calitrolls

Emigrating Norwegians


Leave a comment

Ny bil // New car

E N D E L I G kan vi kjøre uten å være redde for at bilen vår skal bryte sammen! I dag tok vi enda et steg mot å bli ekte amerikanere. Vi tok opp billån og kjøpte oss en bil. Alt jeg vil gjøre akkurat nå er å kjøre…

– Åh, så du trenger noen til å kjøre deg til flyplassen? OK!

– Kanskje vi skal møtes på andre siden av byen kl 18? OK!

Det ble en Toyota Corolla, og forhåpentligvis (bank i bordet) er dette et bedre kjøp enn det vi gjorde sist.

– – –

F I N A L L Y I can drive our car without panicking if I have to stop for a red light because the car might break down on me. Today we got one step closer to being real americans, we got an auto loan and got ourselves a car. Right now all I want to do is driiiiive…

– Oh, you want a ride to LAX? OK!

– You wanna meet on the other side of town at 6pm? OK!

We went for a Toyota Corolla, and hopefully (knock on wood) this will turn out to be a better buy than our Ford.

IMG_6287

IMG_6293

Advertisements


Leave a comment

År 1 // Year 1

FOR ET ÅR! 2014 har i aller høyeste grad vært det mest intense, lærerike og spennende året noensinne. Det har gått veldig opp og ned, men det har vært gøy. Vi har opplevd så utrolig mye for aller første gang (også i vår alder da)! Når vi reiste for ett år siden visste vi ingenting om hva vi hadde foran oss, vi hadde kun koffertene våre og alfor mange sommerfugler i magen. Vi visste ikke hvor lenge vi skulle bli, hvor vi skulle bo, eller hvordan vi skulle livnære oss. Det er forsatt mye vi ikke vet om framtiden vår her, men det gjør jo ting spennende fortsatt.

Siden vi nå går inn i år to her, tenkte vi at dette er en fin anledning til å ta et tilbakeblikk på år en 🙂

– – –

WHAT A YEAR! 2014 has been the most intense and exciting year ever, and not to mention an incredible learning experience. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, but it has been a lot of fun. We have experienced so much for the first time (and in our age, huh?)! When we left Norway a year ago we didn’t know what to expect at all, all we had were our suitcases and a lot of butterflies in our stomachs. We didn’t know where we were gonna live, or how we were gonna make a living. And there’s still a lot we don’t know about our future here, but that’s what still keeps it so interesting.

And since we are entering Year 2 here, we figured this is an appropriate occasion to take a look at how Year 1 went 🙂

IMG_5618

1. Januar 2014. Den store dagen! Og den vanskeligste dagen. Å ta farvel med alle våre kjære uten å vite når vi skulle se de igjen var tøft. Det ble mange tårer, men snart tok sommerfuglene over! Vi var jo så spente på å endelig starte på eventyret vårt!

– – –

January 1st 2014. The BIG day! And the incredible hard day. To say goodbye to everyone we love without knowing when we would see them again wasn’t easy. There was a lot of tears, but the butterflies in our stomachs trumped them soon enough. We were so excited to finally start our big adventure!

IMG_5449

Vi sov på flyplasshotell den første natta siden vi landet sent, men 2. januar sjekket vi inn på motellet i Burbank der vi skulle bo fram til vi fant et mer permanent sted. Det er veldig rart å se tilbake på den tiden nå. På en side virker det som det var i går, men på en annen side har det skjedd så utrolig mye siden den tiden at det like gjerne kunne vært ti år siden.

– – –

The first night here we stayed at an airport hotel since our plane landed late, but January 2nd we checked in at the motel we were going to live at in Burbank until we figured out where we wanted to live permanently. It’s so strange to look back at this time now. On one side it seems like it was yesterday, but on the other side so much have happened that it could have been ten years ago.

oliveaveapt

Den første tiden var veldig travel. Vi måtte få på plass alt vi trengte for å starte et helt nytt liv. Bankkontoer, telefonnummere, bil, leilighet, etc.

