Now that it’s been a few days since I returned to this island of joy and annoyance, I have been evaluating how I chose to answer those 3 questions that almost everyone that I met during my “vacation” in Norway asked me.
- When are you moving back to Norway?
- Do you have a boyfriend?
- What do you usually eat?
Although I understand the interest behind whether or not I’ll be coming back, I got increasingly tired because many thought it was connected to question 2. Regardless of the current outlook of the declining Norwegian economy, I was disappointed that so many people genuinely thought that I made my decision to stay here a while longer based on romantic endeavors. I’m far more career focused than that – which may not however always be a good thing. And than leads to the actual answer to the second question; my education, both academic and experiential is my boyfriend. This one really hit me at the point where my dad reminded me that I should take time to also think about settling down. I’m 22 – and only halfway to menopause. Leave me alone.
The third and most annoying question was about my general diet. I kept hearing that I looked sick and both friends and family were genuinely concerned about my health. I guess that’s what happens when you give up fish and boiled potatoes for a few years. I also got to hear something that threw me off my chair: a salad isn’t a meal – eat proper food. Try telling another New Yorker that.
So where am I going with all this? If I wasn’t already a culturally confused person, I sure am now! I’ve been struggling my entire life between finding the ratio of my Norwegian personality to my Indian ethnicity – and if that’s not enough, the New Yorker in me is taking over! I honestly don’t feel like I belong to any one place anymore – which is an unpleasant feeling to have – but also liberating at times. I’m in a place where I feel like the Norwegian habits are superior to the American ones, but the habits of a New Yorker are far more sophisticated – hence, more me. It’s as they say, New Yorkers are more European than Europeans.
So in order to combat this this confusion, I have decided that I need to import all my favorite Norwegians to NYC. Then we’ll all be happy and live like blissful unicorns, eat cake and poop rainbows. I’ve found you guys a bus and all!
Pictures by the amazing Jon Vidar Strømstad