How I ended up living with Polish immigrants

Remember the story of me getting overly neurotic about “getting things Done” also known as “I will fix this apartment thing once and for all”? Well, as I realized that I might have more “market pull” or “demand” or whatever is the right term economics-wise, I also started to think maybe I had made a mistake trying to get everything organized as fast as possible. This is my lesson number 1: There is always time for taking a breath. You can stop, it is your mind that thinks that there is no time. Let’s face it, my actions will not be those of a surgeon. There is seldom are life-threatening situation at hand because I make a wrong call.

My lesson number 2 is: Once you’ve made a decision, don’t panic about it. Most decisions can be altered if wanted, and besides, it’s just a decision. However, my mind got a truck-load of material as I moved to my new whereabouts. The stairway to the apartment was untidy and once again I had to climb up to the upper floor with all my belongings. I suspect they don’t have any elevators in Norway. Once I got in the apartment my keen eye noticed some things. The room itself was OK, nothing fancy but enough for me. However, it suddenly  dawned on me what it would mean to live with guys. To those who don’t know it, I am not a tidy person. Nope, I can go on without cleaning for ages and I take things quite casually. But even for me the place was too dirty. It tells a lot if I want to start washing the kitchen and bathroom (which is by the way the first thing I did).

I realized downstairs that all the names in the mail boxes were Polish or of East European origin. And male names. My mind started to assess the situation. Was this a hub for Polish construction site workers, ex-cons or sinister characters. Forgive me my  stupidity but that’s honestly what I thought. When I later met Pjotr, the “guardian of the house” I wasn’t impressed. Neither was I impressed to find out that my room was closest to the kitchen stow and one of the guys “cooked”. He charred some greasy french fries and meat on a frying pan that had seen its better days. Anyway, I later learned that Poles are actually the biggest immigrant group in Norway.

Part of my eye-rolling was of course due to the fact that I am over 40, prejudiced and have been living alone for years. I did find some amusement in this situation anyway. I texted my friends that I had changed May in Tuscany for male roommates in Bergen. This was apparently frat life, volume 2. Volume 1 took place in Copenhagen in 1997 (thank god that is over). I have so far seen three of my new roomies, even though I thought there would be six of them. The guys that I met seemed nice and two of them are Norwegian. The collective is not very interactive and everybody keeps to themselves. Compared to a noisy, party-loving bunch of young men I suppose this is better.

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