I am on an island in Norway

66.15 North Latitude, 12.31 East Longitude.

That is my location. The island is 5.8 square kilometers, and is flat.

I am on an island in Northwestern Norway. Only 60 people live on the island. They speak Norwegian, with a strong local dialect. I am not good at understanding Norwegian, and not good at all understanding what is spoken on that island.

I am going fishing for Cod. I am fishing for Cod by pilkning. Pilkning implies using a weighted fishing line, with a row of hooks, which is moved up and down, attracting the Cod, without the use of bait. It is called “Fishing for Cod with a Jig” in English.

I am very successful at “Jigging for Cod”. The boat is filled with fish. I think that it is amazing, catching fish without bait. The people that I am visiting, fish all summer long, taking the fish back with them to the capital, Oslo. They enjoy eating their summer fish all winter long.

I am sitting in a house waiting for the sun to set. It is 5 July, the day after the 4th, which right now, doesn’t mean what it used to, to an American sitting in a wooden house on the island of Vandve, in Norway. I am also waiting for the sun to rise, after it has passed behind a mountain on an adjacent island called Lovund. The colors of morning have started. It is 1:30 am and the sun is rising.

july 5 1999 130am vandve1

If I had been here at the Summer Solstice, I wouldn’t have seen the sun set. It would have made a downwards arch towards the horizon, then made its way back up into the sky.

My companion for this experience is a Norwegian named Berit. She lives in Oslo for the rest of the year. She and her husband come to this island during the summer, where they stay at his Childhood Home.

I have been trying to carry a conversation with her for the last 4 hours. I am speaking Danish, and she is speaking Norwegian. If I had been a Dane, I would have had an easier time understanding her, but I am not a Dane. I know it would be easier for me to speak English, but being in tune with Norway, I use Danish instead.

I have almost reached the level of understanding, Norwegian that is, but we have reached the end of the Sun’s show. Now it is time for bed, though I wish to remain awake, since it is so light. I reluctantly retire for bed, but not before I take a walk around the house, breathing in the new day, and enjoying the sounds of morning, at 1:45am.

I carry with me that experience, even though many years have passed on by. There is nothing better, than trying something new, even though it was experienced through another language (or 2) and in another Country, other than my own, far far away.

I might not be a Dane, but on that night, I was almost a Norwegian!