A month in Norway

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a month since I came to Trondheim. The long night managed to screw up my sleeping cycle even more than it already is, and I should really try to fix it now. Except for that, for now, I like it here really much, since being here involves meeting new people, seeing new places and adapting to a new environment. The only two things that are somewhat annoying are cooking and laundry. Cooking because it is so awfully inefficient and laundry because the washing machines are in another building, so, if you want to actually do some laundry, you are losing a great deal of time. But well, student villages are always like that. Still, a flat would be nicer (but also much more expensive).

Lectures and stuff

So until now I have been carefully omitting the studying part of my life. This has a reason, since until now, I just was attending lectures without being forced to do any kind of assignments. So now, this had changed and I actually have to do something for the university.

For now, I have two assignments: The fist one is a rather simple introductory text in Norwegian (introducing oneself etc.), which is more or less simple since the Norwegian sentence syntax us more or less the same as in German. The morphology is actually even simpler, so, the really annoying thing is learning the vocabulary and understanding spoken speech.

The second assignment is the one from my AI lecture and consists of writing a framework for evolutionary computation. Which is more or less fun since it is an interesting software engineering problem and a rather simple algorithmic task. The interesting part of the software engineering side of the problem is how to make the interfaces as typesafe as possible, to be able to throw a compilation error on faulty specification (like, type mismatch between phenotypes and fitness evaluation functions).

Northern lights

So I was thinking about going to sleep yesterday when I saw them from my window… well, it is enough to say that I was up until 3 AM, but it paid off, i.e., I have some decent pictures to show now.



So I went downtown to celebrate my second week of being here in some nice location. The location in question was “Gossip”, a rather big (and still totally crowded) club with three stages with more or less the same music. Speaking about music, it was pretty much the same stuff you hear in other places across Europe (i.e. the same 10–15 tracks which are only bearable while drunk), so nothing really new and interesting. But still the evening managed to get interesting when some guys tried to walk on me and some of those I were with and wanted to “discuss matters outside”. The reason was that we had some females in our company and they had none, which did not make much sense to me even then, when I was far less sober than now. (It probably makes sense if your brain can only respond to four basic F’s, feeding, fleeing, fighting and reproduction, I guess)

Which leaves me with a task of finding better clubs with the kind of music I can listen to while sober. It is Norway, there have to be some places with harder music.

SOPA, PIPA and other nasty words

So the English Wikipedia is down today. Not really down, because this would be a black day for all English-speaking schoolchildren, but not obviously accessible anymore. A bit what the Internet would be like if SOPA and PIPA will pass.

To me, the really striking feature of all these Internet debates is the inadequacy of the measures proposed, as compared to the (alleged) problem that should be sold. SOPA was (so the politicians say) created to stop counterfeit medications, in other words, somehow stop medication scammers from selling their goods in the US. So in order to stop (a nasty, but by no means major) crime, you give yourself the right to disrupt the entire Internet. Because that is the thing you obviously do, fighting real-life domestic crimes with Internet blacklisting.

First week

So my first week in Trondheim is now over. My dorm starts to feel familiar and the student village is actually a fun place to live. Cooking is still somewhat annoying, but one can get accustomed to it, I’ve heard 😉

The only problem with the student village are the parties that have the tendency to be over-crowded and over-loud, which makes me feel somewhat claustrophobic. I mean, if the place was just two times as big as it is now, it would be acceptable. Or if the music was somewhat less loud or somewhat more acceptable (hey, I am in Norway! I expect the kind of music you would expect to be normal in Scandinavia!). Have to find better options, I guess.

Oh, and if you ever wondered how expensive “expensive alcohol” is, here is the deal: On a student party, the price is 20 NOK per one-third-liter-bottle (of beer, that is). That is 2.7 EUR. In clubs, the price is even higher (something around 60 NOK… yeah, that’s right, kids), I heard.

Pics, pics, pics…

So today I actually managed to take a walk to the city centre, which is not that far away. The main problem is the weather, two kilometres at -5 can get very annoying very soon. And I managed to make some pics:

Tomorrow will be more pics, I hope to capture the fjord.

Trip stories

Arriving in Oslo in the morning is very cool. The city looks like a toy because from the plane, everything appears so small, and with snow, it is hard to keep in mind that you are actually at several kilometers above ground.

Anyway, checking in at my place was very smooth, although running with 30 kg of luggage is somewhat energy-consuming.

In the evening there was a party for foreign students. Nearly a half of them was German, which is a bit surprising but somewhat nice 🙂

Now I’ll get a hot cup of tea and get to sleep, as I have big plans for tomorrow. I promise to take some pictures 😉

At the gate

Flying is mostly convenient. The problem with “mostly” is that you sometimes have to wake up at 3:20 to catch a plane at 7, which can be slightly annoying.

So long, Germany, and thanks for all the fish!