July 11, 2003
Still in Bergen
We were supposed to hit the high seas today, but there was a problem with the rear thrusters on the ship so our departure is delayed a day. This evening we were invited to dinner at the chief scientist's house. He put on a spread of traditional Norwegian foods: Pickled salmon, smoked sea trout, smoked herring, smoked mackerel, sea-boiled shrimp, dried lamb, potato salad, tossed salad, scrambled eggs, a variety of Norwegian cheeses, and flat crisp bread. For dessert we had lefsa (a thin rolled caked layered with a sweet butter and cinnamon frosting) and cloud berries (they look like yellow raspberries). The people of Norway are very friendly. Their lifestyle is very outdoor-oriented. They do a lot of hiking, biking, swimming, boating, and skiing. 75% of the days in Bergen are rainy, but that does not stop people from getting outdoors. I saw kids at a daycare center playing outdoors in the rain all dressed up in rain suits and boots. Almost everyone speaks English. Their sentence structure and enunciation is often better than what you would hear at home. When I was offered something to drink at dinner I was suddenly aware of the breakdown in my pronunciation after I responded with "thadbe great".