Winter Travel

After being stuck in Trondheim for four months, Jiann Chyuan just needs a revenge for the intense boredom, and he has got his big one!

Double update! Yes, as indicated in the title, it is time for winter travel!

It is really very unsatisfying that I travelled only 300km the furthest from Trondheim during my four-month stay in Norway. You call it save the best for the last? I call it it is finally time to begin the first one. Yes, the first one.

Do I need to say more? Nope. The picture is self-explanatory.

A favour to ask, please visit frequently and click on the ads, although it is very likely that that no update will be available for one month. Thank you.

DanErik and Kasper

When it comes to probably the last post about Trondheim, Jiann Chyuan finds it impossible not to mention the highlight of his life in Norway, the house mates.

Four months is a relatively short period to understand something thoroughly. When it comes to understand someone, I am left with a question: Does it always has to be similarities stick together? Or is it possible to be oppositely attractive?

I specifically dedicated this post to my two lovely Norwegian house mates, DanErik Holmstrøm and Kasper Steen, the exclusive highlights to my stay in Norway.

Asking myself my first experience to living with foreigners (although I am the actual foreigner in this context), my answer would be: it could have been a lot better.

No fight, no conflict, no disagreements, but sadly, no chemical and no fireworks. Indeed, I was with high expectation that I would eventually walk away from this country, proudly telling everyone that I’ve made two great Norwegian friends. However, rocket high expectation turned out to be me being pathetically hopeful.

The disappointment is hard to hide. Should I console myself that making friends with Norwegian is harder than for human to put their first step on the Moon, judging by the fact that Stella is the sole successful example? Or should I blame myself for not trying hard enough? The latter case is a perfect illustration of me being absolutely hopeful again.

Well, at least there is something to cheer about. I have been answered: we are just different. When it takes one positive ion atom and one negative ion atom to bond together, this law of chemistry doesn’t really seem to be applicable in relationship.

I couldn’t help myself but wonder, does it always require similarities to get close? Or could differences become the driving force for being mutually attractive? Is it possible to have these two co-exist? The realisation to this endless questioning process: it is just a matter of taste.

No matter what the taste is like, I’ve to admit that I have had really lovely house mates over the past four months. It doesn’t really matter that things do not work out as what I would have expected. Kindness from locals to a stranger is the utmost important thing I needed in this very first leg of my grand Europe journey.

However, it is also of ultimate importance for us to not misinterpret kindness as a sign of friendship. Although I have been treated nicely, there was just without chemical that pushes the interaction to a higher level.

But what can I really expect from such a short period? Nothing. Similarly to what Professor Bratteland told us last night, I will end my journey in Norway with a gift bag filled with memories, good memories. At least the hugs from the people are genuine.

Thank you Kasper and Dan for these four months. It has been a fantastic voyage.

Pricing Relationship

When gift-shopping turns out to be relationship-pricing, it is hard for Jiann Chyuan not to notice how everyone prices their relationship subconsciously.

It is the time of the year again, Christmas. Indeed, it is not the kind of celebration I am used to cheering out loud, though it has become the most commercialised celebration around the world nowadays.

Again, I’m in Europe now. What is extraordinary has very often transformed to be ordinary to me now. A recent shopping for gifts has made me realised the fact that everyone does actually has a top price in someone else’s heart.

I was not shopping for Christmas gifts. But I was shopping for some little souvenirs to my two Norwegian flat mates for the past couple of months. How sweet you may think. However, when idealism ironically meets with reality, I was thrown with the question: How much am I going (and willing) to spend on these two acquaintances in my life?

The question was provoked by Stella actually, since she was accompanying me and to purchase gifts for her house mates, whom apparently closer to me than my own. When we were on our way to down town, this question centred our conversation, and I certainly do think that it worth for thoughts.

We are not rich, and gifts are always expensive in winter season, especially in Norway. And just so you know, we are no stingy people and we do have money to spend. But still, why is the question even exists if there isn’t any blocking condition?

At first we agreed upon not to be bothered by the question. But it came back to haunt us when we were faced with options: to pay more for something better, or to pay less for something not so bad?

It is very often not challenging to realise that we actually do price our relationship when it comes to gifts. I’m not sure about anyone else, but at least this is applicable to me, and apparently to Stella as well. Do we judge the value of friendships with the value of gifts?

