one year

Today marks my first year of stay here in Norway. God time flew so fast. It felt like it was only yesterday when my family saw me off at the airport. When I took my first intercontinental flight. When I first laid eyes on Norway from miles above, a country so thick with forests and everything was just so green. Then I sensed the difference in the quality of air around me. Then I got lost in words too foreign to me. Then I saw him, waiting for me, with a smile on his face. Then, a smile on my face.

Norway has become my home since that day. Norway and…
… its amazingly beautiful nature (the fjords, the fjords!)
… its friendly and highly courteous people (you’ll always get greeted with a smile)
… its changing of seasons (the glorious colors of autum and the great anticipation for the next summer)
… its food from the wild (yes, so far I have eaten moose/elk, reindeer, and whale meat)
… its laidback weekends (by the beach, in the forests, or any green spot you can sit on)
… its multifarious transportation systems (we don’t have trams and subways in Manila)
… its main street Karl Johan and the pedestrianized Aker Brygge by the Oslo fjord
… its grand and highly patriotic 17th of May celebrations (and the gorgeous national costume, too)
… its ultra cute guys (they’re just everywhere!)
… its small-city feeling (to big brother Sweden)
… its Eurovision tradition (again, to big brother Sweden)
… its location in the world (the rest of Europe is just steps away)

But each time I think of my real home, I miss…
… my family and my friends (God, I can’t wait to see them again!)
… how everything is so cheap (no point in converting Kroner to Pesos)
… my spa sessions in Sanctuario (seriously, a man needs constant backrub)
… sitting on the boardwalk of Manila Bay and staring out into the sea (no matter how stinky it could get)
… the giant malls (I guess it’s an Asian shopping culture)
… my old job (that’s oh so fabulous)

It’s often that I get asked if I miss Manila, to which I’d often reply “not really.” I miss my family and friends, yes. But when you come to think of it, any city is just like any other city. You can get lost in all its intricacies and be surrounded by its million bright lights, but it’s the people around you – the people you care for, love and adore – that makes the difference.

And when you’re lucky, you have a man and a circle of very good friends that, despite you waking up in a foreign land, will always make you feel you’re finally home.


10 Responses to “one year”

  1. 1 chase July 4, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I certainly agree Mark. People also ask me if I miss Cebu and I said I dont as well. Time flies really so fast when you are enjoying it.

  2. 2 zocalo July 4, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    oy, you’re more of a newbie than I am! I thought you’ve been here for yrs. I arrived last year June 23. I was also considering posting a list like yours on my blog but it would be so so negative :) Only a few things in Norway are nice, the rest are BLEH. I give it to them that the men are hot :)

  3. 3 dazedblu* July 5, 2007 at 4:52 am

    i think you have pint their, people makes the difference and not the really the place where you live.

    i guess you really enjoy your stay in Norway, perhaps you have a lot of nice memories through reading your blog! ;)

  4. 4 Shigeki July 5, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Yay. Happy anniversary. That’s so great that it’s been already a year because I admire you have made a big decision and stay there. BTW, how’s the language? For me, English is all I can handle so you are super fantastic, cosmopolitan. :-) More happiness on your way!

  5. 5 AL July 6, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Happy anniversary!
    Unlike you and Charles, after being in Norway for 7 years, I still miss the sound of Manila and in an odd way , I miss the chaos. Hahah. I miss the sandy beaches in the Philippines and the sun.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Norway too … but Norway and the Philippines have different charms.

    Well…let us thankful for being with the one we love.

  6. 6 kevin July 6, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Happy Anniversary Mark
    May you long enjoy your stay in that beautiful country. It looks so beautiful.

    Kev in NZ

  7. 7 claudie July 7, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Hello Mark
    I come back from Renny BA blog, and as he recommanded it I red a post about meeting between bloggers! And I disvovered your blog with a link.
    I read you are in Nordway since a year! So happy birthday! You seems to like Norway and you come from the philippines! I think it must be very interesting to have a such experience!
    Have a beautiful sunday!

  8. 8 Mark July 8, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Wel, you’re happy living here in Norway, too, Chase. :)

    Hahaha, well you’ll miss Norway, zocalo, for whatever it was. Hope everything goes well for you back in Canada! :)

    Yes dazedblu, lots of nice memories and good friends here. :)

    Thanks, Shigeki! Well, re: the language, I’m slowly getting there. Geez, I’ll miss you! What made you decide to get trained as a monk? Well, I respect you for your decision. Hope to see you more enlightened. :)

    Yes Al, each has its own charm. I miss Manila, too, and I’m glad I’ll be back soon. :)

    Thanks, Kev. Norway is pretty :)

    It was a once in a lifetime chance to move from the Philippines to Norway, claudie, and I’m glad I chose to take it. :)

  9. 9 NeiLDC July 9, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Happy anniversary, i know that wherever we are going in other places we come to link our minds and places. Thanks for the support as well and your friendship. I know that we will meet each other soon.

    I miss manila too though i was here in Madrid, i make the most out of it as well…

    Happy anniersary again

    NeilDC madrid,spain

  10. 10 Mark July 28, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Muchas gracias, mi amigo! :)

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