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Fifth time’s a charm

January 10, 2010

Wednesday was the start of yet another crazy Orientation Week – this time called a Welcome Week.  And this one is marks the fifth O-Week of my undergraduate career: as a frosh, a soph, an HBA1, an Ivey Guru, and now an exchange student.

The events were all geared towards getting to know the city, school, and exchange students.  On Wednesday, I met my mentor group.  The two mentors were Kaspar and Oktay.  I had a very multicultural group: Tim (Germany), Caroline (France), Martin (Czech republic), Allard (Netherlands), Catherine (A Queen’s student – not so cultural there, I guess).  We were joined late by Ana Maria, from Spain.  After a guided tour of the campus, we had an hour to unwind before a pre-party … at 5pm.  For some reason, every single pre-party this week started at the dinner-time mark.  The night culminated in a baptism ceremony.  It’s all very hush-hush, so all I can say is that it was perfectly safe, PG rated, and was an interesting way to be initiated into the school.

The next day was a a hike to Fløein, one of the mountains here in Bergen.  The view?  Spectacular.  I’ve updated my Flickr account (which doesn’t seem to want to be displayed in the panel on the right, unfortunately).  You can see regular uploads from my camera at  We took the funicular up, then hiked back down.  Some of the mentors brought rolls of garbage bags that we used as makeshift crazy carpets.  This definitely transformed the trek down the mountain from dull to just plain awesome.

That night was a pub crawl through the city.  Sadly, not only was this part of the week boring but expensive.  The bars were not nearly as full as anything in London (Western’s bar scene has ruined my expectations, perhaps).  Beer prices ranged from 25NOK, after a cover charge, to around 70NOK.  Needless to say I drank little, and will likely only be downtown if the people I am hanging out with feel the need to dance.

Friday began with an official welcome to the school from the Dean.  Below, a picture of me posing with the Dean, who wouldn’t shake anyone’s hand for fear of swine flu.

Now, the next part of the day is just pure awesome.  After a scavenger hunt around Bergen (so cold!), we all met back at the NHH (from now on to be pronounced the Norwegian way: En-Ho-Ho) for a dinner.  The appetizer plates were the highlights of the night.  Shrimp, smoked salmon, smoked herring, scrambled eggs (ho-hum), various cured meats, and whale (yes, I ate whale) served with bread.

Now, what did the whale taste like, you must surely be asking.  Like liver.  Strong, mineraly, with a liver-like texture.  I’m sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it.  I was too busy stuffing food into my mouth.

I ate so much, I could barely touch anything from the main course, which was comprised of potatoes, meatballs in gravy, and vegetables.

Desert was leftsa – flatbread rolls with butter, sugar, and cinnamon – and ice cream.  Both were good.

Saturday was the last event, and man did it end with a bang.  It’s called sveiseaften, which literally translated means ‘welding night’.  It took place in Hatleberg, and was quite simply 7 floors of pure drinking games, with beer provided by the mentors.  Much hilarity ensued, let us just say.

Tomorrow I hammer out some administrative stuff, including special permission for courses beyond my level.  I’ll keep you updated on what courses I will be taking.  After all, that’s a big part of why I’m here, right?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Erica permalink
    January 12, 2010 3:48 pm

    What’s a funicular? You are right, that is a gorgeous shot ^_^. That’s interesting that you had to be initiated into the school. Oh and that food looks so yummy. Was the whale chewy? lol just something I’ve often wondered. There I am now officially caught up with your travel blog 😛 I will now comment on every single entry you make, hehe.

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