Part of serving at the American Lutheran Congregation, is that I am part of "the American Presence in Oslo". Sounds quite official huh? Well really, it just means that my swimming pond has shrunk a little. As an intern, I'm not really a big fish in a small pond, more like a medium size fish, or one of those helper fish. Or something.
But in real life, it means that I get to attend events that I wouldn't even really know were occuring in the States. My latest fun, strange, is this internship? event was the Independence Celebration (4th of July) at the US Ambassador's residence last week.
Its quite a cultural and language switch to attend these events. You come in with your Norwegian mindset and ears to hear Norwegian. But then speak only, or mostly english. Then, feeling quite comfortable in your cultural skin, you leave the event, but then remember that you are living in a country other than your own culture and have to readjust. It's almost like a time warp, but of culture.
Even though the Ambassador's residence is technically US soil, it was still a Norwegian / US affair. The cake had marzipan frosting. Yummy!! Or you could have McDonald's soft serve ice cream - but with fun toppings. I chose the cake, even though I wanted to eat both.
The Marine band played, we ate hamburgers, corn on the cob, wine (its still an embassy event), and tootsie rolls. And talked with all sorts of people, including a quick 'hi' to the Ambassador, who are also living in this small pond we call Norway.