Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and Fall Days

I've been paying a lot of attention to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. I think the best coverage has been by Democracy Now!, which is a well-rounded news source in general but they have really been great on this movement. I was asked in class, as the only American, how I felt and thought about it. I am very happy that people are finally voicing the frustrations that have been building up, and also it's finally about systemic change rather than just one or two smaller problems. I heard from another German friend of mine that there was going to be a similar protest in Oslo today in solidarity with the U.S. and other demonstrations around the world. The demonstration was small, just over a hundred people, man of whom voiced their concerns and many planned to camp in the park in front of the parliament building. I watched the news story about it and I and my German friend Theresa were caught on camera in a blink-and-you-missed it clip. You can see it here between the time 2.48 and 3.54 and I appear on the left of the screen for a second at 3.32 next to Theresa in the red jacket. We really didn't do much besides practice our Norwegian listening skills, try to chant along, and pick up some fliers. I think that there were fewer people at this demonstration than in most countries because Norway is richer and better at distributing wealth than other countries, so most people are generally happy. Even with the small numbers it made the news. I liked the Robin Hood costumes people wore, and remembered that I had said to someone recently that we need a modern Robin Hood in this financial crisis. Some others clearly had the same idea!

Aside from all that, it's fall in Norway and quickly now becoming winter. This semester is going to get crazy busy with three term papers due at almost the same time, the Latin Dance class, getting involved with the International Food Festival planning committee, Norwegian class, and laughing at my roommate JB's antics. Like calling aces in the card deck "asses". And pretending to be a monkey during a pop song that said "Ooh ooh ooh" in it. Good times. I went to Oslo last weekend too, another beautiful fall day.

On the same day I passed this amusing store sign, which usually doesn't happen in Norway because they have such good English.

They seemed to have a lot of Norwegian sweaters in the window, but I don't think they have many tractors in there. I could be wrong though!

The wheat harvest is in, and the grass for hay has been cut a final time it seems, since it has now begun to frost over in the morning. I should take a picture of that but it's so much a part of my daily surroundings that I haven't thought of it until now. I've started wearing my winter jacket, which seems a bit early but I guess this isn't Minnesota anymore. I'm getting better at Norwegian I think, but it seems to be moving slower than Japanese because I'm hanging out with the French and the Germans and the other internationals more than the Norwegians lately. The most Norwegian I speak is when I teach the other international students, but I wish I had someone to correct me. I think it's just a matter of time, like for many things in this world.

1 comment:

  1. The big trees with all the leaves on them are attractive. Most of our trees are further along on the path to leaflessness.

    The occupy wall street demonstrations have spread to the Midwest. There was even a small group in Duluth last weekend on a very windy day, with signs and a lot of music and energy. I understand the sentiment of the movement, but it still seems a little unfocussed.