Updates from Norway

Realising how ‘asthma’ attack would bring disappearance to Jiann Chyuan for such a long time, he decided to make a come back with genius reading post.

No, I’m still alive. Didn’t die of asthma, but am seriously juggling with time management which apparently appears to be management-less. I’m still competing with course mate on who is the ultimate time wasting champion.

Heartbeat is following the similar trend as life, up and down, which is perfectly normal of course. You don’t seriously expect my heartbeat to remain constant (time-invariant) in an oscillator, do you?

To cut things short (so not my style), here are a quick update list of my life in Trondheim:

Did a very bad if not worst group presentation on rail freight transport last Thursday and sincerely hope that it won’t hurt so much to my final grade.

Attended Greek’s evening and was weirdly pleased with traditional Greek’s food, after being forced to starve for 3 hours due to a football match between Turkey and Norway.

Learnt what does it really mean by ‘a lady never kisses and tells’ from an American after she exploded with much more information that I can handle when I (threatened) told her that human learn lesson from single sided exposure.

Missed two Northern lights in Trondheim because 1) no one calls or texts me during the presence of such phenomenon events and 2) I was sleeping like dead corpse.

Eagerly hoping to witness Northern light for at least once in Trondheim, but was disappointed by heavy snow which then brought much joy afterwards.

Slept on snowy ground with track bottom and surprisingly not feeling cold.

Finally fell down on the street due to slippery snowy ground. Four more times to go before buying a pair of winter shoes if according to Soon Hooi’s standard.

Helped a friend to break up with her Norwegian boy friend, which was of course successful after a long tedious process.

Helped the same friend to bake a cake of 30cm height and decorated it with shit-like marzipan because I was damn tired (primary), and because I was told that I will have nothing from the cake (secondary).

Planning to cancel the little dinner gathering with Norwegian house mates after one of them told me I’m a Malay after three-month living together, and Malaysia is located south of Korea (which is technically true) two weeks later.

Busy ignoring all the mini applications’ invitations in facebook because my Malaysian friends are apparently indulging themselves insanely in this new found wonderland, despite their loyalty maintenance to friendster.

Took a blog readability test and the result is:

Congratulations readers! Apparently it doesn’t take a genius to write genius-knowledge-level-required posts. What is the correct way for you to interpret the test result? You are a genius and not that my writing is hard to comprehend.

Have a fun weekend to all!
(I’m still waiting for Northern light although it is forecasted to be snowy in Trondheim. *puzzled*)

'Asthma' Attack

Goodbye to the old sunny days, and what is left in front of Jiann Chyuan’s eyes are era of negative temperature and breathing difficulties.

Last week and early this week recorded to the coldest temperature for my stay in Trondheim this far. It was -7°C. Although well equipped with thick warm jacket and skin hugging pants, the extreme coldness was still imaginably unbearable to a typical tropical country guy like me.

It was only for two days. Luckily.

However, bear in mind that it is only the autumn season now even when we have already begun to experience the real winter of Norway. At least this was what my professor told me.

We have passed the freezing point. (Yahoo!) But the temperature is showing no intention to slow down in its fast pace downward movement. Only god knows what would be the winter looks like in this worst-summer-in-fifteen-year-time year.

The weather is lethally cold, but the warmth from the equator melts my heart effortlessly these days.

My friends in Malaysia always surprise me pleasantly with their concerns on whether I will be able to survive the extreme (according to Malaysian standard) coldness. And so, it is absolutely not baffling to learn the fact that I’ve been inundated with enormous amount of questions, all pointing towards to a similar topic – Do you feel cold?

Thank you so much.

And indeed, I’m feeling deadly cold. And worse, when the freezing temperature was backing up by dry air, the difficulty to breath was seeing insane exponential growth. The lack of oxygen for temporary outdoor activity is definitely not going to claim my worthless life. But the pain in my chest is just making me feeling uncomfortable all the time.

Breathing is a huge problem. The same applies to coldness felt by the face.

But I believe firmly that I will outlive the bushes behind my window and leave Trondhiem in complete piece, alive. The only reminder is just to remember one Norwegian saying: there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

It is hard to stay in Norway, especially in the winter (but it is only autumn now – a repeated statement). But the truth is searching for fun isn’t that challenging. Snow play and snow fight are certainly highly entertaining. And although snow isn’t thick enough for skiing, my friends and I have already started to slide down hills with, dirt cheap Bunn Pris (convenient store) plastic bags (yes, we paid for those shopping bags).

The conclusion is, it is not easy. But it never lack of fun. International students certainly do know ways to have fun!

Time to close my window now. It was opened for air circulation purpose and training for winter. Practice makes perfect, isn’t it?


Caption: What is with all the night photos? Well, daytime is scarce and sunlight is luxurious.

Nocturnally Active?

The foot step of winter just round the corner, Jiann Chyuan is inhaling carefully as he feels that his life is tangling loosely on the thread ten-thousand feet above ground, seriously threatened.

When I first laid my feet on the land of Norway, I was fatally tired from the insufficient sleep I experienced after transiting for few stretches of flights. I fell asleep in Gardemoen Airport.

The first moment I regained consciousness after sleeping like a dead corpse for approximately five-hour, the sky was still painted in pale blue. I remembered that it was twenty-hundred hour.

Yes, it was the first time I realised I had waved goodbye to living in the dull blistering-hot-entire-year equator.

