Category: Getting personal

Folk som tilsynelatende vet alt om verden…

Ja, du vet.

Sånne folk som alltid snakker om verden som om de vet så mye om den. Sånne som høres ut som om de faktisk tror at de lærer om verden ved å se på kveldsnyhetene daglig i årevis, og dermed kan fortelle deg mer om et land du nettopp har vært i noen måneder, men som de selv aldri tidligere har vist interesse for. Annet enn gjennom nyhetsinnslag om konflikter, sykdom, sport, natur- og sultkatastrofer, vel og merke.

tv

Etter min erfaring, stiller sånne folk deg maks to spørsmål om et lengre opphold du har hatt i utlandet (typisk “har du hatt det fint da”, tett fulgt av “er det godt å være hjemme”?), før de snart – dersom du legger ut om hvordan hverdagen din var der, – mye heller vil høre om hvorvidt du ble matforgiftet der. Sånne folk vet nemlig om en som en gang “havna på sjukehus der”, og etter det har de tenkt at turen “til et sånt sted” ikke ville vært verdt det. Sånne folk er sjeldent interessert i å høre om vennene du fikk deg, men benekter ikke at de en stund var bekymret for om du skulle forelske deg – og bli. Slike kommentarer får andre i rommet til å le, mens en av dem passer på å se på deg for et avkreftende nikk, før de skifter tema.

Du tar deg i å puste ekstra dypt når du tilbringer noen timer med sånne folk. For du vet det jo: Sånne folk har sjeldent vært utafor Sveriges grenser, eller Europa for den sakens skyld. Likevel mener de så mangt om de fjerneste stedene andre har vært. Ikke fordi de har hørt så mange historier derfra, eller sett så mange bilder. Nei, sånne folk stiller generelt ikke mange spørsmål om andres opplevelser i livet. Må Gud forby at noen gir dem nye perspektiver på et sted, eller tema de har gjort seg opp en klar mening om. Ingen har mer rett enn aviser og TV, og ingen som er yngre enn meg selv kan lære meg noe om mennesker eller verden, tenker sånne folk. Alt var forsåvidt også bedre før, mener dem, og det snakker de gjerne om i timesvis.

For sånne folk er verden i dag i det hele tatt ganske skummel, og det er også de fleste fremmede mennesker. At en slektning, eller familievenn som de egentlig kjenner ganske godt, farter og reiser rundt som en annen virvelvind, synes derfor sånne folk vitner om ekstrem rastløshet, eller mild galskap. Dagens ungdom har et naivt verdensbilde tenker de, som tilsynelatende føler seg trygge så mange steder i verden som de selv vet at ikke er trygge. At du forteller dem at det faktisk ikke er mye verre i andre land enn her hjemme så fremt man er åpen og møter folk med respekt, får dem til å le litt oppgitt og referere til “alt det gærne de hører om daglig”.

At du har lært deg et nytt språk, interesserer dem heller ikke nevneverdig, for i følge dem er det så lett nå til dags å lære språk – selv har de lært mye engelsk gjennom TV. At for eksempel Sør Afrika har elleve nasjonalspråk humrer sånne folk av, for “det får da være grenser,” men plutselig minner det dem på den derre “grufulle Apartheid-tida” og snart snakker de om at det er “tragisk hvordan Afrika har holdt på”. Du vet, sånne folk er skjønt enige om at Afrika er et land. Hvis samtalen kommer dithen at folk mener noe om Afrika, peiles forøvrig temaet overraskende kjapt over på bistand, og innbitte kjever popper opp rundt bordet som sopp i nordmarka om høsten.

