Wednesday, January 04, 2012

R and V visit Stavanger

I am writing this while on hold on the phone with UDI  - the immigration bureaucracy in Norway - for the past hour and half. It has been three months since I applied for my resident permit and I haven't heard from them yet. One of the sucky things about being an immigrant is how dependent our lives are on visas and immigration bureaucracies. Not having a permit in Norway means that I can't do pretty much anything. I can't have a bank card (and I hate carrying cash, and having to depend on Mr. Sunshine to pay for everything) or do any kinds of monetary transactions, I can't enroll for language classes or get a job. I can't even fly out of the country. It is not been fun! I am really hoping to get my permit soon.

E.T.A. I finally got through to the UDI after being on hold for almost two hours (they usually have a nifty feature where you can give them your number, and you keep your place in the queue. They call you back when your number comes up, but they didn't have it today) I was told that I should hear from them sometime soon. Keeping my fingers crossed

In other news, Mr. Sunshine's cousins left last night. This morning I woke up to an empty house and it is kind of depressing. Working from home can be very isolating. I have had days where I don't speak with anyone else but Mr. Sunshine. So, I had a good time with the boys around. It was wonderful to have someone around during the day to talk to, and hang out with.  I miss you R and V  - it was a joy to have you both visit us!

Here are some highlights of the past few days:

Getting ready for Christmas. Yummy marzipan, white chocolate, pistachio and cranberry bars from Sweet Paul magazine.  They were so easy to make, and so delicious! 

Yummy chocolate walnut fudge with sea salt being made. I really need to start taking better food pictures. 

I have been a long time admirer of welcome baskets for house guests. I think it is a sweet touch, and makes guest feel more welcome, while offering them little things that they might need during their stay at your home. I finally got around to making baskets for Mr. Sunshine's cousins, who were our first ever visitors in Norway. I will do a separate post on the basket and what went in to it.

We started out day before Christmas with a heavy breakfast of sweet potato zucchini frittata (I forgot to take pictures) and then decorated our Christmas trees, while listening to Christmas music.  

The boys did a good job with decorating the tree.

We then walked around town on the day the boys arrived, and came across this fishing boat selling freshly caught shrimp and lobsters. 

It turned out to be a beautiful morning, and we had a clear view of the bridge and the tree on top. Apparently it is a yearly tradition, and this year (according to one of Mr. Sunshine's colleague whose  brother works with the company that installs the tree) they had to go through multiple attempts to install the tree because of heavy winds. 

Fun fact: they use a helicopter to lower the tree. 

A lot of ships and boats were docked at the harbor for the holiday.

Dinner was simple, but yummy. And once again, I forgot to take pictures, except for the dessert - cider baked apples with vanilla ice cream.

The next morning we opened our Christmas presents.

Look what Santa (aka the amazing Mr. Sunshine) brought for me - a Marimekko tea pot.

We spend the rest of Christmas day watching movies, listening to music, playing board games, and cooking. And the meal was grand, even of I say so myself :-). The table setting. 

The pinnekjøtt is ready to be stuck in the broiler, and the jul pølse being fried. 

The rest of the meal. This is a common scene in our household - Mr. Sunshine cooks, I take pictures.

The mini pudding cakes sitting out to be cooled.

Place setting. It was red, black, gold and white themed. For the place tags, I just used red gift tags, stamped it with a christmas themed stamp and wrote names with a gold pen. I tied the tags with gold ribbon, I repurposed from another project and added two tiny ornaments to it.

 The very handsome Mr. Sunshine :-)

And the Pièce de résistance (at least in my mind): dark chocolate pudding cakes with a raspberry truffle filling

Yes, it was a great Christmas! We spent the next few days cooking elaborate meals, eating, drinking good beer, listening to good music, playing board games, watching movies, and generally having quality family time. I mastered a few new desserts including Panna Cotta. I made a batch with some kiwi coulis.

Also chocolate pudding

I used my kick-ass new blender a lot. Ginger carrot soup for lunch anyone? 

The boys helped us put together an Ikea dresser. 

We went out to one of our favorite bars in Stavanger - Bøker og Børst, and met some interesting people.

New year's eve was spent at our other favorite bar in town - the Cardinal - with  F and Ø. 

They have a beer menu almost as thick as a phone book, and it looks like they change their menu often. This one will the creepy santa was only for Christmas time and had a lot of Christmas beers. 

R found a new favorite beer.

The description of the beer in the menu. I wan't too happy about the picture.

We went out at midnight to see the fireworks. 

Next morning, we took a boat trip to Lysefjord. R trying a Titanic pose. In general, I think all such poses should be banned. But I am going to let this one slide by.

V enjoying the view. 

 At a mall.

Sunset from the TV tower.

The boys taking in the scenery 

The TV tower

Pretty flowers that the boys brought us. Thank you! 

Pictures by Ramnath Bhat, Vijendra Bhat, Mr. Sunshine and me


  1. Bec of this blog, we could get all details of R and V's visit. Best of luck in getting the permit! God bless.

  2. You are such a Martha Stewart! I want to move in with you! You set a gorgeous table and I want all those desserts. I am jealous of the beauty of this area that you live in.
    I ma happy to say that one year into my move to FL I finally have friends and a life outside of my spouse. Took a long time though! And actually my social life is still mostly "people who attend a Tuesday night yoga class." But it's something.

  3. Thursday Next: Really, really happy to hear that things are working for you, and you are making friends and having a good time in Fl. Also, yoga is awesome! I haven't done much of it, but whenever I do it, it makes me feel really good and peaceful. You must come visit us soon - you will really like it here. So much to do and so much nature! Much love!

  4. GK: Thanks a ton! I am keeping my fingers crossed for the permit. We had a lovely time with the boys - I am missing them terribly now :(