Thursday, September 29, 2005

Eyebrows (hearts) Norway

So my best friend - who suggested her secret blog name be "Titsy," but, oh my God, my father reads this blog and I am not using the word "Titsy" on my blog where he might see it, SO STOP ASKING IF I'LL CALL YOU TITSY - is dating a Norwegian guy, henceforth known as Thor. (And not-Titsy shall be known as Emmochka.) So Thor is an actual Norwegian citizen, not a Scandasotan, which meant that until last month, they'd been dating intercontinentally.

But Thor has come to America, bringing with him his strange ideas about multi-party political systems, public transit, expensive petrol, and pickled herring. This is the first of Emmochka's boyfriends that I've actually liked - he's the first one who's bought me beer; my friendship comes cheap - so I'm excited for her and all, but it creates major problems for me.

First off, Norwegian is really hard to pronounce. I consider myself a polite citizen of the world, so when traveling abroad or meeting foreigners here in the US, I always try to learn a few polite phrases in their native languages. Well, when preparing to meet Thor for the first time, I assiduously studied my Norwegian politenesses, primarily, "I am pleased to meet you."

It did not go well.

When I attempted to say
"Hyggelig a treffe deg,"** Thor just looked at me, then ever-so-politely attempted to stifle a laugh at my pathetic pronunciation. I practiced for two weeks, repeating after the voice, but man, I can't even separate out the sounds. It was sad. I wasn't even close. But at least I achieved my primary goal of looking like an absolute ass in front of my best friend's boyfriend. It's important to keep these things in perspective.

I have learned many interesting things about Norway since meeting Thor, including that on Norwegian Constitution Day, everybody wears super-cute traditional clothing. Apparently people just own this kind of thing, which strikes me as a little strange - I can't imagine everyone wearing colonial-era clothing on the Fourth of July, let alone the entire country owning a historically-accurate outfit. But like I said, it's super-cute, and check out that Hardanger embroidery on those ladies' aprons! Plus Thor fully appreciates my painful childhood fjord-related experience.

So all in all, I'm a fan of Thor, and I suppose I shall return to fine-tuning my pronunciation of Norwegian so that the next time I see Thor, I can sound a little less stupid.

But Thor, no matter how much I like you, I am not eating your pickled herring. It's just not going to happen.

**That "a" after hyggelig should have a little circle on its head, but blogger won't do that.


Anonymous said...
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Eyebrows McGee said...

All of the sudden I'm just a magnet for blog spam. I guess that means I'm popular.

Chabas said...

They LOVE you, Eyebrows!

Of course, some people one doesn't want to be loved by even if one got paid for it.

Anonymous said...

Pickled Herring is nummy.. in sour cream. We have it at Christmas.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sorry I don't know you, but my god. It's nice to know there's another person out there with crazy Norwegian problems. XD

Pickled herring isn't the worst thing either... It's the pancakes on the side of pea soup. WTF?

Elisabet said...

Pickled Herring? You should try's half a sheephead and the eye is a delicacy;)

Oh, and: Ååååå,Øøøøø,Ææææææ;)