mushroomsbw

Det skal sies: Du hører gjerne om deres syn på bistand fremfor om gardinsalget på Jysk, eller hofteproblemene til ei svigerinne, og selv om forutsigbarheten til det som vanligvis følger herfra er slående, respekterer du at dem sier sin “sanne mening om at norsk bistandspolitikk er feilslått fordi penga overhodet ikke går dit de skal fordi det jo er fullt av korrupsjon neri der”. Etter slike utsagn sier få andre sånne folk i mot, selv om du selv ikke akkurat sitter og fabler om hvem av dem som fortjener fredsprisen. I blant kliner du til og spør dem hvor de har kunnskapen sin fra, og etter å ha fått et fjollete svar legger du til at du ikke visste de var så engasjerte i bistand. Herfra skifter gjerne sånne folk over til et tema de faktisk brenner for: Det at “vi virkelig må ta bedre vare på våre egne i Norge. Spesielt de eldre.”

Siden du også er opptatt av at man skal ta vare på alle – og spesielt på de svake i samfunnet – sier du deg delvis enig, før du minner om at internasjonal bistand og eldreomsorg er to forskjellige temaer. Når sistnevnte poeng ikke går inn, kaster du deg velvillig inn i diskusjonen som er i ferd med å utfolde seg om omsorgsinsititusjoner. Folk som tilsynelatende vet alt om verden er ofte eldre enn deg selv, og forståelig nok mer bekymret for eldreomsorgen enn deg. Selv har du lang erfaring med å besøke folk på eldrehjem, og opptrer ofte som personlig engasjert i saken. Dessuten liker du å høre med de rundt deg om hva som opptar dem og hvordan de ser for seg at vi kan ta bedre vare på de eldre fremover. En slags løsningsorientert vri om du vil.

Men du lærer tydeligvis aldri, for sånne folk har jo avslørt utallige ganger gjennom årenes løp at de overhodet ikke liker løsningsorienterte diskusjoner. De vil mye heller klage over alt som ikke fungerer, si seg enige i at alt var bedre før, riste på hodet over de udugelige politikerne og si ting som: “Nei, det går bare en vei detta”, mens de strekker seg etter enda et kakestykke.

Hvis du prøver deg på en liten anekdote fra den nylige Asiareisen din litt senere – etter at gemyttene har roet seg og sånne folk har snakket ferdig om den dyre utleieprisen naboen tar for å leie dem en garasjeplass – lytter sånne folk motvillig før de snart avbryter deg for å få svar på om du nå endelig skal etablere deg i Norge.

Du vet. Sånne folk.

Enten om de preges av ubegripeligheten om at det går an å ha en livsstil som står i kontrast til sin egen, mindreverdighetskomplekser typisk for de som har vokst opp i Jantelov-Norge, eller egne uoppfylte drømmer fra en svunnen tid, så har sånne folk til felles at det i alle fall er dårlig skjult, tenker du.

En fattig trøst finnes dog: Sånne folk forundrer flere enn deg. 😉

Advertisements

The ironies of eating meat

Some year ago I started to become interested in the veggie and vegan movements. However, I’ve not staid completely meat free since. I do have my periods and I follow some sort of a diet, but I don’t see the need to be completely restricted to say I’ll never eat meat again, or I’ll never do this and that. To that, I’ve lived too much – not to say traveled – and found out that to me, personally it’s a greater challenge than I like to always would have to reject meals that contains meat, or other products I know have been produced in unethical ways.

However, I have a lot of opinions on eating (too much) meat and on how human beings are consuming increasing amounts of many things we feel like we need overall. Thus I try to keep my consumption level humble and enjoy to stay and get aware about what’s behind various productions of the goods I enjoy.

When I today came across the below picture on an Instagram account, I had a moment to myself thinking. In fact, I’ve actually never thought about meat eating the way Mike Anderson puts it.

So, read it and take a moment and see what you think.

Image

What do you think? Did you see some ironies?

I’d love your opinions of course. 🙂

Graduation bliss

Phui, what a weekend! What a year. What a master’s course!

