Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Et hjem

Hello, friend.
When I left Stavanger last February, my housemate, Kanjana, made me a keychain. On one side, it has a sketch of our house and the name of the street, Kirkebakken. On the other side, in front of a psychedelic orange patterned background, the words "et hjem," Norwegian for "at home." I stopped by Stavanger to visit on my way back from Svalbard, and I must say, dear friends, it still feels like home.

Ingeborg picked me up at the airport, and except for new coat she was wearing, both of us looked exactly the same. It was like I had left Stavanger yesterday. I spent my first few days at her place, and it was great to spend time together again. We ate Thai food one night and Indian the next. We went to see an indie Italian movie about a mob family. I was reminded of all my favorite things about Ingeborg: her generosity, her adventurous spirit, her love of ethnic food, music, and art, her classy fashion sense that always makes me look like a hobo. It was so good to see her again.

Most of my friends work during the day, so I used that free time to revisit all my favorite parts of Stavanger. I took a long walk through the city center and along the shore of the fjord. I ran a few errands. I bought fresh raisin rolls and ate them in the sun. Of course I stopped by IRIS to catch up with colleagues and drop off specimens, and of course I ended up finding a quiet corner and working on my laptop for a few hours. Such is the life of the traveling scientist.

The city was as beautiful as ever.
I spent Thursday evening at Andrew's. He actually picked me up on his way to get his daughter from school, which meant I got to pick her up with him. Friends, let me tell you, there is nothing like seeing a blonde-headed 6-year-old run at full speed across her classroom towards you to make you feel like you've done something right in life. After some time on the trampoline, I spent most of the evening sipping cider and talking science with Andrew. True to form, he took one look at my most recent data set and gave me 5 new analyses to try, but I don't mind. The paper will end up better for it.

It was a great week, and I feel like I'm finally recuperating from my absurd work schedule during the Svalbard course. In essence, I stopped by home on my way...well, home.

No comments:

Post a Comment