me to go for a run. It was really nice, I loved listening to the “work out beat” playlist from Spotify and the Runkeeper app kept me going every 5 minutes. But I realised I’m a lot more motivated by the music and the moves than just running so I am happy to go back to dance class. I tried two classes this week at Oslo Street Dance through a Groupon deal that hubby found. I’m all sore now! But I least I found a class I like and will now go every week.
I also made a new friend, a mum from the French school and we played tennis last Friday. The weather was just perfect with sun, no wind and a mild temperature and our levels are not too far off. In fact she is better than me so it will help me improve (and she is reading the blog so I better watch out). And the weather topic leads me to…
Weather in Oslo in September
The weather has changed dramatically this week between Monday and Tuesday. It dropped almost 10 degrees and it’s now raining non stop. The local saying goes “there’s not bad weather, only ill equipped people”. So all kids are getting rain suits, either overalls for the little ones or in two pieces for bigger ones. That way they can jump up and down in muddy puddles!
Where to find those? at XXL, a sports gear shop like Rebel in Australia. You can find quality one like Helly Hansen branded top and bottom from 378 NOK!
I’m lucky, the 22 year old neighbour on the second floor studied French and wants to practice. As such, once a week, we meet and we do French conversation and I started picking up a few words and useful phrases. We often end up speaking English but at least I learn more about local topics like sports, food, and where to go out.
I originally went for the super intensive class, 36 hours in 2 weeks at Language Power. Unfortunately they didn’t have enough participants and cancelled the class. A friend then suggested a better value school, Norsktimen, slightly less intensive with 3 hours a day 3 times a week for 5 weeks, but walking distance from home. I’ve done 2 mornings so far and I’m very happy with the teacher. She is very knowledgeable, she’s a linguist, knows many other languages and teaches at university. She is also very energetic and fun with a great sense of humour.
FUN FACT: The teacher plays hangman with us very day. Yesterday the word we had to guess was Flykræsj which means “plane crash” but is also a brand of mackerel in a tomato sauce because when you open the can, it looks like (and smells like, according to my neighbour) … a plane crash! Ew Gross! That’s a fun way to discover local humour and how politically incorrect they can be!
Out there, in the street, at the shop
I read a lot about the Norwegians answering back to you in english even when you start the conversation in Norwegian. This has not been true for me. Ever. They always answer back in Norwegian and then I look super confused (because I am) and they switch back to English for me, nicely. I feel they appreciate my effort (or do my Asian face not guarantee I can speak english…).
Next step for hubby and I is to watch Norwegian movies with subtitles! Lilyhammer? We already watched all 3 seasons! So good!
And since it’s also the first Thursday of the month, we’re linking to Phoebe’s blog! Click on this picture to discover many blogs, all about France! Happy reading!