I’m officially graduated! As a proud holder of a Master’s degree in Responsible Tourism Management I traveled to Leeds for Graduation day July 26th to wear the gown & silly hat, reunite with co-students from the course as well as our teachers – in order to celebrate this fine event.

As I had to go straight from and to work I flew in to London on Thursday, took the train to Leeds on Friday and trained over to Manchester the very same night to catch a plane back to Norway. Flight tickets were horrendously expensive this weekend so this route was my best option.

But: I missed the plane on my way back. Due to my never ending fashion of gambling on last possible transports to an airport and trusting the options being on time. This time it wasn’t, so I arrived to the check in desk too late.

qkjwkln##oahfiowfnp##zzcchkkuuzq!!!

I had to go back to Leeds (1,5 h) and drown my sorrows (the new flight ticket I had to purchase cost 300 pounds) there together with an already cheerful crew of graduates. Not the worst of options, but oh my, do I regret my ‘fashion’!?

You live, you learn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Back to my summer job

IMG_8171

Finally I’m back to what I call “the farm” or “my mum’s farm” for my summer job. This will be the third summer I work here. A brilliant way for someone with my lifestyle to be close to family while earning much money after all (and before the next) traveling, besides doing something meaningful.

The farm is actually not my mum’s, nor is it just a farm, but a rehab institution that my mum happens to manage. She has now lived here for over 10 years, and it’s pretty much impossible to me (and her) to even imagine anything else. She is perfect for this place and such an inspirational person in terms of her compassion. So are many of the others working here, and the ideology of the institution. It belongs to a foundation called Stiftelsen Sollia kollektivet in Norwegian (read more here if you understand Norwegian).

photo

Sollia kollektivet was founded in 1970, and is partly private, partly state owned. Translated from Norwegian, the cornerstone of the foundation is Equality in work, responsibility and economy. An important principle is self- sufficiency to both provide economical empowerment and empowerment of the students that learn a whole lot of agronomy and construction work.

IMG_8718

As you can see its location is breathtakingly beautiful. Surrounded by huge fields and other small and medium sized farms and the best of it all: Norway’s biggest lake Mjøsa. Every time I come back here, whatever season, the smell overwhelms me the very moment I get off the bus on top of the road. Sometimes I almost start weeping, but out of joy. It’s a mix of feelings of ‘home’, the joy of being close to my mum again, the beauty and meaning of the jobs that are done here, the excitement of seeing the students (the people living here due to substance addiction) after yet another journey of mine, having them sharing from their lives with trust and openness.

IMG_8707

IMG_8263

The ideology of meaningful community work and consequent enforcement of drug prohibition have been basic since the foundation’s commence. Here we work together as equals, treat each others with respect and interest – in order for the students (and others of course) to improve their lives and grow.

The farm is 100% ecological and 50% self sustained. We grow several types of vegetables and fruits and got our own animals that provide us with eggs, meet and wool. Products like milk and cheese, coffee and tea, and on occasions meet, as well as ingredients to make bread and desserts are bought in weekly.

Every day we eat three meals together, which on good summer days often looks like this:

Image

Part from offering substance addicts rehabilitation and therapy, the foundation requires that the “students” work from the day they arrive. Until 8 students and 7 employees work together every day from 8- 16 (part from the weekends where one student is in charge of the animals and one worker in charge of transport and general contact with everybody), and are divided in two groups; one in the kitchen and one outdoor in the garden, fields and with maintenance. Who works where rotate from month to month to make sure everybody get to practice all tasks.

My friends often ask me what I’m doing while here, and the answers are “hanging out with the students, chatting and doing everything together from:

Harvesting

IMG_8035

to picking berries

photo

IMG_8684

and checking on our sheep herd up in the hill

IMG_8343

feeding our rabbits

IMG_8347

 eating waffles…

 IMG_6574

coping with pranks…

IMG_8373

and inventing pranks..

