sobota, 16 maja 2015

Hennebysmauet tribe

Our housemates are rather to be heard than seen, but you can track human presence in this place by dirty pans and constantly dissapearing small pot. There are nine living units in Hennebysmauet, one small studio and eight rooms, divided into three floors. Ground floor contains a studio, first and second have four rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom each. Legends say that there is also a microscopic attic with a small room, but I haven't been brave enough to check it. We are occupying a 11 sq. m room on the second floor, waiting for the ground floor tenants to move from the studio, making room for Hania. On the evening of arrival, I dropped my bags on the floor of our room and enthusiastically announced that it's high time to say hello to the neighbors. Little did I know. Apparently, rich social life isn't a thing in this place and cluttered kitchen, which is the only common space, doesn't even have a place to sit and have long conversations about life, death and everything in between. It's been six days since I arrived and I managed to figure out that:

- In our floor one room is occupied by Jason, who happens to be the most sociable of our housemates (also, he lent us his spare bed, thanks a million, Jason). Jason is half Thai - half Norwegian and is in the middle of his Russ right now. Basically, Russ is a three weeks long festival of soon-to-be graduates of high schools. They are expected to wear red overalls, party, drink like there is no tomorrow and, as a consequence, do stupid shit. Like, emmm... walking on all fours on Torgallmeningen. Or kidnapping three baby penguins and an unhatched egg from an aquarium in Ålesund. It also means that this is what you see when you live with a Russ-ian and open the door (but before this, you hear them, you hear them big time):

It's also worth mentioning, that Russ-ians can't take off their overalls, nor wash them during these three weeks. Which kinda doesn't make a difference in a house which is as dirty as ours. 

- The other room is occupied by Christian. The best way to lure him out of his room is to use a hairdryer. The hairdryer blows the fuses, the blown fuses cut off the router and the dead router makes Christian go out.

- The third room in our floor is taken by an invisible couple. They apparently live there, just behind the kitchen, but nobody has seen them. Hania says that she could smell marijuana next to their door. It's always better to smell marijuana than a rotting corpse.

In the top floor there is Sigurd, who is Norwegian, kinda gloomy but good looking, and Dimitros from Greece, whom I met only because I burned buckwheat and he rushed downstairs only to check if we're already on fire. 

Nobody knows who lives in the ground floor. Once, I spotted a guy in a blue jacket. Nobody knows who he is and what he does. Another great mystery of Hennebysmauet, along whith "who took the small pot" and "use of which sockets will blow the fuses".

piątek, 15 maja 2015


From now on, please, send your money checks and love letters to Hennebysmauet. 

Our place is in the upper part. I expect to have buttcheeks of steel in September.

This house is just bizzare. "You get what you pay for" should be written over the main door. With golden letters. It's a part of a muddle of narrow wooden houses and even narrower cobbled streets in Nordnes peninsula, one of the oldest districts in the city. Random windows just at the arm's reach from your bathroom window, your own window with a view of someone else's roof, a kitchen with a view on some mysterious alley, which doesn't exist in any of the maps you've seen, these are the joys of living in Hennebysmauet. 

After the first morning I realized that being naked in our bathroom is not a good idea.

The landlord doesn't seem to care much about what is happening in the house and house itself seems to hold together mostly by the strength of the dirt sticking it together. That's another thing - forget the pharmacutically antiseptic (yet cozy) interiors of Scandinavian houses you saw on the pages of IKEA catalogues. Hennbysmauet is filthy, and it's a filth of many shifts of tenants, who didn't give a flying fuck about such prosaic things as cleaning the oven or throwing away an impressive collection of glass bottles from over the fridge. Mould creates fascinating patterns on the bathroom wall and there is some mysterious hole in the wall in the cupboard under the sink. The washing machine in our floor doesn't work and the vacuum cleaner is long gone. It's quite exciting to live here as well. The electric installation is so ancient, that the fuses blow every time someone tries to use some energy-consuming device. Such as hairdryer. You never know what else will blow up, or what will fall on your head.

czwartek, 14 maja 2015

On the way to Bergen

After three wonderful days in Oslo, filled with meeting with old and new friends, puppy-like excitement, small heart-attacks over the prices of everything and complete lack of understanding of spoken Norwegian, I finally embarked on the train to Bergen. The ride was supposed to take 5 hours and 30 minutes, so I had a book with me. 

I barely opened it. What was happening outside of the windows was absolutely amazing. I got on the train on one of the cloudy Oslovian afternoons (panting, because hey, who would have thought that car number eight is in the end of the train). We went slowly past the suburbs, green hills and wooden houses painted in red. Few hours later we were speeding trough big, white, empty wilderness. I swear, I've never seen so much snow in one place in my whole life. We were passing by villages with names, such as Gol or Huk, apparently made up in a way that's easier to hear over a blizzard. At least easier than, let's say Tissvassklumptjønnin. We have also stopped in Finse (population: 10), a village that is connected with the outer world by only one way, that is - railway. I saw houses almost completely buried in snow and turquoise glacial lakes. I saw walls of the tunnels covered with a layer of ice so thick, that it looked like there were build of it.

