As I write this blog post, (last night) it is 10.30 pm in Norway and in Kristiansand, it is raining heavily. Clearly the Indian Summer, came and went and maybe went for good. “Hope you enjoyed the Indian Summer over the weekend, maybe it was the last summer day this year,” read a message from a friend.
In my last blog post I wrote about Indian Summer and emphasized how important weather is in Norway. I made a comment, that most Norwegians are much more concerned about my views on the weather than they are, about my general welfare. My friends picked an issue with me and actually stated that I have to make an apology for this. I promised that I will make a clarification on this.
“I mean – this is serious Patience-if you have the feeling that Norwegians are more interested in how you are dealing with weather than how you are fairing -we really need to improve.” One of my Norwegian friends wrote back to me on reading my blog post. Of course yes, there is room for improvement, and a big room for that. Ha ha ha!!
Having been put on spot, I had to explain what I meant. I blame it all on my cultural differences with the Norwegians. I come from a country where we seldom talk about the weather, instead we choose to concentrate on asking each other about our general wellbeing, that of our immediate families, extended families and even our neighbours. A typical conversation with Kenyans on first meeting will be “Hey, how are you today? How have you been since I last saw you? How is work? Glad to see you again.What about your husband and children? How is your mother, the last time I heard about her, she was sick. How is so and so doing” . No weather talks at all. Very rare if any.
So I had a tough time making my clarification. “Yes I get your point. Good to hear that you have different impressions of Norwegians -maybe you should clarify that in your next blog so that your Kenyan readers will get to know that empathy and care can also be experienced in this society even though it takes some time and effort to get access to it. We are trying and of course by reading your opinions, we will try further.” Read further reply.
The truth is, there is every reasons for Norwegians to talk about the weather. On Friday and Saturday, it was such a perfect summer day and many people did a number of outdoor activities. On Saturday, I had a busy schedule. 1st went to my colleagues place and taught them how to make pilau, we have been planning this for so long and of course this was a perfect day.We had fun just sitting and enjoying the sun from the windows. As they escorted me back at around 2pm, the city was fully packed, babies and their parents, boys and girls, men and women of all ages. I strolled around and did lots of window shopping. I realised that most shops have new stock, of course winter clothing. Cardigans, sweaters, trench jackets, scarfs, leg warmers, shawls and woollen linings have filled most shops. It was evident most people were busy shopping, preparing for the chilly season ahead.
“We are going for a boat riding, probably the last this year, you can join if you want” said another colleague from work. I however, decided to join my other friends for a biking expedition. We went through Kristiansand and it was so lovely to see places I have never been too. For once, I thought I knew the whole of Kristiansand, but realized not yet. I will go back to the Vest-Agder Fylkesmuseum and blog about it. It was so nice to see the history of Norwegians in the years 1700. Throughout our expedition, the roads were fully packed, with convertible cars, motorcycles, bicycles and human traffic. All those people, I am sure they were aware that it could have probably been the last summer day, so they made maximum use of it.
At 6pm, I still had another plan, to join my more friends to a camping site- Evjetun, about 1 and half hours away from Kristiansand. Here,we joined other members of the church for a weekend retreat. Games, dialogues, preaching and pizza eating made our evening complete, then 90 minutes drive back to Kristiansand. On getting to the house, it was on Sunday, which was predicted to be a rainy day. True to the weather forecast, raining it did all day long. I just stood watching it from my bedroom window with no plans of leaving my bed. Since then it has been raining and it is still raining, 40 minutes into finishing my story.
So now you know why “they” Norwegians have every reason to talk about the weather. It changes every other day. “It can change over night…October can be anything. From +20 to snow” Said another friend.
I am getting prepared, all my warm clothes (check) winter shoes and socks (check)snow grabbers, (check) house heaters working (check) fireplace(check) firewood (soon), so I will be fine, looking forwarding to round two of this. This week, it´s potato week, children are on one week holiday, will tell you about it in my next blog post.
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” ― Albert Einstein