– – –

The first period we were pretty busy getting everything we needed to start a life here. Bank accounts, phone numbers, a car, a place to live, etc. 

IMG_5543

IMG_5542 IMG_5954

Å finne en bil var ikke lett… I den prisklassen vi hadde råd til å lete i var det stor etterspørsel, noe som igjen førte til at det var vanskelig å finne noe bra. Etter vanvittig mye frustrasjon og hard leting hadde vi nesten mest lyst til å gi opp da en gammel Ford Taurus dukket opp i livene våre. Den var definitivt bedre enn ingenting, og det begynte å bli dyrt med leiebil. Vi kunne nok ønske i dag at vi hadde lagt litt mer penger i en bil og skaffet oss noe bedre, men den går (faktisk) fortsatt.

– – –

To find a car was not an easy task… In our price range it was extra hard because of the demand and supply (we weren’t the only ones looking for a cheap car in LA). After too much frustration an old Ford Taurus came in to our lives. It was definitely better than nothing, and our rental car was getting expensive. Looking back we wish we would have paid a little more, and gotten a better car, but the Taurus is (believe it or not) still going. 

IMG_5968

Dessverre tok det ikke lang tid før bilen vår streiket.. Girkassen måtte skiftes.. Heldigvis ble den utgiften dekket av forhandleren.

– – –

Unfortunately it didn’t take long before our “new” car stopped working.. We had to change the transmission.. Fortunately the car dealer we bought it from covered that.

IMG_3545

Men vi kunne jo ikke bare styre rundt hele tiden, vi måtte jo oppleve litt av det vårt nye hjem hadde å by på. Og hva er vel ikke bedre for to frosne nordmenn enn å kunne gå på stranda i januar og se på en vakker solnedgang?

– – –

We couldn’t just work on organizing our new life, we had to enjoy our new home too. So what’s better for two frozen Norwegians than going to the beach in January to watch a beautiful sunset?

IMG_5627

Vi ble også kjent med den herlige gjengen i Trollbound hvor vi senere også begge fikk jobbe! En av de første tingene vi gjorde med de var å gå på en kostymefest i Hollywood Hills, og kan ikke sammenliknes med noe vi har opplevd i Norge. Jeg lar det bli med det. Temaet var sporty sexy. Hvordan klarte vi oss??

– – –

We also got to know the wonderful people in Trollbound Entertainment where we also got to work! One of the first things we did together was going to a costume party in the Hollywood Hills. It can’t be compared with anything we have experienced in Norway – crazy house!! The theme was sporty sexy. How did we do??

IMG_5999

Hverdagen kom å tok oss rimelig kjapt siden jeg fikk meg jobb på Moods of Norway allerede i slutten av Januar. Det har vært en fantastisk trygghet i å ha en fast inntekt siden freelancelivet er noe ustabilt. Dessuten har det aldri vært noe problem når jeg har fått TV-oppdrag, da har jeg fått fri.

– – –

The everyday life came and got us pretty fast when I got a job at Moods of Norway already in the end of January. It has been so nice to have a safe income since the life of freelancers is a tad unstable. And it hasn’t gotten in the way of my career in television either since they always give me time off to do the jobs I get there.

IMG_6101

Etter mye leting og endel skuffelser fant vi oss endelig et sted å bo! Det var ikke så lett, for i USA må man bygge opp kreditt over flere år og utleiere sjekker potensielle leietakere sin kreditt score for å finne ut om de er trygge betalere. Vi hadde jo ikke noe slikt, så vi var avhengige av å finne en utleier som var villig til å gi oss en sjanse. Og når vi endelig fant det viste det seg å være det beste stedet vi kunne forestille oss. Leiligheten vår er ikke stor, men det er basseng, jacuzzi, grill og sauna på taket og til og med et treningsrom i 1. estasje. Men det aller beste med stedet vi bor er alle de fantastiske naboene vi har blitt kjent med!

