I have been tagged! Debbie from Heart Choices would like to know 15 Things I’m Not Afraid to Admit.
Living in a different country where you don’t speak the language can be empowering and terrifying at the same time. I have accomplished things that I never thought I could do – every now and then I have to pinch myself to make sure Norway isn’t a dream. However, giving up my home, my friends and family and the familiar can make me feel lost and very insecure – almost… displaced. I’ve gone back into a child-like realm – ordinary things are new to me, daily life needs to be learnt and people talk around me even when I am right there. It feels like being an adult trapped inside a seven year old. It is a humbling experience to be an immigrant.
There are many things that an immigrant finds hard in daily life in Norway, here are just 15 things I’m not afraid to admit:
1. I try to sit where the teacher can’t see me in Norwegian class so I don’t get called upon to read out loud.
2. I feel embarrassed when they take my finger print at the airport to let me travel even on a domestic flight.
3. Norwegian feet are much wider than Australian feet and so I can’t find shoes that fit.
4. I feel like a leather bag standing next to a Norwegian – my face has been so damaged by the Australian sun. Norwegian’s have beautiful clear skin.
5. One time I booked the wrong air flight because I couldn’t read the Norwegian site properly.
6. I feel unwanted in Norway.
7. When strangers talk to me I just smile and nod because I don’t want them to know I’m an immigrant.
8. I hate Fårikål.
9. I don’t understand why Norwegians don’t care about the war ruins that were left behind by the Germans – and that they just leave them to fade away into the landscape.
10. I pick the worst spots to walk and always slip on the ice.
11. I feel guilty whenever I go to the immigration office because they always treat you as ‘other’.
12. I don’t understand how there could still be a communist party in Norway.
13. I am afraid of walking in the forest in the dark.
14. It is custom to take off your shoes when you enter someone’s house in Norway and to walk around in just your socks. Sometimes I forget to wear socks and feel embarrassed when people look down at my bare feet.
15. I’m sick of eating hot dogs!
Next tag: I have a friend who is studying in Bergen at the moment. Becky blogs about her experiences in Norway being on a study exchange program at http://alieninnorway.blogspot.com/