Thursday, May 29, 2008

Train Travel

I spent the weekend in a haunted house. Well, not so much “spooky haunted” as “sentimental haunted.” A. and I took the train down to Virginia last weekend. We stayed in the room that was my father’s – the room that he spent much of the last two years of his life in and the room in which he died. All the pictures in the house look different to me now. When I look at pictures of my father as a child or a young man, I have a completely different view of them. Gazing upon these images brings feelings to the surface ranging from sadness to fear – sadness that he is no longer here and fear that is brought on by the recognition of my own mortality.

I am shifted into an alternate existence when I visit the place I was raised – like a planet in retrograde moving backwards through space and time, reflecting, reminiscing, and losing myself completely in memory. We got back on Monday. It was a long train journey with delays from Virginia to Connecticut. It has taken me two days to readjust – two days to move back to the point I was located before I left. I am here...

Just three and a half weeks until A. and I leave for Norway and there are 1 million tasks undone.

Monday, May 5, 2008


A post from the fjord 5 years ago: Reke Kabaret

Vital Records

Passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, forms, paperwork, everything notarized in duplicate or triplicate...

If you are planning to live in another country for a period over three consecutive months, then you must go through the immigration department of that country. So, as in the case of my upcoming year in Norway, I am going through the process of filling in forms and proving that I will not become a burden on the Norwegian government. This means collecting documentation of my current employment, the Fulbright grant offer, that I have a place to live, and that the university (UiO) truly wants me there (among other things). It is quite time-consuming, but I am sure it will be worth it. And, unlike when we went through this with my husband’s immigration to the US, there are no questions on the Norwegian forms asking if I have ever been a member of the Communist party or if I have ever attempted to overthrow a government. (I don’t know if the forms still ask those questions...)

At the same time that I’m completing all of this paperwork, I’m finishing out the school year (this is finals week), collecting books, materials, software, and equipment to help me with my art and research while I’m in Oslo. We are packing our winter clothing for next year, arranging for our mail to be collected and sent to Norway, as we watch the airline ticket prices climb higher every day. We can’t really purchase our airline tickets until we know that the paperwork for the residency visa will arrive in a timely manner.

I am going to keep a journal of the whole Oslo/Norway/Fulbright experience on this blog so that my family and friends can follow along during our stay. I have done this before during our summer visits on my previous blog and uploaded a lot of image galleries before Flickr became so popular. I’ll probably use Flickr and YouTube for pictures and videos this year.