Monday, 9 July 2018

My top five things that I miss about or from Norway:

Fishing from the docks in Kristiansund
An older photo from one of my many fishing trips
Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the interweb, today is Monday and for me, that means it is time for another post here on the Beyond the Horizon blog. Today I feel like it is about time for another one of my top five lists, but instead of focusing on my more typical Peruvian topics I want to focus on something that I believe most of us expats go through from time to time. what I am thinking about here are things we miss from our native countries. Either it is “things” like friends and family, items, products or locations/places. As I see it, this is a big part of living abroad and for many of us, it can be hard to find these things locally where we live. At least it can be hard for us that lives outside of the typical expat hubs and for typical destinations for immigrating Norwegians.

As for me, I have now been living outside of Norway for over two years (it is actually close to 26 months now) and I have to say that there are many things that I miss from my native country. This is things like foods, snacks, sodas, and activities that I used to spend my off-work hours on. To be honest, this list is extremely long and sadly I have not to this date been able to find any of them here in Lima or any of the other nearby cities. The feeling of missing these things gets even stronger when I feel homesick, something that actually happens more often then you would think. In this list, I will not include friends or family but instead, focus on food products and activities that were important for my “well-being” while living in Norway. This way you get a small insight into my life previous to me moving to the Philippines and Peru.

1. Fishing and Norwegian scenery: This has to be one of the things from back home in Norway that I miss the absolute most and especially now since it is summer. The reason for this is because from early spring (April or May) to late fall (October or November) my entire off-work life has centered around fishing. I could spend hours on hours just sitting in my camping chair casting and enjoying my surroundings. It did not even matter if I caught anything, where I got to do it or for how long. The important part was that I got to enjoy the hunt and being outside in fresh air. Usually, you would see me dragging on 3 to 4 rods, one large gear case and a crab trap. As you can see from the included photo, I had settled my self in the harbor area and just having a comfortable a time fishing.

Sadly I have not been able to go on one single fishing trip since I left Norway back in May 2016, but there is a silver lining in all of this, my girlfriend has found or located some old fishing gear of mine. This means that with time I will go out on my very first trip in over two years and the frosting on the cake is that I will be bringing my baby prince along. Just the thought about this gets me super excited and that my prince will be joining me is only making this an even bigger event. He has never been out on a fishing trips before. I am not sure about when this is going to happen, but one thing is sure and that is that it will happen before the summer is back. This is because I want it to be warmer and drier weather, it would not be any fun for him if his first fishing experience were to happen in this kind of weather, I think.
Norwegian Jarlsberg ost or Jarlsberg cheese.
Jarlsberg ost or Jarlsberg cheese. Photo credit: (Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry)
2. Norwegian cheese and especially Jarlsberg: I love cheese, I mean I really LOVE cheese. Just let me put it this way, if I could only pick only one spread to put on my bread it would be without a doubt cheese and especially Jarlsberg. Okay, Norwegia cheese does not fall that far behind either, but I have a very special relationship with this specific type or brand of cheese and I use it on almost everything or just eat it as a snack. I have ever since my arrival here in Peru been looking for a decent substitute, but no luck and neither can I find the real deal. I know that the closest country that has this brand is USA and Canada, but I do not trust that it will handle the flight all the way down here. I do not want to order it from the U.S and get disappointed when I find it spoiled or bad. Anyway, I won't give up looking for it.

3. Norwegian milk chocolate: This one is maybe the most underrated Norwegian product and in my opinion the best chocolate in the world. Okay, I would not say that any brand of milk chocolate fits this description, far from it and the brand that I am thinking about here is called Freia milk chocolate. (No, this post is not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned.) I have not up to date been able to find a chocolate product that could replace or act as a substitute in any way. The truth is that the Peruvians would not be able to make good chocolate if their life depended on it. First of all, every single chocolate bar I have found has been overfilled with some type of nuts and secondly, they are way too sweet. It is not like I avoid buying any of them, but I know what I would prefer to get my hands on.

4. Kristiansund Ballklubb and Norwegian football: Here you have another activity that got a lot of my attention during most of the year, football or soccer as the Americans call it. Through the years I have no idea on how many hours that I have spent on football arenas or traveling to or from a match or organizing events, but most likely we are talking about thousands of hours. Most of these hours have been spent in the period 1997 to 2008 0r 2009. This period is a time in my life where I spent most of my time after work on this sport, either as in the leadership of a supporter club, in a football club or organizing events in and around matches. I did all of this without pay, but not that I am complaining because I have been enjoying every second of it. It has been fun, but challenging. So now I have to settle with following my team online.
American fish and chips.
This is not fishan, but an American version of the fish and chips.
5. Norwegian fish and chip or fishan: Have to say that this one was the most difficult one to pick. At this point, I was not sure if I would go for a food dish or a special type of spice, but ended up with this one. Okay, fish and chips is not a Norwegian dish, but an English one. The reason for it ending up on this list is because back home in Kristiansund we have our own version of it and if you ask me, it is way better than the original. You can say that I have had some really bad experience while visiting the UK in the past. To have it mention, back home in Kristiansund we call it fishan, not fish and chips. This is a dish that I have to try to make in the near future, the question is if it will be a failure or success. Anyway, this is one of the things I am looking forward to enjoying when I get back to Norway.

Well, guys, this is my top five things that I miss about or from Norway. To be honest, I have lately been feeling depressed and extremely homesick and this is also what has given me the inspiration for this post. You can say that this in many ways is the downside of being an expat or living abroad, far away from home. There will be things you miss more then other, at times there are things you just can not stop thinking about. One example is my “addiction” to cheese and milk chocolate. The good thing in all of this is that is not too far away future I will be going on a trip back to Norway and trust me I am excited. Well, dear reader, I hope you have enjoyed my post and to such a degree that you will share it with your friends and come back for more in the future.