Bergen 2016: Worst weather in 70+ years, best summer for me

“So, can you come to Bergen on Saturday?”
“Next week?”
“No, this Saturday”
Pause.
“Sure, I will come (somehow)”

That’s how the one of the best summers in my life started. And one of the most complicated as well!

 

A traditional part of the Summercourse in Bergen is the cruise in the fjord Sognefjorden
A traditional part of the Summercourse in Bergen is the cruise in the fjord Sognefjorden

 

I started studying Norwegian in 2011, as I completely fell in love with the language and the nature of Norway. Five years later, I had a chance to be in every Scandinavian country, translate a book from Norwegian, work for clients from Norway, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands and US, fall in love with some Norwegian writers, teach Norwegian language, fall in love with Norway, as well as be in a continuous, kind of complicated love-hate relationship with some aspects of Norwegian country and culture…

At some point during these years, in 2013, I was awarded a scholarship for a summer course in Norwegian language and culture at Bergen University. This is something students from our department, as well as students from all over the world, look forward to and hope to be a part of the whole experience. You can imagine it was one of the best summers in my whole life! Plus it was the first time I visit Norway, and our love-hate relationship (with more love than hate, I must say) was still at its earliest, almost naive stages.

When I returned to Serbia, the autumn and the winter of 2013 were some of the worst periods of my life, I’ve lost one of the closest and dearest people in my life, I had to start working full time and I grew up over night it seems.

Bergen was in the nicest memory, but also something I thought I wouldn’t experience ever again…

Life is random and beautiful and scary;

You never know what’s around the corner

The last half of 2015 and 2016, were mostly awesome for me. I’ve come to peace with the loss and myself, I traveled more than ever in my life (Austria, Croatia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Hong Kong, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania…), I quit the job at the old company I felt was consuming me and became full time freelancer working with languages, marketing and communications, I held a TEDx speech, I translated a book… But although everything was so great, and I’m sure for a lot of people it seemed like only roses and butterflies in my life, I was also burnt out at times and fought with depression. I was actually going through a down period in the end of JUne, when I got the message and soon a call.

That’s how the summer with the worst weather and best memories began.

Near Vatnahalsen, three years apart
Near Vatnahalsen, three years apart

 

 

How did I end up at the summer course in Bergen again?

 

uibmilos

 

 

I’m used to traveling and almost always easily ready to go anywhere at any times, but this one was a challenge. In just 3-4 days, I should pack and come to Norway for a month!

 

Course director called me and asked me to come and help as a student-assistant. The policy is that you can’t get a scholarship for the course two times, but they had place for me and needed help with summer course blog, organization and technical stuff.

“So, can you come to Bergen on Saturday?”
“Next week?”
“No, this Saturday”
Pause.
“Sure, I will come (somehow)”

 

Meeting the world in Bergen

 

Near the Flåm train station with Veronika from St Petersburg
Near the Flåm train station with Veronika from St Petersburg

 

 

Norway is a relatively small country far up in the north of Europe. When I say small, I talk about population – around 5,2 million people. When it comes to the area it cover, Norway is pretty big – for instance, it’s the same distance from the most northern point of Norway to the south of Norway, as it is from the south of Norway to the North of Italy.

In the west of this small country, there’s a city of Bergen – known for its wooden houses at Bryggen, 7 mountains that surround it and amazing nature. Each year, many students from all over the world come here for the summer – and they all study Norwegian and communicate in Norwegian together for a month. This year, there were 47 students from Europe and USA. And I’m so happy that I could be one of them!

Besides being great for language learning, the days were amazing because of the great people from all over the world – for a month we cooked food together, learned together, chilled together and explored Vestlandet together. There were a lot of excursions, Norwegian movies and extra activities. And for some people I feel we’ll stay good friends.

I had to balance between the classes and homework, my usual work and work as an assistant which made it a bit complicated, for I could shift between many different Miloses in just a couple of hours – freelancer Milos, student Milos, 20-year-old Milos etc.

Oh, yeah, the weather thing – it’s real

 

Milos on the way to Bergen University

 

The summer in Bergen was the worst summer since 1928, July being without any “summer day”, which means temperature never was 20 Celsius degrees or higher, and it was raining every day except for one and a half day for the whole 4-5 weeks I’ve been there. There was 263,7mm rain, which is also a most rain in July in 95 years. But still, it was one of the best summers in my life! For the second time :)

 

Norwegians say Ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær – meaning there is no bad weather, only bad clothes – and I partially agree. But as a Balkan-boy from south, who grew up with a lot of sun and warm days, I insist that there is bad weather. Still, with the right people and a smile, even the most rainy, the most coldest summer can be the best summer.

 

giorgia
On the excursion with a friend from Italy

 

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