– – –

After a lot of searching and a few disappointments we finally found a place to live! But it wasn’t easy, because we didn’t have any credit history here. We were just dependent on finding someone who were willing to give us a chance. And when we finally found it, it turned out to be the perfect place for us! The apartment isn’t big, but there’s a pool, a jacuzzi, barbecue area and a sauna on the roof and even a gym on the first floor. But the best part of living here has definitely been to get to know all of our wonderful neighbors!

IMG_6174

IMG_6623

roughnight

Vi rakk ikke å bo her mer enn noen dager før vi fikk vårt første besøk! Mette og Anine kom i begynnelsen av februar og tilbrakte en fantastisk uke med oss. Vi dro på Universal Studios, til stranden, til Vegas, og ikke minst på BRITNEY konsert!

– – –

We didn’t live here more than a few days before we got our first visitors from Norway! Mette and Anine came in the beginning of February and spent an amazing week with us. We went to Universal Studios, to the beach, to Vegas and we event went to the BRITNEY show at Planet Hollywood! So. Much. Fun.

IMG_6240

IMG_6350

Mens vi var på jentetur i Las Vegas var Per Christian på jobboppdrag in the middle of nowhere! Han filmet to jenter på roadtrip gjennom USA, og fikk nok oppleve en litt annen side av landet enn LA 🙂

– – –

While we were on a girls trip to Vegas, Per Christian was working in the middle of nowhere! He filmed a couple of girls on a roadtrip through the US, and he got to experience quite a different side of the country than LA 🙂

image-8

Så var det bursdagen min da. Per Christian lagde verdens beste dag for meg! Jeg visste ingenting! Vi spiste frokost med champagne på taket (takk til Maida for det!), lunch på Chateau Marmont, middag på Rainbow Room, drinker på Pour Vous og avsluttet kvelden på Jumbos Clown Room. En dag for historiebøkene!

– – –

And then it was my birthday! Per Christian gave me the best day ever! I had no idea what he was up to. We had breakfast on the roof with Champagne (thank you, Maida), lunch at Chateau Marmont, dinner at the Rainbow Room, drinks at Pour Vous and finished that fantastic day at Jumbo’s Clown Room. A day for the history books!

IMG_6544

Det tok ikke lang tid før vi fikk besøk igjen, denne gangen av denne lille familien; Stine, Ronan og lille Stella Edine!

– – –

It didn’t take long before we got more visitors from the old country. This time this little family; Stine, Ronan and baby Stella Edine!

IMG_6611

Etterhvert som vi ble mer kjent med området vi flyttet til så fant vi ut hvor nærme vi bor Runyon Canyon! Det er bare ti minutters gange unna! Man kan trygt si at treningsrommet i 1. etsje ikke ble like mye brukt etter det.

– – –

We found Runyon Canyon which was just a ten minute walk from our place. Can’t beat working out in the free! The gym on the first floor isn’t as popular anymore after we found our way to Runyon 🙂

Bilde 1

Vi ble gode venner med de fine menneskene i Trollbound og oppdaget at det er et stort norsk miljø i LA, og huset de bodde i fungerte som et samlingspunkt for alle. Ikke rart når man ser utsikten derfra. I jacuzzien. Med bobler i glasset 😉 De har dessverre flyttet derfra nå, så vi er veldig fornøyde med at vi rakk å få oppleve det stedet.

– – –

We became good friends with the awesome people in Trollbound and discovered that there’s a big Norwegian community in LA, and their house seemed to be one of the best places to gather them all. Not strange since the view was amazing! It was just perfect to be sitting in the jacuzzi with a glass of something bubbly and look out over Hollywood and all of LA 😉 Sadly they have moved now, so we are very grateful that we came to LA early enough to experience “The Little Norway House”.

IMG_6682

I april fikk Per Christian jobbe på “Alt for Norge”. Han reiste til Montana, Utah, Seattle og heeeelt til Venice Beach for å lage portrettintervjuer av deltakerne.