Apparently, the best thing in Oslo is a train to Bergen.

środa, 29 kwietnia 2015

Little update and #13 in progress!

So, the past months have been a rollercoaster to me. I sucked as a blogger, but I had a good reason to suck, since the everyday life became overwhelmingly time- and attention-consuming. I have managed to find a terrible job and quit it shortly after that. I had to leave a big house with a huge garden, where I grew up and move in to a new (and kinda small) apartment. According to Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, moving ranks as 32nd out of 43 traumatic life events. I totally confirm that. I started a business and spent countless hours on trying to make it work (still in progress, check it out here).

The room where I was living for the past 18 years of my life!

But the most important thing, is that a small window opened. A window, that allows me doing something I was preparing for for the past (almost) two years: moving to Norway and working there. This opportunity materialized in a person of my friend from the university, Hania, who apparently had bigger balls than me and last year just got a grip, went to Norway, found a job and spent lovely holidays in Bergen. (In the same time, 1400 kms south I was dreaming about Norway and in the same time panicking over the fact that I SURELY won't find a job and I will SURELY loose all my money). Hania networked me with her boss, I got the flight tickets, I was happy like a clam, and then it turned out that it's not gonna happen. Some formalities with Bergen kommune (authorities) have been missed and our workplace is not going to work for this season.

I got a small heart attack.

True, our boss said he still needs to confirm it, and it's not 100% sure, but my head was already floating in a pink cloud of optimism. What was even worse, is that I have no idea how it happen, but I bought flight tickets to Japan. I don't remember it, I suppose that a super cheap deal from All Nippon Airlines just dragged me into some dark alley, beat me up and riffled trough my pockets. When I woke up, I was 1500 PLN poorer and I had a tickets to Tokyo and back for September in my inbox. To Japan, you see, a super expensive country. Which I won't be able to afford without having worked in Norway. 

After a week of prayers to all known gods, some black magic targeted at Bergen kommune and complete panic, we got an e-mail confirming that our workplace, aka sausage stand in the Bergen's Fish Market is awaiting us. Relief is not even close to what I felt. So, here I come, I have tickets to Oslo booked for May 8th and then I'm going to Bergen on May 11th. 

That's more or less my new job. Continuing glorious traditions of fishmongering in Bergen!

I'm excited, and scared and excited again and I feel that's the rightest thing to do right now! (and: #13 in progress!)

sobota, 6 września 2014

Task 21: Go for a badass trip with my nana

Meet my nana. She's 86, raised 3 kids by herself (because grandfather was a lovely guy, but PTSD that some people get in Nazi prisoner-of-war camp kinda limits you in a daily life). As a young girl she decided to get some education. Nobody pushed her, it was her who wanted something more in her life. As a teenager she was enrolled to a tailoring school. Living in the outskirts of Warsaw, going to school in Warsaw city center just after WWII, meant that every morning she had to walk 4 kms to a railway station, carrying her own chair (school didn't have any). For commuting alone she needed 3-4 hours daily. 

She was a skilled tailor and soon became a manager in the state-owned Moda Polska. Even now she can't stand seing people wearing uneven plaid jackets (just don't when you're around my nana). I remember being 6 or 7 and having piles of Matell catalogues with all those pretty Barbie gowns that weren't even available in Poland (and if they were, they costed gazzilion zlots). My granny used to spend hours on turning her scraps of lace, silk and batiste into stunning Barbie dresses. After she retired she started travelling - the grandmother style - which meant visiting every Catholic sanctuary available in Europe (thumbs up for bringing the Virgin-Mary-statue-barometer, the only barometer that would make you go straight to heaven, religious and practical!). She re-married when she was 78, shortly before she bought a super vintage (well, old and probably dangerous) Lada Samara and renewed her driving licence, which raised panic among the whole family. Now she's 86 and for last Christmas she demanded an anti-wrinkle face cream. She also says that she'd get herself a cat once she gets old. 

I'd like to take her for a short trip somewhere abroad, to a high standard hotel with scented towels and little chocolates on pillows, to say thank you for the best Barbie gowns ever made. I had this plan for a long time, but now, is the time when I really can make it happen. Next stop, Budapest!

niedziela, 24 sierpnia 2014

I'm back. Sort of.

So, guys, I kinda orphaned my blog. It's not that I'm lazy. Well, not only. At one point I just felt that I don't need public declarations to make things happen. Also, some of my dreams had an expiry date. Running a hostel? Hm, you mean dealing with puking dudes in bathrooms, annoyed neighbours and robbers building administration? Err... No thanks? Also, playing ukulele is somewhat cooler when you're in your early twenties.

However, what I started two years ago in a moment of the worst idunnowhattodowithmylife, pushed me into right direction. There are still many things that I'd love to do, but in the same time, many things that I didn't even think may happen - did happen. Like... I became a TV production manager for a badass cool TV series about travelling and I'm loving it.

That was my office in mid-August

So, yeah, I'm back. Sort of.