Torture to Peaceful Music

I had a bad day yesterday. First I overslept by an hour, then I was completely unfocused at school – and to top it off, I overcooked my yummy-looking fish.

There was only one solution – yoga. I used to do it regularly, but that’s years ago now. However, I’ve been thinking about getting back to it. Stretching, lots of breathing, and relaxing – sounds like what every stressed out student needs, right?

Wrong. Oh so very, very wrong. Twist this way, bend that way, and get those elbows to the floor! It was torture to peaceful music. To make matters worse, my mokey mind refused to shut up. It kept going on about push-pause injections, and oh-my-god-this-pose-hurts.

Perhaps some days are just like this. No matter how hard you try, it just won’t do. Thank goodness for tomorrows. Thank goodness for sleep being twist- and bend-free. And thank goodness whoever invented the “Destroyer of universe”-pose, is far, far away from me.

A Big BOOO To You

A late Halloween greeting, but on October 31st, 1981, something very significant happened. If you don’t know, you’re obviously not a Harry Potter fan. The date marks the deaths of Lily and James Potter and the end of the first wizarding war. And of course, it is the day Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington became Nearly Headless Nick: everyone’s favorite ghost since 1492.

mde
I was a looker on Halloween…

I’ve carved my first pumpkin this year. Yes, for the first time ever. It was both harder and easier than I imagined. Harder to cut through, easier to empty.

cof
I hope you can see the scar I tried to carve ❤

In the spirit of Halloween, I played a few tricks on one of my roommates: A spider on the toilet-paper to induce a tiny heart-attack.

mde

cof
Believe it or not, it totally worked!

I hope you all enjoyed the night, and had some innocent fun on someone else’s behalf!

The Importance of a Thrown Pen.

It was during a lecture it happened.

I was twirling my pen between my fingers, and somehow, it slipped. However, instead of falling to the floor with the usual soft sound, it flew into the backhead of the guy sitting in front of me. He promtly turned, to see who exactly threw a pen at him. Our conversation went like this:

“What?” he asked.
“Um, I just- It slipped.” I smiled tryingly.
“”It slipped.”… Into the back of my head?”
“Well, yeah! I was twirling it and then-”
“Sure, that’s what happened.” He turned back,

Leaving me with a half open mouth and an urge to actually throw my pen at him.

wp-1472723947685.jpg
My weapon of choice, apparently.

Why PokemonGo?

I have found my true calling: I’m going to be a Pokemon trainer. It’s hard work, and definitely time consuming, but it’s time to Catch Them All!

PokemonGo hasn’t been released in Norway yet, but, um… Well, I’ve got it. Like everyone else. I downloaded it recently, and since then it’s all I’ve been doing. Now I finally understand why people keep walking into streetlights. I barely survived my first hunt – those cyclists really need to watch where they’re going, us trainers have more important things to do.

screenshot_20160714-184429.png
That feeling when you catch your first pokemon!

Why is PokemonGo so great? Aside from the obvious fact that it’s Pokemon? Firstly: it opens up a whole new world. Imagine Harry Potter Go! Secondly: People are going out again! Sure, they’re all glued to their phones, but one of these days the creators are going to make it possible for us to play together (so we can battle, no doubt). We’re all going to meet new, slightly crazy, people!

screenshot_20160714-231811.png
Cubone!! Scary-looking, this one, but gotta catch ’em all!

Last, but not least, the game takes the edge off exploring; as long as people have pokemon they’re not scared of going new places or getting lost. Pokemon trainers are adventurers! So why PokemonGo? I ask you why PokemonNot!

My Shark Encounter

I went fishing the other day, which to me means that I picked up a fishing rod, found water and hoped for the best. I don’t have any knowledge of hooks or techniques so when I fish it’s all about patience (and admitedly, a little bit of “oh, oh, I’ve got one!! I’ve got one! Must be bi-… oh… Seaweed…”)

wp-1467630345392.jpg
A cold morning in June, Hidra, Norway

Standing there, waiting, I watched the sea. No fish for me. Out of the blue, I remembered. I promised you guys a Great Barrier Reef post when I received the pictures. It’s been a while since I left Australia, but here goes anyway:

P5020283.JPG
Ready for another adventure!

I snorkled in the Great Barrier Reef for hours. Time just swam past, together with a surprisingly fast sea turtle. The Reef has a surreal amount of pink, orange and other colors we don’t usually associate with the sea. It’s hard to believe that the Reef is dying, that it used to be even more spectacular.

P5020301.JPG
Sadly, pictures don’t do the Reef justice…

Even though the turtle was great, the corals were beautiful, the highlight of the excursion was my shark encounter(s). I suddenly spotted a Reef Shark. A rash decision later, I swam after it. I followed it around and over corals, through narrow passages, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Until I rounded a corner and met his father.

Please excuse the quality – I was very surprised!

Thankfully, the Grey Nurse Shark didn’t think too much of me – anyone without fins wouldn’t be good enough for his son, and took a u-turn. By the time I dared to breathe again, the Reef Shark was gone. He’ll forever be the one that got away.

Let’s talk Australian!

One of the first things I do when I visit another country is to listen to the language(s). If I am in an English speaking country I often play around with their accent after spending time around or with the locals (monkey see, monkey do). It helps me immerse myself in the culture and is good fun.