IMG_8500

To me the best about the farm is its peace and location, it is a perfect place to stop and think for a while, far away from other things I give importance in life. When I’m here it’s like the world outside is put on hold. It’s easier to be present and to pay attention to other people’s best interest rather than my own. Besides, it is a gift to be let in to the students’ life histories, dreams and self-development, and I’m humbly aware of how time here means empowering self-development for me too.

Here there is plenty of time for walks in the forest…

photo

IMG_8805

cuddle pets

IMG_8694

IMG_8056

and do yoga on the beach.. 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

playing with my family

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

having visitors from abroad

IMG_6570

taking the boat out ‘to sea’…

IMG_8776

IMG_6689

Enough said! As you understand I can’t wait to suck in another 4 weeks here.

Don’t take/ get taken for granted

One of the main factors contributing to the downfall of long term relationships or marriages is being taken for granted. After a while, all of the things that made you feel special, wonderful, and unique are now simply accepted as standard features in your relationship. Sometimes it comes to a point where even a small lapse from your usual behavior is held against you. Although this is not the most pleasant feeling to deal with, this is completely normal and expected in relationships.

ImageIn fact, it’s a demonstration of habituation, something that is not going away in a relationship unless it is addressed. If you have ever taken your spouse, partner, or family member for granted then it will absolutely affect your relationship in a negative manner. No one likes to be taken for granted, and very few people will put up with it for a lengthy period of time.

ImageNothing makes people feel more on top of the world than the feeling of being acknowledged, appreciated, and valued. When relationships are fresh and young, there is always a sense of excitement, admiration, and affection. We say nice compliments to each other, we spend a lot of time together, and we appreciate even the smallest things done for us. We naturally just make an extra effort for that special one.

Image

However, after a while, relationships exit the “honeymoon phase” and become relatively stagnant. Why do we lose our sense of appreciation, and how can we get it back? There are multiple ways that we can take our significant others for granted; the following are just a few examples: We can take our roles as partners, parents, or guardians more seriously than their role. For instance, we think our contributions at work and with family are more significant than our partners, and that our work is not acknowledged enough. In addition, many of us forget to say please and thank you after your partner cooks, cleans, does the dishes, or does some other act of kindness.

ImageSometimes, we even fail to say how lucky or fortunate we are to have each other in our lives. Often times, we become demanding and treat our partners differently than our friends or family because we expect too much of them. We may speak of them or speak to them in a disrespectful way, hurting their feelings. Finally, we tend to expect certain things within our own household, like dinner being ready, or the house being cleaned every week.

The following are some tips to keep you from being taken for granted:

1. First of all, don’t forget to things for yourself – Many people think that they should make certain efforts solely for your partner, spouse, or family members. However, as generous as this sounds, it leads to nothing but a negative result. If you are putting all your energy into others, you are guaranteed to be upset and disappointed when others do not appreciate your efforts. Be sure to tell yourself, “I’m doing this only for myself, this is what I want to do!” Although this may sound selfish, it is necessary to take some time for yourself and do things that make you happy. No one else has to notice your actions, or send compliments your way, because it is benefiting your own self-growth!

2. Be sure to reward yourself – It is possible that your partner or spouse isn’t giving you much credit, but you can certainly give yourself credit to boost your self-esteem. Whenever you accomplish a goal, or finish a difficult task, reward yourself and get some satisfaction!

3. Verbally express your appreciation for what your partner/spouse does – The best advice to remain a happy couple is to appreciate what your partner or spouse does on a daily basis. In other words, if you want others to be respectful towards you, you need to be respectful towards others. Also, if you feel like you have to push yourself to feel thankful for what others are doing, remind yourself that that is what they typically have do for you, which will ease resentment between the two of you.

4Being taken for granted is a form of praise – Although it doesn’t always feel the best to be taken for granted and under-appreciated, you can always use reverse psychology to turn it into a compliment. It is true that the more reliable, patient, and friendly you are, the more likely you are going to be taken for granted.

