I forgot to post these photos I took of weird shit in Japan. Apparently they like drinking sweat, buying coffee and cigarettes from vending machines, using electric toilets and washing their clothes with devices made by Sanyo.
The weird thing about the vending machines, is that they’re everywhere. They just leave them sitting out on the footpath, so that you can stop and by stuff as you are walking along. They’re kinda handy if you feel like a quick snack late night.
As of today I have moved away from Norway where I have made my home for the past two years. It feels sad, as I do love Norway, the people, and will miss my life there. But I think it was time to move on. The company I worked for in Oslo has downsized dramatically recently, which involved chopping jobs, including my own.
My chosen career path (WordPress development) involves work which can be outsourced at any given moment, and even though I could probably have found another job in Oslo, there is always a concern that my employers would simply realise they could have the same work done elsewhere for cheaper and I’d end up having to find another job again. With that in mind, I took a job working for a growing company called 10up in the USA. They don’t care where I live, so instead of living in the most expensive place imaginable (Oslo), I have decided to have a crack at living in Berlin, Germany, where costs are significantly lower.
I know very little about Berlin, apart from the fact that I always have a terrific time when in Germany and I think my mindset fits in well with the German way of doing things. I’m hoping this will be a long term move, but I hoped that my move to Oslo was going to be long term (or even permanent) too, but that hasn’t worked out, so I’m not promising anything.
I had a very poorly laid plan for my arrival in Berlin. I have no work visa (the German embassy in Oslo told me to apply after I arrived), nowhere to live (I’m crashing at a hostel at the moment) and no backup plan for if it all falls to pieces and I don’t get the work visa I need. I always seem to land on me feet though, so either things will work themselves out or I’m going to have to haul my butt to some place else until I figure out plan B.
To all my friends in Norway, I will be back! Probably not to live, but definitely to visit. There are too many people I will miss for me not to come visit. In fact it looks likely that I will be back on the 25th and 26th January for WordCamp Norway 2014.
Here are some photos I took during my awesome time living in Oslo …
I made my first attempt at playing Bandy. For those of you who aren’t aware of what Bandy is, it is a sport which is similar to regular hockey, but is played with 11 players on each side on a huge soccer field sized ice rink with very low boards. The stick is much shorter than a regular hockey stick and you use a small rubber/cork ball instead of a puck. We were only playing in a very small area, more like pond hockey for bandy, but it was very fun. I haven’t quite figured out how you are meant to take the ball off the other person yet as I kept trying to poke check people, but failing as the darned stick was too short!
The photo below is of my lovely new friend Tessa, a Kiwi I met here in Oslo who joined me at Frognerstadion for skating and our unexpected try at Bandy.
My friendly tour guide in Berlin kindly suggested to us all that we never try the local brew, called a “Berliner Weisse”. He claimed it was supposedly a horrific abomination of beer and should never be consumed by anyone.
To me, that felt much like telling me not to press a big red button. I must press the big red button! In this case, the big red button was a rather horendously bright red coloured beverage. It was spiked with a pungent raspberry taste. I actually like raspberry, but my tour guide was definitely correct. Beer and raspberry do not mix
I met up with my old chemistry colleague Vikas in Tübingen, Germany. We met at the University of Otago many years ago and it was nice to catch up once again. We had some genuine German food from the region and had a beautiful view of houses beside the Neckar river. Tübingen is a beautiful university city with beautiful old historic buildings; I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.