– – –

Per Christian got to work on “The Great Norwegian Adventure” (super popular show in Norway) in April. He went to Montana, Utah, Seattle and all the way to Venice Beach to make portrait interviews of the contestants. 

alt-for-norge-logo

Det var rundt den tiden vi fant ut at det var på tide å sjekke ut stranden på Santa Monica også! Det er jo så mange fine steder i LA, men strendene er de aller beste! Det er noe spesielt med å være i nærheten av vann. Lyden av bølger, lukten av havsalt og ikke minst stemingen blant menneskene som oppholder seg der.

– – –

It was around that time we figured out it was about time to check out Santa Monica Beach, too. It’s so many nice places in LA, but the beaches are definitely the best of it all! There’s something special about being in close proximity to water. The sound of waves, the smell of sea salt and not to mention the good vibes between the people.

IMG_6877

IMG_6851

I april fikk vi endelig summet oss til å ta lappen her også. Det var veldig deilig å få i boks, og endelig følte vi oss som skikkelige California residents! Selve oppkjøringen tok ti minutter og besto av å kjøre stille rundt i nabolaget.

– – –

We finally got our drivers licenses in April. It was about time, and we finally felt like real California residents. The driving test consisted of driving around the neighborhood for about ten minutes..

IMG_7028

I slutten av april fikk jeg være casting assistent på en film. Jeg har bare gjort reality og dokumentar tidligere så det var veldig spennende å være med på en fiksjonsfilm, eller en komedie som dette var, og spesielt her i Hollywood. Det var en parodi på “Taken” filmene som kommer ut i vår og heter “Tooken”.

– – –

I got to be an assistant on the casting on a film in April. I’ve only done reality and documentaries before, so it was very exciting to be working for a film, and especially here in Hollywood. It was a spoof on the “Taken” movies called “Token” and I believe it will come out this spring.

bilde 1

I mai ble jeg sent til Norge av Trollbound for å promotere selskapet i Norge på Nordiske Mediedager i Bergen. Jeg fikk også med meg Gullruten hvor Barnas Restaurant som jeg jobbet på før jeg flyttet til USA var nominert. Jeg fikk meg selvfølgelig også en tur til Oslo hvor jeg benyttet sjansen til å hilse på familie og gamle venner!

– – –

I was sent to Norway in May to promote Trollbound at the Nordic Media Days festival in Bergen. The festival ends with the Norwegian Emmy’s, so I got to go to that as well, which was super nice because a show I worked on before I moved to the US was nominated there. I also went to Oslo to see family and friends.

nmdsara

bilde 4_2

Jeg kom tilbake til LA kvelden 16. mai, og var veldig spent på hvordan det kom til å bli å feire Norges nasjonaldag i USA. Det skulle vise seg å bli en av de beste jeg har opplevd. Vi hadde invitert noen venner over til champagnefrokost på taket. Frokosten ble til et poolparty og strakk seg til kl 16 før vi dro ned på Moods for å fortsette feiringen der. Jeg jobbet også, men for å være helt ærlig ble det mer pleasure enn business 🙂

– – –

I came back to LA the evening of May 16th, the day before Norway’s national day. I was very nervous about celebrating it here in the US, but it actually turned out to be one of the best I’ve had so far! We invited some friends over to have a champagne breakfast on the roof. The breakfast turned into a pool party and we didn’t go to Moods where we were supposed to celebrate until around 4. I was supposed to work, but it was more of a party for me than work 🙂

bilde 4

bilde 1

Mens vi snakker om pool parties må jeg jo nevne at sommer i LA er helt fantastisk! Og det å bo et sted med basseng er enda mer fantastisk! Så mange fester, i bassenget!

