First impressions last

There’s a certain magic about arriving to a new city for the first time.

The way your carefully screen the contours of the city, its buildings and shops, parks and monuments.

How fast you make up your mind to like this place or not.

The way your attention is drawn to small details that become your landmarks, images fixed on your mental map.

How carefully you watch people to determine whether you’re going to be one of them, or wondering if they can tell that you’re not.

Those days won’t come again, because sooner than you know you start to find your way around and forget to look up at the beautiful buildings or smell the roses from the gardens.

I instantly took a liking to Oslo.

Everything felt familiar. Like a mix between Gothenburg and Copenhagen but more accessible, easy-going and friendly. I felt comfortable and at home, being one of 80 000 Swedes that come to Norway to work, I knew no one would raise an eye. After so much time spent wondering where to go and what to do, this felt like a spot where I could rest my mind and not take things so seriously.

It’s amazing how things fall into place and possibilities start to appear when you drop expectations and let things naturally progress.

I don’t know how long I’ll stay and I don’t need to know yet either. I know there are lots of things I want to do in life, places I want to visit, experiences I want to have but I don’t think I need to stress all that much about it.

After all, the only thing you can count on is change.

I had two days to settle into my new apartment. The first evening when I arrived I took a long walk around the area of St Hanshaugen where I live. It was a beautiful evening and the parks were full of people barbequing, drinking and chilling.

Later that night I found myself at a housewarming party with a whole bunch of Swedes in their 20’s that gave rights to the term “party Swedes”. My friend Fredrik is two years younger than me which easily made me the oldest one in the group but I had fun still, pub crawling in Grünerløkka.

The next day, 1st of May, may possibly have been one of the longest in my life. I was alone in the flat since Charlotte was at her boyfriend’s and Stefan was working. It was cold and cloudy outside, everything was closed, people were sleeping off the booze and the (neighbour’s) internet was down. I cleaned, unpacked, slept, watched a movie, went for a run, bought some groceries from a little corner shop, made a curry and lentil soup and contemplated the idea of baking bread but didn’t have all the ingredients.

I enjoyed being in a little bubble where no one knew my phone number or could reach me on a chat. I could recharge and get ready to start my new job at the hotel and this new chapter in Oslo.

I have a feeling it will be quite interesting.