For a long time I had little connection with Norway.
Sure, I had read again and again how beautiful the Norwegian landscape with its fjords and mountains should be.
And every winter again followed the Norwegian superiority in cross-country skiing from the couch.
Otherwise I hadn't given the country much thought.
Not even when “Take On Me” was on the radio.
That all changed suddenly when I met my current boyfriend - and with it Norway too.
We met at the other end of the world, during my semester abroad in Sydney. He is Norwegian, I am German. He prefers to speak Norwegian, I speak German, we speak English together. Actually no problem, we thought: We had both lived and studied in English-speaking countries for several years, we were more than familiar with the language.
We chat about everything: our favorite Australian band (Gang of Youths), about Norwegian and German idiosyncrasies.
For him it is still completely incomprehensible why Germans simply do not want to part with cash.
“Why do you love cash so much?” Not that I wouldn't agree with him.
On the other hand, I still don't understand how you can really love nature SO much that you actually enjoy sleeping outside in all weathers.
True to the Norwegian concept "friluftsliv" (outdoor life).
We don't dream in English
But we rarely dream in English and can express some things differently in our mother tongue. We quickly realized: Having a relationship in a total of three languages is not that easy. Things that I never had to worry about in my past relationships suddenly took on a completely different meaning. Because in our longer and longer conversations my - at least that's what I thought - my rather broad English vocabulary was increasingly reaching its limits.
For example, I wonder if my boyfriend always understands what I'm talking about. I still catch myself checking the common translation sites one more time to see if the word is actually spelled that way in English before I finally send a message. And when I recently wrote an article about the appropriate sign for Annalena Baerbock and tried to explain the subject to him, only one "not sure if I understand what that means" came back. Great. And that even though I looked up the vocabulary I was missing. So all over again. When, after two more, rather rudimentary attempts at explanation, “I guess, it makes sense now” came back, my ego was a bit cracked, but I was also just happy that the topic was off the table.