I spent five weeks Down Under. Four of those I spent volunteering with animals, helping the locals. Now I knew I would hear “Mate” and possibly “G’day”, what I wasn’t expecting was “Brekky” (breakfast) and “toastie” (toast) and for them to basically abbreviate everything. Take a look at this video to see what I’m talking about:

When I learned English I was taught to enunciate the words; that even though the Americans say the “innernet” it is supposed to be the “Internet”. And of course, I had to say the whole word – no brekky for me. However, as I have finished school, playing aorund with differnt accents is something I enjoy a lot, I think I will always talk more “correct” than most people that I meet, but it’s fun trying not to. Imitating Australias ended up with me saying stuff like:

“Good on ya!”, “Alrighty”, “Heaps”, “Far out!”, “How ya going?” and “hey?”.

I found that there are two rules one can almost always follow:

1. Change letters at the end of words: “After” and “dinner” – “Aftah” and “dinnah”

2. Skip letter at the end of words: “What? “and “Trying” – “Wha?” and “Tryin”

Do you guys like to listen to locals and try to imitate them? Do you have some favorite words or phrases? Tell me in the comments below! If you don’t then mine is “No worries, mate!”

8 Fun Facts about Australia

Australia is a fascinating country. Big and beautiful, sandy and sunny, but seldom in the news. I learned a lot about it when I visited, maybe more than an average Australian knows. How many of you reading this can name the Australian Prime Minister? Without googling it. Here’s some facts everyone should know – if so only because they are fun.

  1. Their first police force was made up of well-behaved convicts.
  2. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on earth.

DSC_0639.JPG
This is how the reef looks from above the surface.

3. In 1967 they lost and never found Prime Minister Harald Holt.

4. It’s home to the top ten deadliest snakes.

DSC_0705.JPG
Thankfully, this isn’t one of them.

5. Australia is the only Western country that doesn’t have a Bill of Rights.

6. Australia has 170 million inhabitants – 150 million being sheep.

13211015_1022183047848700_2124467188_o
They are just as friendly as their two-legged friends.

7. The city of Melbourne used to be called Batmanina.

8. The Selfie is an Australian invention

DSC_0585.JPG
He was too busy trying to figure out if I had food to smile for this picture.

P.S. This post was inspired by the first chapter of Down Under by Bill Bryson – a must read for anyone planing to go to Australia. Oh, and I googled it, and the prime minister’s name is Malcolm Turnbull.

Russ: Norway’s crazy graduation tradition

17th of May has come and gone. It marked Norway’s constitution day, but also something else: the end of the festivities for the High School seniors. You see, Norway has this tradition, that one month before 17th of May – the seniors start going crazy.

DSC_0809.JPG
In this picture there is a competition going on: which class of seniors can gather and tie the most juniors to the trees? That car is by the way a police car.

It doesn’t really make sense; the exams aren’t over yet, there is still a lot of work to be done at school – but the party starts anyway. The students buy something that looks like a tracksuit, mostly in blue or red (the color represents what kind of subjects you take), and decorate them to suit their personalities. They’ll wear these every day until the 17th. They also make cards to give out to kids, because somehow, putting on the tracksuit make you a celebrity in their eyes: you are almost done with school – while they have years and years left.

IMG_2013
Here’s a picture of me from last year’s 17th of May. I decorated my suit with a worldmap, the Harry Potter quote “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good” and a whole lot more. 

Last year I was part of this tradition, so like everyone else my age, I did a lot of Russ Challenges. Being a Russ; a senior in the one month period before 17th of May, is almost like a free card – you can do all sorts of stupid things (like go to the McDonalds drive through with a shopping cart, or stand at one side of a pedestrian crossings and wish random people “Welcome to the other side!”) and everyone will just shake their heads going “it’s just the Russ.”

18.05.15 486
One of the challenges is to lock yourself to another Russ for a day at school. Best choose someone that has the same subjects as you!

One weekend during this period, there is a party seniors from all over the country come to attend (because, yes, there are a lot of parties). Martin Garrix, Tinie Tempeh, the Chainsmokers and other famous artists preform in a big amusement park where the Russ basically takes it to the next level. Here’s the official promo from 2015, when I attend:

Oh, and some of the challenges the Russ do; they involve tourists. If you ever come to visit Norway in May, you have now been warned!

The Crocodile Attack

“Are you sure it’s a good idea that I do this?” I look nervously from the people that enter the crocs’ enclosure to the two “freshies”.
“It’s allright mate, the protectors will be watching too. Just keep an eye on them for now. If they open their mouth halfway, spread their feet out-”
“Like that?” I point to the biggest of the freshwater crocodiles.
“Yeah, that’s their attack stance. Now watch, and if they makes a move, yell.”

image

They might not be very large, but trust me, their teeth are.

I was standing on the other side of a thick,tall glasswall, yet I jumped, seriously I really jumped, when they attacked. I never saw it coming. Suddenly they lunged forward, splashing me in the face with dirty water, and went for the rakes the protectors were holding. I knew crocodiles are fast, but not like this. Some spotter I am, right?

image

This green rake sadly didn’t make it…

I’ve learned a lot about crocodiles since I came to Australia. At first I thought it was a joke that they have three eyelids, but what do you know, they do! I can finally remember the difference between them and alligators and have advanced to knowing the difference between freshwater crocodiles and saltwater (the later is bigger and more territorial). I didn’t expect to be working this closely with them when I started my volunteer program, but I have found that they are amongst the most interesting animals that I deal with on a daily basis. I also have a newfound respect for them, and Crocodile Dundee for that matter. Never will I ever forget what this sign means:

image

Underestimating crocodiles might be the last thing you ever do. So don’t.