– – –

While we’re on the subject of pool parties, I have to say, summer in LA is AWESOME! And living at a place with a pool is even more awesome! So many pool parties!!

bilde-2

bilde 5 bilde 3

Og før vi visste ordet av det hadde vi vært her i et helt halvt år! Jeg overrasket Per Christian med middag på Pace i Laurel Canyon for å feire. Det stedet er en liten gjemt perle som vi absolutt kan anbefale!

– – –

And before we knew it 6 months had already passed since we moved here! I surprised Per Christian with dinner at Pace in Laurel Canyon. A little hidden gem!

IMG_2064

IMG_2069

4. juli feiret vi på husbåten til en av mine slektninger i Nord-California. De dagene på den båten står igjen som et av de absolutte høydepunktene i 2014! Vi sov under åpen himmel, startet hver dag med et bad, grillet og sto på wakeboard.

– – –

We celebrated 4th of July at one of my relatives’ houseboat in Northern California. Those days were one of the absolute highlights of 2014! We slept under the open sky, startet everyday by jumping in the water, barbecued and wake-boarded. Good times!

IMG_7131

IMG_7197

Dessverre endte den gode stemningen brått på vei hjem igjen da bilen vår streiket rett utenfor Bakersfield. I 40 varmegrader og stekende sol. Og UTEN VANN! Vi sto en god time i veikanten og ventet på Triple A. Kanskje den verste timen i mitt liv.. Bilen ble satt på verksted og fikk en ny computer. Den funker fortsatt, men vi tar den ikke på lange turer lenger. Da blir det heller leiebil!

– – –

Unfortunately the joy ended quickly on our way home from the lake when our car broke down outside Bakersfield. In scorching sun and almost 100 degrees.. We stood on the side of the road in almost an hour before TripleA picked us up. Worst hour of my life… The car was placed at a shop and got a new computer. It still runs, but we don’t use it on longer drives anymore. We rent a car for that..

IMG_2263

I Juli fikk vi også besøk av denne karen! Christer bodde hos oss en hel uke og han og Per Christian fikk gjort mye gøy sammen. Det som er noe av det beste med å få besøk er at vi selv får anledning til å være turister i egen by! Vi føler at vi oppdager hvor gøy det er her på nytt hver gang.

– – –

Per Christians buddy from Norway, Christer, stayed with us for a week in July. They managed to squeeze a lot of fun into that one little week, even Vegas! What is so great about getting visitors is that we get to be tourists in our own town, and discovering how great this place is all over again!

image

Det tok sin tid, men i sommer oppdaget vi endelig at det er et uendelig utvalg av happy hours her! Te’Kila på Hollywood Blvd er favoritten. Og siden freelance livet som nevnt tidligere er noe ustabilt finnes det ikke noe bedre enn å spise god mat og drikke gode drinker til en billig penge!

– – –

It took us a while, but we finally discovered the sea of happy hours in this town! There’s so many! Our favorite is probably Te’Kila on Hollywood Blvd. And since the freelance life is as mentioned a little unstable there is nothing better than being able to go out and enjoy ourselves for even less money!

bilde 2

Søstera mi, Maida, fikk musikkvideoen sin med på en filmfestival i Hollywood i august. Dessverre kunne hun ikke komme å være med på festivalen selv, men hun skaffet meg og Dana festivalpass i stedet. Det var gøy å se musikkvideoen hun lagde i et studio i Kautokeino på det store lerretet midt i Hollywood!

– – –

My sister, Maida, got her music video on a film festival here in August. Unfortunately she couldn’t attend the festival herself, but she got me and my friend Dana festival passes instead. It was so cool to see the music video she shot in a studio in Kautokeino, far up north in Norway, on the big screen in the heart of Hollywood!

bilde 1

Rett etter Hollyshorts ble jeg sent til Norge med Trollbound igjen. Denne gangen for å pitche prosjektene vi hadde utviklet sammen gjennom sommeren til de norske TV-kanalene.

