Saturday, February 17, 2007

Do You Speak English?

It was a very busy week. But now that I think about it, most weeks are busy. Friday I needed to drop off some print jobs downtown. It was on one of the few streets that I was familiar with- Kvitsøygata- and only because my wife is from Kvitsøy and the street name stuck in my head. I was very impressed with the shop and the design work they perform. We need new roll-ups for our U.K. trip. Thankfully we are using the lightweight aluminium stands, since we will need to drag those through London, then to Manchester, and back again. Anyway, I drove to work. It was just as well that I had the car. It was insanely windy. Thursday night seems to be the normal wind night around here. It is notable in that we have garbage pickup Friday mornings, and our containers end up blown all over the neighborhood. They are identical to the types of containers we had in Minneapolis, by the way.

Today I went grocery shopping while Lise stayed home. I went to Ultra, since they have coffee beans that I can grind for the espresso maker. I would just as well go to Mega, but it was raining, and I preferred the underground parking. Ultra is as close to a Lunds or Byerlys that you will find here. In some respects, it is nicer. Like Byerlys, it is expensive. In the dairy aisle some woman from the UK asked me if I spoke English. She then had all sorts of questions what distinguished one butter from the other. Some had no salt, some half salt, some had yogurt, some were blended with margarine. She asked the right person. The store today was seemingly filled with people from the UK-- I heard English English spoken everywhere. I wondered if they understood any Norwegian. I am always curious how other foreigners experience life here. My life here would be very different if Lise were not Norwegian. I also was left with the thoughts that maybe I should make friends with more native speakers of English. It isn't that I have trouble communicating, but sometimes it is nice to speak English with people when it doesn't feel like they are doing me a favor.

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