Another example in pricing a relationship would be the ‘ang pow’ we receive during every Chinese new year. If we do not value how much a relationship worth, why do we even bother to pack, and afterwards to check the amount of money inside the red packet?

Is it ethically wrong to ponder how much we should spend on someone or am I just acting too sensitively? But if we do not price the relationship, will we end up being cheapskate or an over-spender?

Certainly, it is not the topic about being a smart consumer. But I can’t help but wonder would pricing relationships make us a wise shopper and eventually saving our pocket from the unnecessary fire-burning accidents?

I’m not sure whether you have had similar situations as I did, I remember there were occasions when I had in mind what to give for someone, it turned out that the perfect gift was a little too pricey. Was it not affordable to me? Not really. But why would I having such kind of feeling? I refuse to admit it, but I think the very probable answer is that I actually do have a top price for every relationship I am involving in.

If you were shopping for gifts lately, did you face the same dilemma? If you did, perhaps it is time to revise whether the prices of relationships have been updated.

Funding Fun

When it comes to the end of time, does Jiann Chyuan needs fund or fun? Or does he need more funds for greater fun?

Being a university student is always good, because that would mean endless fun and parties. Indeed, I had been to a lot of parties and went to clubs for quite some times. However, as everything in life, to strike a balance between everything is more than crucial, it is part of life.

I was definitely having an absolutely good time in Trondheim and I’ve started to fall in love with this country. Honestly, I was not really a going-out guy in Malaysia, though I did do some movies thingy with friends occasionally. But I found myself to have such a great time living in Norway.

I’m in Europe now! Things should get a little more complicated and turning upside down even more, shouldn’t they? I had been to movies of course, although paying like 10€ to the superbad “Superbad” movie wasn’t something, and still isn’t something I would prefer to do. And hell yea, I didn’t miss the pubs too.

I was quite surprised to learn from my friend that I am actually starting to lead a European’s life the other day. I mean isn’t it bizarre if I did manage to transform from my rooted Asian lifestyle to a completely contrasting European’s lifestyle?

Yes, I’ve to admit that I did drink a lot of booze for the past couple of months, and had been drunk and yelling in a bus when I was on my way back home non-sober. But the thing is I was extremely lucky that I have never had to pay for anything. I appreciate this even greater especially when I am in country where alcohol could be freaking expensive.

Did I tell you that I was also bold enough (or plain idiot) to try on snus after being offered by some norwegians whom I accidentally bumped into a casual talk with in a pub which plays music that I would definitely label as noise?

And yes, the fact that I am having spaghetti more than rice (just 2 kilos) is also a sign that I am becoming more European. But then again, the truth is meaty items are only reserved for filthy rich people in this country and I can’t be a vegetarian if I am going to have rice.

It seems to be very convenient and easy to just use the I-didn’t-have-a-choice pathetic excuse for the enjoyments which I had let myself to indulge freely. But when it comes to the end of time, is it fun or fund that is what I am needing?

Obviously, I am thirsting for more funds so that I could have even greater fun. The fully immersed-in-bottomless-parties-mood-tiny-little-brain of mine has been struck by a serious wake up call lately after I had gone through my first final examination paper in NTNU.

Apparently I was having too much fun and had indulged myself loosely until I have forgotten my main goal in coming to Europe. Indeed, part of it was for cultural learning. But what is more important is to secure good grades in study and eventually graduating with a future-promising master degree.

However, my expected poor performance in my hardest paper of the semester turned out to be unexpectedly true. I was feeling extremely upset and angry to myself for not trying harder. And I regret so much that I am now putting myself in hot soup which might eventually put my feet off the ground of Europe in just a month’s time.

I refuse to leave this early and I reckon I deserve absolutely more than just one meaningless semester. I mean I haven’t really been to Europe and am only stranded far north of Europe in Norway. I deserve to really look at the vibrant livelihood of European in Mainland Europe, and I am going to Holland next year! I can’t leave and I refuse to!

But I need fund. And my fund comes from my study. I had put myself in one disaster and I promise myself not to let the disaster resurrects. The thing is, how much desire and concentration I manage to dig out from within remains unanswered.

Maybe it is time to ask myself again, am I asking for fun, or more funds that guarantee greater fun?

Caption: The truth is, I don't even know who the hell they are. The only thing I remember was I talked to some Norwegians and was offered Snus, forced to take a couple of photos and voila! Maybe it is time to ask myself again, am I asking for fun, or more funds that guarantee greater fun?