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Thu 27 Apr 2017
Moving to Norway
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 11 February 2003 00:00

One of the most interesting jobs I have is reading letters from people from all around the world. The ones I find most fascinating are from Thai teenagers who are either studying or living abroad. This first letter I want to show you is from 14-year-old Komsan. He moved to Norway a few years ago after his mother married a Norwegian.

Gor

I live in a place called Kolsaas just outside of Oslo which is the capital of Norway. In Norway there are approximately 4.5 million people. It is one of the smallest countries in Europe, but it has the longest border of all the European countries.

I came to Norway two years ago because my mother married a man from Norway (my real father is Thai). After a lot of paperwork and struggle with the Norwegian government I got the visa to come here too. When I walked down from the plane I was thinking that it cannot be as cold as mum had told me. Guess what, I looked at the thermometer and it was close to minus 7 Celsius and I started to freeze and thought "I will miss Thailand". After one month in Norway I found out that it was not a bad place at all.

Before I came, the first thing that worried me was food. I was afraid that there would be no Thai food here but I was wrong. There are plenty of Asian shops with all sorts of food available, even fresh vegetables from Thailand. The second thing I was worried about was the weather. When I came it was at the end of the winter season. The coldest temperature I have experienced so far is a bit below minus 20 Celsius. The third thing was the Norwegian language. It is a bit more difficult than English. It has some words from both English and German but this is mixed with the old Northern European dialects.

When I came here I was sent to a special International school to learn the language and to be prepared to start in a normal Norwegian school. I am very happy that the people in Norway accept foreign people and culture in the same way as I accept them and their culture. Of course, you have to adjust yourself to the local customs, but that is not the same as forgetting what you have learned in your home country.

Teachers in Norway are very different from Thai teachers. They are very kind and they really try to help us learn the things we are supposed to learn in school. Here you also can have opinions different from the teachers and have free discussion. The teachers respect that you can have a different opinion in many matters such as politics and in how to solve a problem. That is what I really like about the schools in Norway.

My hobbies are fishing in the sea and the freshwater lakes. When we have holidays we always have an opportunity to fish. Because of the different seasons, fishing is something you can do only in the spring, summer and early autumn. When it is winter there are other things to do such as skating, skiing and snowboarding. I tried snowboard for the first time only a few weeks after I came here. In the beginning it was a scary experience but now I have a lot of fun using my snowboard.

I have been back to Thailand one time since I came here. That was last year at Songkran. That was a strange experience. I suddenly felt like I was a tourist in my own country. The contrasts are so big. I am not missing the life in Thailand so far, but the rest of my family is still living there and many times I miss them. Luckily there is the telephone and e-mail so when I miss them I can make a call or send mail. But it is not the same as talking face to face.