Wednesday, September 8, 2010


So this afternoon I was buying my groceries in between a lecture on vaginal pathology and Norwegian language class (naturally), and it dawned upon me that I have now spent over one month living here in Oslo. Strange thing is, it feels like it's been much longer. I think the exchange process tends to do that. Everything is so packed full during the first few weeks, with a mad scramble to fit in as many activities as possible. Which brings me to the issue of scheduling.

I need better time management. Back home in Melbourne, I was able to knuckle down and get the job done, no matter how boring the topic. Now week 4 into semester and I've still barely any clue as to what pre-eclampsia is. And don't even get me started on paediatric milestones. Whilst I'm assured by the pass-fail system here, it nevertheless worries me that I will have my share of paediatric and female patients in future, with baby/girl problems like meningitis and menorrhagia, and I wonder how on earth I will be able to sort through dyspareunia and dysmenorrhea systematically? In addition to this, my predilection for sleeping at bizarre, non-consistent times of the day has officially fucked up my body clock, and I now find myself nodding my head at least 10 times per lecture, irrespective of the topic/teacher. And I'm not talking about the kind of nodding you do when you agree with someone...

Anyway. More excitingly (see my point about lack of study?), I just returned from a 3 day tour to Fjærland, which is westward from Oslo. The trip was arranged through the university, and took us hiking up 1000m mountains and pristine glaciers. I could go on and on about how amazing the trip was, how beautiful the glaciers were etc. etc., but photos are so much better, right? So here are some below:

Meanwhile, my Norwegian is coming along steadily. My housemates have commented on how my norsk is improving, and I am now able to engage in conversations beyond stating my name, where I come from, and what I like to do. Ie. I can now say things like: 'because', and 'therefore', and 'vagina'. The last one perhaps isn't so useful. But seriously, when I'm sitting in outpatients at hospital, the consultations invariably fall back into Norwegian and yet I usually understand the gist of it. If there was a word count, perhaps I would be at the 15% mark, but you don't really need to understand all the words to figure out what they're saying. Meanwhile, I still need to learn German. Like now! I'm slightly annoyed at myself for being annoyed in the first place, and I don't know why I take it so personally, but I can't help but feel like my inability to speak German when practically everyone else here can is like a personal failure. Which is ridiculous! And crazy! I've never even been to the country before! But 3/6 of my housemates speak it as a native-tongue, and so do most people living in my student village (and the other student village too). I think I need to go back to Australia and listen to Australians speaking German, which will make me feel better about myself because most Australians speaking German (or trying to) sound like they're choking. I think Australia should make it mandatory for all primary schools to be bi-lingual. And none of that one-class-per-week shit. I'm talking about 2 days a week where everything is taught in the foreign language. Our ability as a nation to handle LOTEs is nothing short of disgraceful (if not contemptuous).

Anyway. Rant aside, here are some things I have planned ahead:
  1. Weekend cabin trip with friends (pending cabin availability...getting this cabin business has been quite the challenge)
  2. Weekend cabin trip with the medical students' society (pending reply from email-lady)
  3. Trip to Stavenger to see rock(s) (pending people)
  4. Trip to Stockholm (pending agreement of date)
  5. Trip to Bergen (not so much pending - this will probably happen)
  6. Trip to Helsinki (pending I discover what it is I intend to do in Helsinki)


  1. Ahh very jealous!! Your travels/travel plans sound and look so awesome. I totally know what you mean about being distracted though. Who can concentrate on studying when there are so many other fun things to do.

  2. I know, it's terrible. I cannot for the life of me sit down and study pelvis (I was meant to do it today and I have not done a single page). I'm just so busy everyday with OTHER things???? I think I need to cut out some of these other things. But yes, this cabin thing is happening this weekend now :-). T'will be fun, I imagine. I'm now a member of DNT (Norwegian trekking association or something), and I'm gonna milk this card for all its worth...

  3. If you have a DNT-card, you're basically as Norwegian as you can get. Good on you!

    Oh, btw, I'm the one of the Norwegians occupying your spot here in your great city.

    Great blog!

    Venleg helsing,

  4. Hei hei, takk for lesing! Ja, forrige uke kjøpte jeg en DNT-kort. Jeg har nettopp kommet tilbake fra en hytte tur, i Fjellvang (i Nordmarka) sammen med noen vennene mine. Oslo er en pen by, ikke sant? Jeg er glad at du liker Melbourne også, men jeg ønske ikke reise tilbake til Melbourne neste år!

  5. Dette er svært imponerande! Ingen google translator?

  6. Selfølgelig! Jeg kan ser alrede en feil der borte --> "ønske ikke å reise tilbake" og ikke "ønske ikke reise tilbake", ikke sant? Jeg brukte en ordbok for noen ord (for eksempel: nettopp og lesing), men jeg brukte ikke 'google translate' i går. Men jeg må bruke 'google translate' ofte fordi det er mange e-poster som jeg forstår ikke. Også når jeg leser 'websites' (eg. DNT) må jeg bruke google translate... men, i framtid skal jeg lese norsk uten google translate, håper jeg!

  7. og ønskeR (jeg bør bruke 'r' etter ønske)