Monday, November 11, 2013

Cultural Experiences

Sometimes I forget that I'm a diplomat. Not that I forget to show up to work, or that I suddenly start screaming anti-America slogans in the middle of the street.  What I mean is that I forget that I am a very lucky, privileged person that gets to experience this country and the world in a very special way. But the last few weeks have been filled with reminders that in addition to being a humdrum bureaucrat, my job is more than just writing reports and taking notes at meetings.

I had one of those days this week. Bouncing straight from a meeting on trade issues that I had to cover at the last minute (with almost no prep), to an Arctic policy roundtable, and then to a presentation to 20 high-school seniors on the U.S. political system, I felt like I was living the stereotypical foreign service officer day. Returning to my desk to do the write-up from the trade meeting and get it into DC before close of business, I was exhausted but also happy, because I knew that I had chosen the right career.

Outside of the office, I've been lucky to score some amazing invites to some great events. First on that list was the Season 2 Premier of the Norwegian/Netflix show Lilyhammer. This was my first red carpet event, and in true Norwegian style, it was a low-key affair where the cast was mingling with the other guests over wine. We got to see the first two episodes of the show, which is now in it's third week here in Norway and will be coming out on Netflix sometime in December for American audiences.

Completely unrelated to my ability to get cool invites through work, I've also enjoyed plenty of dinner and game nights with friends. I can't be thankful enough for the amazing people that I have in my life, both friends from college that I have reconnected with and new friends that have made these past 9 months (!) so wonderful and full.  I love that Norwegians fully embrace a low-key evening at home with friends over a simple home-made dinner followed by coffee and a rousing game of Ticket to Ride. I was warned more than once that Norwegians can be a tough group to break into, but I've yet to see the evidence of that.

Lilyhammer Season 2 Premier Party

Lobster dinner with friends (followed by an oh-so-nerdy game of Dominion)

A Polish Embassy hosted Accordion Concert

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