ImageBeing taken advantage of isn’t something abnormal in a relationship, it is actually a sign of habituation and comfort. Unless it is addressed specifically, it is not going to change, so it is best to work with it than to battle against it. Many people believe that once you exit the “honeymoon phase,” it’s inevitable to regain that special bond back between a couple. However, we each have total control of our actions and thoughts, therefore, we can learn to appreciate our significant others’ actions, which will regain the strong bond back. If you make the active decision to be grateful for your spouse or partner, it will automatically improve the relationship. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it strengthens your relationship and makes you feel worthy again.

If both partners feel like they have a purpose, and both partners are willing to put forth the effort, then your relationship will thrive!

NB! This article is taken (and slightly modified) from this site by the counseling corner Nancy Travers.

I just have to go

Like I’ve mentioned before I kept a diary throughout my whole childhood and teenagers. Although the content got a bit more serious throughout the years, developing from drawing hearts and writing lists over the boys I had kissed in class to listing goals and wishes for my adult (love) life, it’s pretty obvious I’ve always been a dreamer.

Image

Not too long ago I went through the diary I had at 17 and realised how strong my dream of “living abroad” was from an early age. I don’t know at what age it started really; I just had this vision about eternal happiness through traveling and world discovery, and even knew I had to learn more languages to get there.

And here I still am. At 31. If possible, in an even more intense way now than before.

Looking back: At 22 I went to Cuba and started realising that Spanish dream of mine, beginning with the language. Later that year I was accepted as a volunteer through a youth organisation in Barcelona and spent 6 months there. At 26 I went to Buenos Aires for a year, including all the journeys (internal and external) that led to in that region, and at 28 I moved to Ibiza, then London – twice –  and at 30 to Cape Town for 6 months.

The past year I dedicated to the master’s degree in Responsible Tourism Management which at its best has told me THIS topic really is my field, and at its worst has confused the shit out of me. Who do I want to be professionally, where do I want to live, what is it I really want to do in this life? How important is it anyway with a degree? If I want to write anyway, can’t I just do that…? And travel? Must it be academic? I do love researching… But journalists research a lot too!?

My little audience: I would love, love, love your feedback on these thoughts. I’m currently “working” fulltime on researching how to become a researcher (hah!), freelance journalist as well as academic. I will apply for work within all fields and although I’m good at living “here & now” and daily say to myself the same thing we all have to say when getting up in the morning: “who knows where this day takes me”, it would also feel good to soon have some clearer answers, or nailed projects.

Image

Nothing like grannies

Image

After nearly 6 months away I was very excited to spend some time with my grandma again. Today I took her this picture which she agreed on having posted “on the data thing”.

Ive missed her quite a bit as Ive known she has lived though some big changes the last year, from living alone, getting ill, being in hospital and getting moved around between retirement homes. She is going strong despite of more recent illness and the unfortunate events of being a throw ball in the system as we say in Norwegian. She is definitely also more happy in company with others, as it was obvious she felt more and more lonely with time living at home in her flat.

Now it finally seems that she has a permanent place til the end of her day, and her room is covered in pictures and paintings she likes. People at the same retirement home seem friendly and awake, although she told me she is not friend-friend with the other four people in the section she lives.

My grandma is funny with regard to friendships though, and has never been good at making or taking care of friends in general. She says that she “had enough with her husband and four kids” and anyway that she long before meeting my grandpa “used to go dancing with her cousins”.

Last year we got it confirmed she doesn’t really want new friends as one of the ladies with whom she lived in a former retirement home (that she seemingly got very well along with) had started to send her letters and even “was rude enough to give her a phone call” after granny was moved to another home. Personally I thought how beautiful it is that ladies in their 80’s want to stay in touch like that, but apparently that was not how this lady took it. We asked her why this annoyed her and she said she talked too much.

Hah, did we know it! There is only room for one big talker in this woman’s room.

Love her to bits though.

Image