PHONE: I got a new sim card with a Norwegian number! It is a prepaid card that cost 200Kr and has 50Kr already loaded on it. I was iffy about paying for a phone since I do not exactly need one. But, there have been time where I wish I could text another Norwegian friend or use my phone to look up a map or access Google Translate at the grocery store. Since I am going to be here for a year it makes sense, especially for when I travel around Norway. I will add my number to my contact info on here, but please remember that since it is prepaid I have to pay for every single text and minute of calling, so I'd prefer to keep it as limited as possible...cuz I am cheap haha
BAKING: *Warning this may not be interesting to most males and some females.
Oh man, ingredients here are a bit different! The other day I went to find baking soda and had a bit of trouble, then I finally figured out what my problem was...I was looking for something that resembled the Arm&Hammer Baking Soda boxes from home, but eventually found it in packet form. There are maybe 4 or 5 tablespoons in the packet at best. The other think that proved a bit difficult to find was shortening. I have not been able to find anything similar to Crisco here, but I found a refrigerated vegetable shortening that worked fine. I wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies and also couldn't find chocolate chips. I've realized that these kind of cookies are not exactly as common here as in the states. I decided to buy a big Freia Melkesjokolade bar and cut it up into pieces. The other weird ingredient to find was brown sugar. All of the sugar here is much coarser than at home, and when I asked for brown sugar in that store I was offered the stuff that you put in coffee. Once again the packaging fooled me. It was in a tiny bag with a picture of a piece of coffee cake on it. When I got back to my home and opened the bag I found something that didn't look like the brown sugar I was used to. There was a very strong molasses smell and once again, grainy sugar. When I started to cream the sugars and butter I found that they didn't turned into the same smooth concoction I am used to. Long story short the first batch ended up weird, I added a lot more flour, the chocolate pieces all melted to nothingness inside the cookies but they tasted OK. I forgot to mention, this was on my birthday, and since I didn't have stuff to make a cake I tried to do cookies. Yesterday I came back wiser and more prepared to make cookies again. I made peanut butter cookies and stuck a piece of the Norwegian Chocolate in the middle. I use these cookies as bargaining chips for rides and other favors. If I have learned anything in my life, its that boys will gladly do things for food.
And though the ones on my birthday didn't turn out to great, I was lucky enough to have a cake after all. My friend Hannah was gone on a school trip so I spent most of my birthday alone, but my first Norwegian friend that I've made here, Øystein, invited me over to watch a movie with him and his girlfriend. I could not have asked for anything better; cake, a movie, great conversation and good friends is all I could want for my birthday.
I'll try to get better at updating this more often. If there is anything you want to hear about or are interested to have to tell about, let me know! Hope all is well for you, and thanks for all your prayers!