Oslo

Interesting facts

Teslas – people love them here. I totally get it – they are nice inside, quiet, look cool. But actually, the reason why it’s worth the money is that they are highly subsidized… by that I mean that apparently it is free to drive them around the city (regular cars have to pay a tax), free to park them in special spots in the city, and to charge them, it costs nothing too… so basically you have a Tesla = free. (except maybe insurance, but I don’t know how that works here).
Public transport – One of the best I’ve seen in Europe. Besides Toulouse at least. Things run on time, there are many routes in the small city. Also the basic fare includes ferry rides to the islands, bus, tram, metro, etc.
Money – Even the bus takes cards. I didn’t have to use cash at all but have you seen their krons? They have holes in the middle!
Diversity – Oslo is very diverse. There are Asians, Indians, Tourists, Middle Easterners, Tourists, Americans, Europeans from other countries, and did I mention Tourists?
English – Pretty much everyone speaks it, except maybe the gypsies, but even they know how to say please, which is more than I can say for the French :D.
Bikes and Dogs – These things are equivalent to children when paying for metro tickets during rush hour. Bikes are free outside of rush hour.
Sports – Everyone here runs, swims, bikes, or something else. They are really active at least in the summer.
Jetlag – This has nothing to do with Oslo, but after a week, I still have to take naps. It really sucks. Maybe I should start going to bed earlier than 1am. Oh but wait.. it’s vacation right? Sleep when you’re dead?

July 15

Wake up at 5am. It is early, but the sun has been up for 2 hours now. My couchsurfing host is awesome and wakes up with me, makes tea and helps me with my bag to get to the metro station 1 minute before it comes. Perfect timing. I get to the train station in good time, and the train leaves exactly on time. These Norwegians are “a l’heure”!

2. Portlandi Kiscserkesz Tabor – N.Umpqua River

Kepek

Pentek Reggel elindult ot vezeto, s 5-6 csalad delre Portlandtol. A celjuk: Horseshoe Bend Campground. Itt volt a helyszine a masodik Portlandi Kiscserkesz tabornak. 3.5-4 ora utazas, lerobbant kocsi, s azoknak kimentese utan, cuccal egyutt vegul elert a csapat a taborhelyre. E megprobaltatasok utan is mindenkinek jo kedve volt, alig varta a tabort. Szulok kulon taborba vonultak, s a vezetok: Tunde, Joska, Katie, Ildiko, es az Orban hazaspar Seattlebol kezdtek a foglalkozasokat. Kezdtuk ismerkedo jatekokkal, satrakba bekoltozessel. Azutan volt egy finom paprikas krumpli vacsorara.
A taborba iden kevesebben voltak mint mult evben, de jo csapat gyult ossze: volt egy darazs nevezetu fiu ors amiben harom 6 eves volt, es a Gyongyvirag ors, amelyben harom 8-11 eves lany volt. Orsvezetojuk Joska (15 eves), es Katie (16 eves) volt, akik Washington DCbol jottek el erre a taborra kulonlegesen.
Szombaton hetkor mar ebreszto volt, szemle, zaszlofelvonas, s reggeli. Nap kozben orsi foglalkozasok ahol az egyenruharol, utjelekrol, tuzrakasrol tanultak, sportoltak, enekeltek, jatszottak, es kirandultak. Ebed ido utan egy vizi rohampalyat keszitett Csaba, amiben tobbekkozott vizipisztolyokkal kelett egymast lovoldozni. Kotelhuzas, lufi dobalassal is versenyeztek a kiscserkeszek. Kezimunka is volt, piheno kozben Wiki-sticks-ekkel, gyurmaval is jatszottak. Delutan babszinhazban Csipike, Tipetupa, Kukucsi, Bagoly, es Kecskebeka szerepelt.
Nap kozben fantasztikus foztoket keszitett Enikoe, akinek a 4 eves lanya mindenkinek mosogatott, megkeres nelkul, meg a mosogato orsnek is segitett. Ebedre karfiol es brokkoli leves volt, Vacsorara kituno babgulyas keszult tuz folott.. meg a vezetok sem tudtak megallni megkostolni amig keszult! Nap kozben ketszer uzsonnaztak is a gyerekek, yoghurt, alma, repa, rizs keksz.
Este tabortuzre keszultunk, aminek a temaja a Csipike tortenetbol az “Orias” volt a tema: fizikai, de lelki “oriassagrol” is. Az orsvezetok turelmesen kidolgoztak az orsukkel egy-egy szamot, es a szuloket is meghivtuk, hogy resztvegyenek. Ok is egy aranyos szamot adtak elo az onzosegrol. Tabortuz alatt Csipike (Tunde) orias lett, es Kukucsi (Csaba) varazslatosan elvesztette lusta tulajdonsagat.. meg annyira hogy Vasarnap reggel o ebredt, hogy tornazzon a gyerekekkel.
A Magyar szulok elamulva neztek, milyen sok eneket tanultak a gyerekek, milyen jol szerepelnek a sok ember elott, s milyen jo jatekokat tanultak.
Vasarnap reggel sajnos esore ebredtunk, de megoldottuk: feltettuk Szilvia altal kolcson adott ponyva-satrat, es alatta tartottunk meg egy babszinhazat. Erre a nap is roviden kisutott ami alatt egy akadalypalyat keszitettunk 5 allomassal: vizipisztoly lovessel, kotel at kuszassal, aztan egy szines-ugro puzlival, kotel/csiga ulessel, aztan botokbol haziko epitessel, meg memoria jatekkel fejeztuk be. Ezek utan egy darazsviadal is volt, ami abbol alt, hogy Tipetupat meg kelett vedjek a kiscserszkeszek a harom darazstol. Mindenkire ra volt kotve egy zsak cukor selyem pappirbol keszulve. Ezt ujsagpapir kardokkal kelett pufolni, amig el nem sakad, futas kozben. Vegul a kiscserkeszek nyertek!
Koszonet a vezetoknek, szuloknek, es gyerekeknek a sikeres taborert!

