Monday, January 16, 2012

Orientation Day

This morning, I walked over to the school with my Russian and Canadian roommates (and I found out that the 4th roomie is actually Norwegian).  The walk is about 12 minutes downhill through slushy/icy roads but there is a view of the ocean the whole way (except its to dark to see much of it.)  We spent the day doing orientation type activities.  With the three of us, there is a German guy and Finnish girl, who make up this semester’s international students and there are still 20 international students who are still here from last semester we have yet to meet. 
The school is small but gorgeous; there are fewer than 1500 students.  It is located right on the harbor and has huge windows with a view of the ocean and mountains.  The town itself is great too, it is bigger then I imagined and although it is dark all day, from about 10am-2pm it is light enough that it feels like daytime.  Today is the official first day of sunlight in Harstad so there were celebrations and we got a baked good to celebrate, a sun doughnut.  It is rainy and cloudy though so we didn’t actually see the sun but apparently it is somewhere behind the clouds.  I heard that from today on, there will be an additional 20 minutes of sun each day.
After all the orientation was finished, the Canadian and German and I went to wander around downtown to find a store to buy pillows.  It is so difficult to shop without doing the math to convert the prices into what I can understand.  I ended up buying a pillow, bath mat and hand towel for $60.  The roads are very slushy because of the humidity and the rain.  There are some cute café/restaurants in the downtown area aswell as some small shopping centers.  There is a surprising amount of clothing stores here, and everything seems to be on sale (salg).  I am looking forward to go to the pool/gym… it is apparently dug 200m into a rock face!
After coming home, we went for a small grocery shop.  It is right across the street from the dorm, so I think Ill be doing several small groceries shops, European style, as opposed to one big one every week or so.  I just bought some basic food and toilet paper.  I brought a Norwegian-English dictionary with me to translate labels but ended up giving up and buying cheap things with cool packages instead.
Its only 4pm but it is so dark that I feel like it is 9pm and almost time for bed, I glad I am not getting over my jetlag here!  I’m going to have dinner then go explore this town some more!

1 comment:

  1. If you are tempted to complain about the slush.. don't. It is -24 here and dropping. I usually don't believe forecasters when they say "but it will feel like -40 with the wind". Today - I believe. It is freakin' cold! Lilly is even shivering so we are having to make multiple trips to the barn to make sure she's okay. Chilly chilly!