I wasn’t indulged in such a drastic change at first. Instead, I would definitely call it a torture to people coming from equator. You see, we, people so used to living with the presence of sun, were suddenly having too much of it.

Come on! I was waking at four in the morning the first week I was in Trondheim because it was exactly when the sun rose. And worse, the sun set only at 10p.m., and that was what confused to the extend of driving me insane as I always thought the night was still young.

However, just when I finally adjusted myself (and my body) to the extreme lengthy daytime, I was strike with extreme lengthy night time.

Now, the situation is completely the opposite. With the foot step of winter just around the corner, and my final examinations are threateningly close, I just couldn’t afford to live the way a winter life should be.

Darkness is really showing no mercy to me, a diurnally active human being. Getting up in the morning is obviously one of the biggest challenges (the sun never rise when you are suppose to run over to bus stop, carefully make sure you do not fall on snowy road), but keeping myself awake at night is equally unbearable.

I don’t know. For me, after about five-hour of darkness, my body natural call for a good night sweet dream is ringing off the hook. But it is only 8p.m. Oh god please don’t kill me in this way! I have exams underway.

But honestly, I still enjoy sitting in front of my window, putting my feet over the heater which constantly heating up my feet with super hot air, while sloshing myself with the beautiful scenery of snow falling.

I want more snow to play snow battle! Should I sing Britney’s gimme gimme more? Whatever!

Say Yes

It is just baffling to Jiann Chyuan to learn how some people always say no and acting pessimistically when it comes to their responsibility.

Recently, a friend wrote something about sustainable environment and that he realised he too plays a part in conservation of environment. I’m glad that he has finally got inspired, though it proved to be rather late. However, awareness to environmental protection is never too late and is always welcome.

Honestly, the love to environment shouldn’t be restricted to just words, show actions! I’m not exactly an environmentalist, despite the fact that I’m pursuing coastal engineering study with environmental management emphasis, but as an advocate to environmental conservation, I do show some efforts to reduce my contribution in damaging the earth (ask my friends and course mates in Malaysia).

However, what I’d done in the past was merely the corner of an iceberg if compared to Norwegians. It is absolutely challenge-free to cite a few examples on how environment awareness has seeped into the soul of every Norwegian, by just checking some of their common habits and practices.

Rubbish literally means rubbish to Norwegians. But they recognise recyclables. In every household, including student villages, rubbish bin always come with two compartments; for trash and paper. Simple design to encourage the practice of recycling, brilliant!

In every neighbourhood, you will also often find more than one rubbish dump container. In the case of my neighbourhood, we have six, too many to cater less than a thousand population, isn’t it? Lest you think that trash truck is visiting infrequently, the shocking number of rubbish dump container is designed to feed different ‘rubbish’ need; aluminium, paper and garbage.

Insufficient to convince you Norwegians are environment freaks? In convenient store, whenever you find a price tag with ‘+ pant’ followed by a number, it simply means take your money back by returning the packaging container. Stop dropping your jaw, I know that it is surprisingly impressive.

Wait, did I tell you that you have to pay for every plastic bag you ‘buy’ every time you do grocery shopping? Let’s do some simple arithmetic exercise; one grocery shopping within a week, ‘buying’ one shopping bag every week, the cost of a plastic bag is 1NOK (genuine price!), that would be 52NOK for one year. How much is this? In system barter, this would mean 2kgs of yogurt in Norway, or 5kgs of tomatoes, or 5kgs of banana.

About a month ago, I attended an informal meeting session with my professors. I was given a presentation on the magnificently fascinating traditional wooden houses of Norwegians. Living in Trondheim, the remarkable wooden city in Norway, wooden houses would undoubtedly surge to the high ranked attraction among visitors.

But, wooden? Isn’t this environmental unfriendly? This was the top concern of every student of my course whom had presented in the meeting.

Yes, if trees are only cut and never planted. However, this is clearly not the case of Norway. There is a policy in Norway, a policy which is strictly imposed, is plant back every tree you have cut. Ah ha, thinking that this would never restore the primitive state of a forest? You are right!

Well, come to think about it. Isn’t this a lot better than just cutting down trees constantly with effort to plant them back equals to zero? In fact, in Norway, the number of trees being cut down is far less than the number of trees being planted, which indirectly lead us to a positive move to conservation of environment. A step more optimistic than just conserve.

How to merge into the nature is just the utmost important priority of city planning in Norway. Therefore, it is definitely not surprising to have forest within walking distance (a bit too exaggerating though) in any town in Norway, of course this is especially true in Trondheim. And also in Norway, you have to pay for every fish you fished from any source in the nature.

It is really amazing to learn the tremendous efforts of Norwegians in protecting the environment, and I feel even more deeply impressed to learn that every Norwegian feel that this is part of their lives. Norwegians are really lovable.

I remember there was a response in my friend’s post saying that there is no such thing as balance environment when it comes to development. I reckon that this is plain bullshit.

It is such a cliché to have mentioned if you think you can, then you can. But why do people block themselves with a gigantic NO, when it comes to something that could be and should be YES? Dimwit, wake up and look at the Norwegians!

Caption (from top):
A look at the trash bin under my kitchen sink.
Rubbish dump containers hundred feet away from my flat.
An example of price tag with '+pant' in convenient store. (Picture was taken illegally!)