Straight from the Netherlands, I flew to Stavanger, Norway for work! My second time there this year! I have been working with one of my good friend's, Petter, on a project together, so I came to help facilitate meetings and help with the project as much as I could. There were no planned itineraries for this trip, but instead during this time in Norway, I honestly hung out with friends just like how I would back at home in the US. Since Baidy and Geir were flying back into Norway from the Netherlands around the same time as me, they decided to catch a ride back into the city from the airpot. This was the first time I rented a car in Stavanger... the two of them were my first witnesses of my driving in Norway. It was one of the scariest driving experiences of my life! The road rules are completely different from the rules in the US i.e. the main street has to yield to the turning traffic! I literally just stopped at every intersection haha. Needless to say.. we survived! I would not be writing this if I have died haha! If you are wanting to drive around, please read up on the driving rules before doing so! Also, don't be shocked at the final bill... Expect to pay up for a rental in Norway.
Baidy already had a night planned out for us in Stavanger so we met up with two of his friends, Jaokim and Hakon, and went to Taket where I was treated like VIP ;-) . They ordered me the strangest drink of my life, a black shot... It looked just as terrifying as the black widow shot at Chupitos in Barcelona. Anything black and liquid just scares the living hell out of me since it looks like poison. Surprisingly, the drink actually did not taste too bad! It tasted like Chinese medicine and it apparently works miracles for the morning after! It was definitely a fun night out meeting and making friends with a whole bunch of Norwegian randoms. I was with the right people who knew the right people and places for partying in Stavanger! I even experienced my first "after party" eating experience. All the junk food deliciousness perfect for the inebriated is located right around the corner from all the night life right along the harbour. I have learned that there ARE more late night options for drunk munchies other than Burger King!
There were many beautiful days during my trip in Norway and I had to take advantage of them! When the weather is nice in Norway, it is PERFECT (unless it is the winter and it starts to snow... Then it just gets to becoming bizarre bipolar weather). The summer blue skies, crisp cold air, sun shinning... Whenever it is nice out like this, I hate wasting my days indoors. Instead, I love getting a drink, soaking the sun, and hanging out with friends.... and that is exactly what I did the whole time in Norway!
One of the days, I made Baidy go get fiskasopa at Fisketorget with me, the best fucking fish soup in the whole world. With my first bite of this soup back in March, I decided that I would eat here every time I was in Stavanger. It is seriously that good. The fish soup with perfect weather is a match made in heaven!
I got a hold of some friends, Altynai from Kazakstan and Breno from Brazil, that I met the last time I came to Norway in March to come hang out and enjoy the weather. We all decided to meet along the harbor. As a nice surprise, Nicolas came as well and we all just spent the day having drinks and eating pizza! The Tour de Fjords was going on at the same time so we all decided to join in with the spectators and see the race! I was never into biking sports (or really any sports) since I start to get bored, but I could not stop watching! It was exhilarating! I could not believe how fast these guys can pedal! It was quite exciting seeing all the teams flash by so quickly.
Nicolas and I spent some time hanging out afterwards getting to know each other some more since the last time we just met was for a little amount of time. It was nice to just sit down, with a glass of wine, and get to know someone in a deeper level! I even got him to come out with Baidy and me no matter how much he protested :P Me and the two French men going to Haltoll! ;) This club apparently is the bumpin' place to be in Stavanger. It used to be a shipping building that they converted into a bar. Downstairs is a bougie modern bar and the upstairs is a barn converted into a dance floor. A lot of dancing and neon lights! Great fun and night with great company :)
I also was able to hang out with my favorite Norwegians, Petter and Jeanette, while in Stavanger. I was really lucky to spend some quality time with Petter throughout this whole year, seeing each other in Mississippi for three months, Houston and Dallas for a couple of weeks, Malaysia for two weeks, one and half weeks in Norway, and now an extra week in Norway! I seriously have seen Petter more than my family within this year haha but now he is like family to me! I am really lucky to be able to work with people I enjoy being with! While working on this project together, I was able to learn a lot from the old man (9 years of experience!) and be able to hang outside of work as well. One night, we had an amazing dinner at Aegon, a cute little contemporary Norwegian restaurant. The food here was fantastic from the drink selections, to the main course, and especially the desserts. Everything is made fresh everyday and the desserts are made right in front of your face! This place was by far the best restaurant I have tried in Stavanger. I always thought Norwegian food as only bread, meats, and cheeses, but this place really upped the notch for Norwegian food. I also met up Jeannette at Egon having fajitas (yes, Norway has fajitas) and discussing wedding details! So exciting and so happy for her :)
On my last night in Stavanger, I attended Breno's birthday party with all my new and old friends I met while in this little city! It was so nice to see everyone at one place celebrating a great event :) Ew, Breno you're old!
Overall, this trip to Norway was refreshing in that I was able to do "mundane" day to day activities that I never have the luxury of doing back at home. Hanging out at a friend's house, attending a friend's birthday party, and even going to watch a movie at the theater are things that are rare to me now. I went to see a movie with my friends Sean and Nicolas, but I honestly could not remember the last time I watched a movie at an actual theater! I felt like a normal person again watching movies at the theater and not in an airplane! Traveling most of the time, I really take the simple things in life for granted! I appreciate the small things in life more. Don't get me wrong. Traveling is great, but to just sit and relax with friends on a normal day is great too :) Thanks everyone for hanging out and showing me a good time! :) Until next time, Stavanger!