Sweet Sugary Memories

Dwi Anggraeni (INA AFS to Norway YP 16–17)

First thing first, I cannot express how I am feeling right now except with the word “grateful”. Heaven knows, I am extremely in love with everything in Norway. However, it is so unbelievable that my fellow exchange-student friends and I are in the middle of our stay in our host countries. As they said, “time moves too fast”. Especially when you are having fun and enjoying every single second of your stay, which, in this case, is a good thing.

For about 5–6 months during my stay in Norway, I have learned so many new incredible things. The Norway that I know now is something more beautiful beyond my imagination back then. Back in Indonesia, I used to love the rain and it is nice how it gives an amazingly fresh smell to the grasses. Not that I do not love the rain anymore, but it rains insanely much in this country. In addition, I live in the Western Part, which is the area where it rains the most in Norway. Despite the fact that it rains a lot, I live on a very beautiful island called Stord, in a small place called Dåfjorden in Fitjar municipality. I feel so lucky to be in this island. There is a famous saying in Norway, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” I could not say anything but 100% agree with it.

After almost a half year in Norway, I finally understand something in all of the subjects. In the past, the only subject that I understand from the beginning is just English. Since I have International English class, the teacher does not want to hear anyone to speak Norwegian or any other language except for English. To me, it is a wonderful thing to be in a class that everyone speaks the language I understand. Even though some people sometimes speak Norwegian. On the other hand, it is funny how I sometimes become that ‘some people’ nowadays. Talking in Norwegian is not something that is difficult for me anymore. These days, I am trying to talk only in Norwegian with people surroundings me. It is impressive how my Norwegian gets better and better every day.

In a way, I am quite sure that everyone in my school knows me. Well, maybe not all but most of them. The reason for that is that it seems like every time I smile or talk with someone or even strangers, magically they always know me and some people know a little bit more than what I was expecting them to know. Not that I do not like it, I do, I really do like it. Here is a thing, I find it a little bit funny how most Norwegian is a bit shy to make the first move but in the other hand, they know you and sometimes they also know some stuffs about you too. Sometimes it can be a little bit creepy but other times it can be sweet.

As I know more people now than I did back then, I found out that everyone is really nice and amazing. In fact, I finally found my favourite people here. Having some favourite people does not mean that I do not interact with others, I still do. Especially at school, it is nice to have people that you can talk and joke around with at school. Those favourite people of mine feels like my best friends and I hope it will still be like this even when I am back to Indonesia. It is nice how sometimes we also spent times together outside school. For example, we went out to some places, sleepovers and even just have lunch together.

In the second week of January, I had my Social-Week. In my case, I chose to help a kindergarten nearby my house. A week with the kindergarten helped me so much in lots of aspects. For example, I learned how to handle a crying child, how to read a book for children, how to deal with children when they are fighting and also I learned so much new Norwegian words that children says most of the time. That week also was the week where I heard so much screaming, crying and even laughing. Although it was a very tiring week but I swear that never in a million years I will ever regret or even forget the best second week of January that I have ever had.

As a matter of fact, I have fulfilled one more thing in my bucket list. This winter in the last week of January, my host family and I went out for a vacation. In Norwegian, we say it “hyttetur” which means like cabin tour. For the first time in my life, I tried to ski. It was incredibly difficult and fun at the same time. Inside of those big ski shoes, my feet were so numb. I cannot feel my feet in that time and it was snowing and freezing. At first, it was so difficult to walk on those and I think I fell way too much of times. In the end, it was not so bad. I somehow managed to control it. Although it took quite lots of times but it turns out great and I can say that it was impressive. The hyttetur was amazing and the place that we went to is a very beautiful old countryside and very cold. There are so many old buildings and houses in that area. My host-mother and I went for a sightseeing to an area where it seems like no one lives there. Magically, someone actually live there. My host-mother was also as amazed as I am when we saw a bus-stop. It was just so unbelievable that somebody could live in an area between hills and mountains.

At this moment, I am really looking forward to enjoy the rest of my time in Norway. I am extremely happy of what I had experienced. Whenever I took a deep breath and look back, I realize that I did so much things that I never did or even thought I would ever be able to do it. For some reasons, I can still feel the feeling that I got in every moments that I have been through during my exchanger year. For sure there are good and bad moments that happened. However, when it comes to memory, it all only became sweet sugary memories.

Overall, I cannot stop myself from thanking everyone that is supporting me. Especially my family, friends and AFS people. All of the supports mean the world to me. I am grateful that I got the chance to get out of my super comfort zone. Otherwise, I would probably never experience everything that I have experienced here. In the end, I always know that I have made a great decision to be in Norway.

Jeg elsker Indonesia og Norge.

I love Indonesia and Norway.

Aku cinta Indonesia dan Norwegia.

Med vennlig hilsen,

Dwi Anggraeni