Jeg benyttet igjen sjansen til å ta meg litt ekstra fri for å hilse på familie og venner. Jeg rakk til og med å besøke søstera mi i Hammerfest. Vi tok båten til Akkarfjord og fikk hilse på to KAMELER (av alle ting..) som bodde der. Sannsynligvis verdens nordligste kameler, haha!

– – –

Shortly after Hollyshorts, I was sent back to Norway with Trollbound again. This time to pitch the projects we had developed together to the Norwegian television networks. 

Again I took some extra time off to see my family and friends. I visited my sister in Hammerfest, the northernmost city in the World. We went on a boat trip to the island of Akkarfjord where they, amongst other tings, had CAMELS! 

IMG_3143-0

IMG_3493

Per Christian var i Norge for å filme et nytt reality program for TV2 i samme periode som jeg pitchet for Trollbound, så vi fløy faktisk tilbake til LA sammen. Og dagen etter kom Morten og Kristine på besøk! Vi hadde alle jet lag og gjorde det beste ut av situasjonen ved å gå morgenturer i Runoyn 🙂

– – –

Per Christan was actually in Norway filming a reality show for TV2 at the same time I was there pitching for Trollbound, so we got to fly back to LA together. The day after we got back we got two new visitors! We were all jet lagged so we went on some early morning hikes in Runyon 🙂

IMG_3647

I oktober fikk vi endelig feiret bryllupsdagen vår, litt forsinket. Vi kompenserte med å gjøre det skikkelig! Vi sjekket inn på Hotel Erwin på Venice Beach og tilbrakte et par nydelige dager ved stranden.

– – –

We finally got to celebrate our wedding anniversary in October. Since it was so delayed we compensated by doing it in style. We checked in at Hotel Erwin on Venice Beach and spent a couple of wonderful days by the beach.

IMG_4336

I slutten av oktober var det bursdagen til Per Christian også. Siden han overrasket meg med en super dag full av overraskelser på min bursdag ville jeg gjøre det samme for han. Vi spiste frokost og åpnet gaver hjemme, spiste lunch (fra min mor og onkel) på Cicconi’s, tok en drink på taket av Hotel Andaz på Sunset og spiste middag på Yamashiro. Etter middagen tok jeg han med på Rock n Reillys hvor alle vennene våre sto klarte for feire ut i de små timer!

– – –

In the end of October it was Per Christians Birthday! Since he surprised me with a fun day filled with more surprises I wanted to do the same for him. We had breakfast and opened gifts at home, had lunch at Cicconi’s (courtesy of my mom and uncle), a drink on the roof of Andaz and eat dinner at Yamashiro. After dinner I took him to Rock n Reillys where all our friends were gathered to celebrate him some more! They even had cake 🙂

IMG_4597

Så kom dagen spesielt jeg hadde gledet meg til leeeeeeenge: Halloween! Vi feiret sammen med naboene våre og dro ut på Santa Monica Blvd hvor verdens største Halloweenparade finner sted hvert år. For et sirkus! Og herregud så mange fine, skumle og kreative kostymer!

– – –

And finally the day especially I had been looking forwards to arrived: Halloween! We celebrated with our neighbors and went to Santa Monica Blvd where the worlds biggest Halloween parade takes place every year. OMG, so many scary, funny and creative costumes!! INSANE!

IMG_4861 IMG_5863 IMG_4864

Etter å ha brukt altfor mye penger i Oktober tok vi det ganske med ro i november. Mesteparten av tiden gikk med til jobbing. Men mot slutten av måneden var det Thanksgiving. Vi feiret sammen med naboene våre igjen, og Per Christian lagde verdens beste kalkun! Det ble en veldig koselig kveld.

– – –

After spending way too much money in October, November was kind of quiet. We spent most of the time working. But we couldn’t ignore Thanksgiving! Again we celebrated with our neighbors, and Per Christian made the best turkey. Ever. It was such a great night.

IMG_5226

15. desember var dagen jeg hadde gledet meg til altfor lenge! Endelig kom søstera mi på besøk også!!! Og hun er her fortsatt! Det første vi gjorde var selfølgelig å dra til Las Vegas, haha!

