They hauled me in, cuffs and all. (I’m kidding.) The immigration office is in the police station in Sarpsborg, and I had to go there because I guess I’m kind of temporarily immigrating to Norway. (That’s right, right? Immigrate to; emigrate from?) Anyway, this was my first adventure out of Moss since my arrival and it was relatively uneventful, though the whole thing filled me with anxiety. Let’s talk about perspiration, shall we?
For starters, everywhere from Moss to Sarpsborg was perspiring hard. (I mean rain.) The temperature was about 4 Celsius; I have no idea how cold that is, so maybe Google it if you care. I don’t. I just know it was windy and rainy and cold as fuck.
I left school as soon as I could, but I still missed the earlier bus and had to wait in the freezing dribble for 40 minutes. The bus schedule is in Norwegian so I had no idea if the time tables were bus arrival times or destination times or what. They didn’t match what I was told, so I just waited–hoping for the best. The whole time I worried incessantly about missing my appointment because I only have until tomorrow to check in and they had no other appointments this week. So, despite being cold, my lovely sweater dress was slowly becoming as limp and cold as a went dish rag because I sweat a lot when I’m anxious.
Those of you who know me, know that I don’t use normal person deodorant because I’m a crunchy hippie who’s scared of getting pit cancer from aluminum. To prevent sweating and stinking, I rub this salt rock under my arms every morning:
It’s about as effective as you’d think, per my tweet history about smelly pits. Anyway, my anxiety today was no match for this tiny salt stone. And each bus that came that wasn’t mine made me all the more anxious.
How did I know they weren’t the right buses? Well, the first one didn’t open its doors when I walked up to it–it just drove away. So I slunk back to the bus “shelter” to keep waiting. I started to relax as the bus stop started filling up with other passengers (bus arrival imminent!) Then another bus came, but nobody moved. So I, being paranoid and stupid, walked up to that bus too. It tried to drive away like the first one, but stopped when I kept approaching the door, a scared longing look screwing up my face. I asked the driver if it was the bus to Sarpsborg and (YOU GUESSED IT) No.
The bus driver gave me a pretty judgy look like, why don’t you know better? Go back to your shelter. I did, but this time with 7 pairs of judging eyes on me. Hot with shame over my inability to navigate the Norwegian bus system, I huddled in a corner, waiting for death (or the right fucking bus). The real bus came 5 minutes later.
The ride was pleasant because NORWEGIAN BUSSES HAVE FREE PUBLIC WIFI. They’re also huge with comfy cloth-covered bucket seats like a Grey Hound. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bathroom in the back.
The police station visit pretty easy-peasy. The lady spoke English to me and was very nice and helpful. They documented my finger prints with a cool futuristic scanner thing, and they took my picture–which was great because coming off all that rain and epic sweating, I looked awesome.
Unfortunately, my fear of not fucking anything up on my paperwork did not prevent me from fucking something up on my paperwork. Somehow (probably my fault but I did this paperwork last June so I can’t remember) my visa is set to expire May 15th, but my flight out is May 30th because I thought my visa was set to expire May 31st. This might cause some problems with my travel plans, but I think there’s a fix. More on that later.
Long story short, I did the thing I needed to do today, and I’m glad that thing is done. In spite of the somewhat negative tone of this entry, I actually had a very good day. (Now I need to go see if my sweaty laundry is done.)