2016, it’s a wrap

pouring champagne

A lot of things happened this year. I learned a bit about myself and about the world. It was a good year.

I realized that I love discovering the insides of new cultures and I like analyzing societies on a macro, social level. I like sports and writing.

A roughly 600-words post is coming, after the Oslo Reports could be a bit long, so brace yourselves. I tried to make it interesting, let me know in the comments if I’ve succeeded.

Finished Erasmus

In January I moved home after spending the previous New Year in Budapest. I left behind the “Erasmus life” and the “Budapesting”. Kinda missed the city so I revisited in March, meeting up with some old Erasmus friends.

First trip outside of Europe

Visited Brazil all alone. Some of my friends thought I was crazy, my parents thought I will die. What really happened? I extended summer by 1.5 months and met some great people. Learned a lot about Brazilian people, Americans and Canadians.

Took light packing to the next level, realized that you really don’t need that much stuff. All you REALLY need can fit in a hand-luggage sized bag.

Met my Girlfriend

Elle s’appelle Marie and she is French. If I must sum up her in two words: lovely and bi-polar. Either falling asleep standing up, or jumping out of her skin even sitting down. Also, she is crazy about food. Since meeting her, I realized that I don’t know nothing about food. She also reassured me that I should learn cooking. Several times.

Discovered France

Saw Paris from a new, less-touristy perspective. Realized that lunch can be skipped (which here means that you eat a club sandwich) but dinner is sacred. You have to cook food for dinner. Accompanied by petit vin, petit fromage.

Learned the following things:

Taking the train can be faster than taking the car. Shopping for a family dinner can be done without a car. It can be done, but it should not be. Not a pleasant experience.

Visited the French countryside for the first time. There are villages without even a bakery. You need to know, that the bakery in France is the first establishment that opens up in a settlement and the last one that closes during crisis. Similar to what a bar is in Eastern Europe.

Beer is not really a thing here, but people are drinking wine like water. If you can take a shot of anything stronger than 30%, you’re a hero. And an alcoholic.

Moved to Norway for work

Lived mostly in Oslo, but had the chance of staying for a night or two in smaller towns also. Temperature is dropping and prices are rising. Steeply and quickly. It is also pretty dark.

Otherwise it’s a nice country. People are very respectful, not excessively friendly but very helpful. There is a tranquility to it, especially if you consider that Oslo is a capital. Lots of traffic jams, but as my Bulgarian uber driver put it: “come on, capital without traffic it’s no capital”. There isn’t really a problem with it, as they are the most civilized drivers I have ever seen.

Drove in 2 months more than 10 000 kilometers.

Before I sold my car that was my yearly quota. Maybe a bit more, but for two months that’s an absolute record. Most of this was driven in Belgium and Norway. This one was not particularly interesting, but I just had to mention it. Consider it bragging if you wish.

Bought a bike for 50 euros

Last year I sold my car so I was left without means of transportation. Public transport is not really my thing, the bike offers the freedom of a car, it’s just more cheap and more healthy. In the summer a bit more sweaty also. It is just what I wanted: big wheels, easy bike. It’s a “vintage” Peugeot, according to the seller it even has “the champion colors” on it. It’s some old sticker on it, which he believed to be a strong selling point. Anyways, he already had me at its 50 euros.

I was not really a sports guy before, but I realized I love taking the bike. Quicker and less stressful than driving.

Started the blog

Started my first semi-serious blog. At the beginning I was posting daily, but then I got lost in this complicated thing we call life, job and earning money. I abandoned my readers for a bit. Sorry dad and friends. Realized that I enjoy writing a lot. Hope, it’s enjoyable.

 

2017 here I come, wiser and older. OK, maybe just older. Hope you will be an equally exciting and fulfilling year as the previous one was.

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