August 11, 2012 § 3 Comments
After I finished writing my blog post yesterday, Skjalg and I spent the rest of the day packing up the apartment. We took a break around 13:00 to get some food with Kaja, Skjalg’s sister. Every single surface in our kitchen was covered and there were therefore not a lot of food options available at the time. We were also too tired to be creative.
Lunch was a nice change of pace. We rarely go out to eat in Oslo because it is so expensive and it felt nice to “treat”ourselves during the chaos of this move. We even got to see Adrian Grenier walk by the restaurant with his entourage. I smiled at the thought that I have seen more celebrities in Oslo than I did living in Los Angeles.
By the time 18:30 rolled around, we were exhausted. We had plans to meet our friends Roar and Karolina for dinner at their place at 20:00. I decided to start getting ready, while Skjalg continued organizing the living room. With our efficiency at an ultimate low, we ended up not leaving until about 20:30. On the way, Skjalg received a call from his grandfather. They began talking about the move and about his recent trip to Budapest and, since it was going to be a little bit of a longer call, Skjalg motioned for me to go inside while he stayed out on the balcony. I was met by a beaming Karolina, framed by a flash of bright colors. She and Roar greeted me, inquired about Skjalg’s whereabouts, and then proceeded to beckon him into the apartment. Skjalg didn’t understand what was going on and just continued to motion for me to go in without him. He eventually told his grandfather that he would call him back tomorrow and we headed into the apartment.
Karolina and Roar’s place was decorated with brightly colored paper ribbons, balloons and luau decorations. I began laughing and talking about how beautiful everything looked, when all of a sudden, friends started popping up from different parts and rooms of the apartment. I was completely shocked! I kept registering familiar faces and then battling with the concept that all these familiar faces were together in the same room. All of our friends in one place! I was so ecstatic and disoriented that I didn’t really know what to do with myself. Our friend Daniel – who is a nurse at a hospital here in Oslo – told us that we had to get dressed for the part. I looked down and saw that he was pointing at surgeon gear. Within a couple of minutes, Skjalg and I were dressed in white lab coats, gloves, surgical masks, and surgical caps.
The night got better and better. Karolina is an amazing cook and had prepared homemade lasagne (the best lasagne I’ve ever had) and salad, brownies with chili, rice crispy treats (a whole new experience for the Norwegians there), and homemade hummus and pita bread. For the drinks she made a punch, which included chunks of strawberries, apples, mango, and other assorted fruits.
After we had finished eating and people had settled into conversation, we got yet another suprise. Stian came out with a bag and told us that they had all gotten together to get us something that would help us in medical school. First we were given a great guide to Budapest, from a line of travel books that Stian and Daniel use when they travel:
So far, I love it – and I haven’t even been to Budapest yet. Each page opens up to smaller sections of the city with recommendations for shops, museums, and restaurants and cafés. I think it will be much easier to navigate than one large map.
After looking through the guidebook, I was handed a small orange bag with something wrapped in green tissue paper inside. When I opened it, I found a Chinese coin bracelet that Karolina had made for me. Chinese coins are a symbol of prosperity and happiness. There is a square hole in the middle that represents the connection between heaven and earth. On the back of the bracelet, she included a small elephant with it’s trunk raised. This is an optimistic symbol for good luck and fortune. As she put it on I made a wish, which, when the bracelet falls off, will come true.
We were then handed a large card signed by everyone there and Skjalg and I took turns reading through the different notes. I was such a mix of happiness and sadness as we read through the card. Words can honestly not express how grateful I feel to have such magnificent friends. I’ve made such deep connections with them and it hurts to think that I am leaving. This is honestly the hardest part of moving to new chapter. I can only hope that they make the trek to Budapest and take advantage of our extra bedroom 😉
Once the card had been read, Stian drew two boxes from a bag. I knew what they were before I could read the box – STETHOSCOPES! We were both so excited and pulled them out to try them on each other. Hearing the beat of Skjalg’s heart – while dressed in full surgeon garb – made me feel, for the first time, the realness of this future.
Thank you so much, again, to our amazing friends. It was an amazing night and we are so thankful for everything. You are all such fantastic people 🙂