Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Praise Jesus for the past 24 hours!

No, seriously, they've been the best cumulative day I've had in quite some time.

Yesterday, Monday, Harald and I set out to the Haugesund police station to get my big scary visa business concluded. That business being actually getting the visa I had been granted a couple of months ago put into my passport and all that. Well, there isn't a big rush of folks to the local police station's immigration office apparently because they are only open two days a week, 8:00 - 2:00. Monday, is not one of those days.

Still though, we were in good spirits and decided to wander downtown for a hot minute just to enjoy the fresh air and the main waterfront drag we hadn't been on for over a year...

And we found, drumroll please...

A COFFEE SHOP THAT HAS SOY MILK ON THEIR MENU.

Now all you dears still stateside might be a bit confused by the excitement behind this statement. My fellow expats, are probably not. So that stereo type about where there are Norwegians, there will be coffee, is true, yes. But as far as the kind of diverse cafe menu that one has access to in say, Western Washington; land of espresso stands by the dozen per city block, not so much.

So anyway, we hit up this lovely coffee shop right on Haraldsgt. (that's a street that happens to have my Hubby's name, btw, lol.) that made a mean, loose-leaf chai tea with organic soymilk.

It was bliss, let me tell you.

Even in the behemoth of the Copenhagen airport I had to just go the route of a mint tea because of lack of acceptable milk product. I admit, I had almost given up hope of finding a cafe with non-mammalian milk outside of Oslo.

Oh delight of delights finding a cozy little spot right here in my new home!

Anyway, liquid-based enjoyment aside, Harald and also strolled for a bit and picked up some cute little Weegie Christmas items for my stateside family members, then to the out most delight of my Husband stopped by his favorite Kebab pizza joint for some lunch takeout. (So, if Harald had a blog, the extent to which I raved about finding a chai product to meet my standards would be replaced by his reunion with his beloved kebab pizza joint. No really, he was giddy on the way home, I was half expecting him to ask to hold the food containers himself while driving.)

So after our lunch at home (which admittedly was quite tasty), we took the dogs for a long walk and relaxed the rest of the evening...during which I found a website that streams all kinds of American television stations live (for all you expats longing for a fav show or two, it's freeetv.com. Once you figure out which time zone it streams from, it's pretty awesome to catch an American show that isn't years behind live schedule!)

Today we made it to the police station and I am now the proud bearer of a Norwegian visa in my brand spanking new passport. Now it's just to get to another government office to get my fødselsnummer (like a U.S. social security number), and get my 300-hours of required Norwegian language classes started, and I'm set!

I also found out, after my surprisingly easy, non-intimidating immigration office visit, that I have to reapply for my family re-unification visa every year for the next two (so racking up a grand total of three one-year visa passes in my passport), and finishing my language classes before I can apply for a permanent citizenship status where I retain my U.S. citizenship but be a Weegie by residence duration. This is pretty much as easy, and bottom-line as it sounds as long as any out-of-Norway visits are under 3-month in duration in the next three years, which seemingly isn't an issue.

Exciting stuff, no?

Today, my latest class started: phase 2/3 of my thesis project will be my time suck for the next six weeks or thereabouts. So between that, hopefully starting my Norwegian classes soon, and now being able to catch up on a loved U.S. show or two, I'm set!