|luggage in the back of the taxi|
We landed with all 5 kids, all our carry-on luggage, and all 10 checked items. A small miracle!! We made quite a spectacle as we loaded everything on 3 airport carts and found the taxi stand. We hired a large taxi (more like a small shuttle bus). Now, I have no idea what a “Karaoketaxi” is in Norwegian, but let me tell you, there was no karaoke as we know it in the US going on! More than one were dozing during the 20 minute drive to the house.
Our rental house is in a small neighborhood clustered roughly in a circle. The street is narrow, so we blocked traffic as we unloaded all our stuff. Our Norwegian relocation assistant was there to meet us with keys to the house. We made an improvised meal from some cans and packages the owners had left. Next to our house is a space used as a play area for the neighborhood kids. Our five were quickly out the door to try the trampoline and swings. As you can imagine, this was a great way to meet the neighbors. Several people came out to meet us, and we were introduced around. Most adults our age here are quite proficient in English. Some are more confident in speaking than others, but we are humbled by how well they do at our language as we struggle to make sense of theirs. The schools here teach English starting right away in 1st grade, although the other instruction is in Norwegian until you get to 11th grade, I think.
For as much as we had heard about Norwegians as somewhat reserved and stoic, we have been overwhelmed by the friendliness and hospitality of our neighbors. One neighbor stopped by the first night to see if she could get us some groceries while she was at the store. Another neighbor has been our source of all kinds of borrowed items. She has loaned us sleeping pads for the kids to take on overnight outings with the school, hiking boots for Young Teen, and has been my source of information on the details of daily life here. The play area is a great gathering spot, and almost every day I’m out there with something that has come in the mail or from the school that I need help translating!
After supper and some playtime our first night, we sorted out sheets for all the beds and got everyone settled. No one was awake for more than a moment when the head hit the pillow! The Professor and I were awake for a bit in the early morning hours because of the jet lag, but the kids all seemed to sleep right through. It was good to be here at last.
photos: taxi, luggage