We are in the midst of phase 1 of reverse culture shock, as evidenced by these comments by the children:
There’s no people on the streets.
Everybody looks like us.
Nobody is looking at us.
Our oldest is doing a great job trying out her fledgling Norwegian, and when she can’t think of a word in Norwegian, she just says it in Chinese.
What’s the difference–it’s all a foreign language, right!
We are enjoying the thrills of taking deep breaths of pine-scented air, stepping on mossy paths amidst rays of sunshine, running barefoot in dewy grass, looking for intertidal creatures at the shore, and (for me) letting the 3 oldest just run outside and explore the surrounding nature without mom and dad accompanying them.
Morning runs without encountering a single human being.
And the food.
To quote our friend PM, before I came to Norway, I was skinny.
I won’t belabor the point, but let’s just say that while there is no actual word for “dessert” in Chinese, I think the Norwegians invented, perfected and magnified this art of food preparation before Columbus discovered the Norwegian map to the New World.
In the meantime, we have another day and a half of glorious unpopulated nature before braving our way to the airport and find out if volcanic ash will affect our travel route to the US.