Toulouse: The Chicago of France

Reason for that is not because it’s cold, but it’s windy… I feel like I’m a monsoon, without all the rain. But every day, i look at my watch, it says it’s into October, but it’s still very warm. Makes me happy. While watching french TV today, I found something kind of amusing: every commercial that was advertising any kind of fattening food (kinder chocolate, McDonalds, etc) had a marquee subtitle warning the viewer that one should eat a balanced diet, and exercise enough. AHA, so that’s why the french are so skinny – they are warned at a young age to beware of fatty food. Oh and of course becoming half anorexic too..
Otherwise, I’m getting many compliments from all french people I meet that I speak french very well.. I wonder if they are just being cordial or if it is actually true. I feel like I’m getting better but it’s not progressing as fast as I’d like it to. And when I’m tired, It is very hard to pull out the language.
I start classes on Monday, with a 3 week late start in the third year of a math/statistics/information studies license. For the first week I’ll be sampling the classes, but I really like the city of Toulouse, and if nothing else, I believe the fluency of French is a huge step forward – it would make me more internationally competent with a third language under my belt. It will be indefinitely hard, of course, but if I do manage to make a living somehow, and go to school it would be a really good feeling.

Le but de mon voyage, c’est…

To learn to speak french better. Yes.. which is what I thought is what would happen when i went out to farms to help, and these random people in the country side, but it turns out most of these people are friggin BRITISH. Ok, so I have nothing against british people, except for a couple of them who decide to be really cool and send me off in 4 hrs notice.. but enough about that. Anyways, I may learn to speak french better if I just stay in a hostel.
Yesterday 3 new guys joined us in the room des Musiciens (just a theme… it’s not like we have a grand piano in there or anything), they are here for a week, and doing some sort of carpentry school, then three weeks doing work with a company to build specifically log cabins. They were really cool, only one of them could speak English, so it was really interesting trying to talk with the other ones, but I somehow “uhh”-ed and ahh-ed my way through the conversation, circumscribing as much as I could.
Interestingly, we did somehow manage to get our way through some conversation about Radio Frequencies, and also some disorder of the heart which one of them had… it was quite a good feeling.