Post Trip Thoughts
Hey all. Well, I'm back from the Mother Land. Norway was beautiful, fun, and a bit nostalgic. Amazing to see where one's family came from. And just how much Norwegians eat. Holy Cow! Anyway, I've had many a thought since returning home. Here's a random smorgasbord: (a) Going on a foreign vacation where I look like everyone else is...different. Norway was blond-haired, blue-eyed. As my little brother, Tim, put it: "Who would have thought that there could be so many blond people outside of Utah County...and Sweden, of course?" It was almost strange to walk around the streets of Oslo or Bergen and not have people immediately recognize us as tourists. (Which reminds me, we could have worn fanny packs and no one would have given us a second thought. Oh, regrets, regrets). I'm used to being the only blond in a 500-mile radius. Not in Norway. In a way, it was refreshing--no one staring at you, muttering "American" or "Bush" under the breath as you stroled past. Refreshing, that is, until I realized that, unlike in South America and Western Europe, I don't speak the local language. Among the few bits of Norwegian that I learned from my Dad and my Grandma growing up, here's what I could say: "Takk for matten" -- Thanks for the food. "Vær så god" -- You're welcome. "Tusen takk for alt" -- A thousand thanks for everything. "Ja / Nei" -- Yes / No "Jeg forstår ikke" -- I don't understand. That's it. That's the sum of my Norsk. You can just imagine the stunning conversations I had with family and friends over there: Lovely cousin who has just cooked us a HUGE meal: "Wah wah wah wah food wah wah wah good wah wah eat." Me: "Thanks for the food. A thousand thanks. I don't understand. You're welcome. Yes. No." Thank goodness that most people learn English there! (b) Europeans think Americans are clinically obese, imperialistically minded zealots of the Bush Doctrine. In fact, people were surprised at how "skinny" our family was. And they kept giving us a hard time about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Like I can do something about it. It still strikes me as a bit hypocritical that Europeans, who for so many hundreds of years, were busy invading, sacking, pillaging, raiding, "colonizing," and imperializing each other, would point at us and say "How dare you, sir?" Not to justify an Imperialist Mindset, that is. Just to point out the vague stench of hypocrisy when I smell it. (c) The Bar Examination was invented either by Beelzebub as a trial run for the sixth circle of Hell, or by a bunch of ex-frat boy attorneys trying to make becoming an attorney as unpleasant as becoming a pledge. Seriously, what client is going to approach an attorney and say "Please, sir, I'd like to know the law of Torts in both Utah and the Common Law within the next 2 hours. Oh, and do be succinct. And, by the way, you don't get to research anthing. And I'll be grading you against the 400 other attorneys I'm testin...er...contacting." If I agreed to do that as an attorney, I could likely be sued for malpractice. But here, I have to do that very thing in order to certify to the state that I'm competent to practice? Isn't that like having a doctor perform surgery on a patient without allowing him to prep for it? Examiner: "Here you go, Doctor. This man's spleen just burst. Go ahead and fix him." Doctor: "Ummm .... I'm an anaesthesiologist." Standardized tests. What a joke. And not a funny one. (d) Mormons are odd folk. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/us/12coldcalls.html (e) "24" has renewed my interest in being a federal agent. If being a federal agent means I get to do the same stuff that Jack Bauer gets to in just the two days I've watched him, count me in. (This show is going to get its own post soon, FYI). (f) I miss John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, and yes ... even Karl Malone. Do you remember when our Jazz used to lead the league in team defense? Or when we would perenially place one or two players on the first team All-NBA Defense? Or when we had players who were paid to hit shots and routinely hit them? Or when we had role players who were grateful and delighted just to have a role to play? Or when we had a chance, even though we never capitalized on that chance, to win it all? Yeah. Me, too. (g) Honey Smacks and Asparagus share an...interesting quality. 'Nuf said.