– – –

December 15th was the day I’d been waiting for forever! My sister came to visit me! And she is still here!! The first thing we did was obviously to go to Vegas, haha! 

IMG_0165

Vi feiret jul hos en av gutta i Trollbound (i nytt hus!) med ribbe, akevit, og alt som hører med! En veldig annerledes jul, men veldig hyggelig! Så kan man jo ikke klage over at det går an å sitte i jacuzzien og kose seg på selveste julaften 😉

– – –

We celebrated Christmas with one of the guys in Trollbound (in his new house!) with traditional Norwegian food and drinks. It was a very different Christmas, but a very, very nice one! And you can’t complain when you can actually sit in the jacuzzi on Christmas Eve and enjoy a glass of bubbly liquid 😉

IMG_5798

Så har vi faktisk kommet helt frem til nyttårsaften! Vi spiste middag hos en av naboene våre og dro deretter ut på Pearls på Sunset. Der merket noen av oss at vi rett og slett er for gamle til å stå som sild i tønne med dundrende musikk rundt oss og vente på at klokka skal nå midnatt, så fem av oss dro hjem til oss og feiret det nye årets ankomst på taket! Og det kunne ikke blitt koseligere!

– – –

And we have finally reached new years eve! We had dinner at one of our neighbors place before we all went to Pearls on Sunset. Some of us noticed that we are just too old to be standing pushed against the wall in too loud music waiting for the clock to turn 12, so five of us left after one drink and celebrated the new years arrival on our roof! It couldn’t have turned out better! 

nye1

nye3

nye2

Godt nyttår alle sammen! Takk til alle som har fulgt oss dette året! 2015 ser ut til å bli et minst like spennende år 🙂

– – –

Happy new years everybody! Thanks to all of you that have followed our adventure through this blog! 2015 looks like it’s going te be just as exciting 🙂


Leave a comment

Tingenes tilstand // The unpolished truth

I det siste har det vært veldig mange irriterende positive innlegg fra meg, jeg vet det. Men det er alltid mye lettere å lage innlegg om det som er gøy enn det som er vanskelig. Det betyr derimot ikke at alt er en dans på roser her borte. Og det begynner vi å merke ganske godt nå, derfor er det på tide å skrive litt om det også.

Som jeg har sagt tidligere er LA en beinhard by når det kommer til jobb, i tillegg er det en av Amerikas dyreste byer å leve i. Sånn som ting er i dette øyeblikket tjener vi ikke nok penger til å holde oss flytende her, og vi har begynt å vurdere om vi må flytte hjem etterhvert, eller ihvertfall for en liten periode. Og for å gjøre ting litt ekstra vanskelig er dollarkursen helt på trynet for vår del! En dollar koster nesten 7 kr nå! Vi har jo litt penger på de norske kontoene våre som vi hadde planlagt å overføre i disse dager, men det kan vi rett og slett ikke gjøre så lenge kursen er som den er. Akkurat nå håper vi det dukker opp noen spennende muligheter snart, spesielt for Per Christian, for han tjener rimelig godt når han jobber. Ting har jo skjedd veldig plutselig tidligere, så vi får krysse fingrene for at det kan skje igjen!

I tillegg til dette har leieboerne våre i Oslo sagt opp, så vi må finne nye innen utgangen av februar. Vi har heldigvis litt tid på oss. Og hvem vet, kanskje vi trenger leiligheten selv innen den tid?

Som dere skjønner er ting litt i det blå nå, og det er derfor det er så viktig for oss å virkelig prøve å ha det gøy og utnytte de mulighetene vi har mens vi er her. Og hey, om vi må hjem så har vi iallefall prøvd, og vi har opplevd så mye på veien! Men tiden vil vise hva som skjer.

– – –

I am aware that my blog has been annoyingly positive lately. The thing is that it’s so much easier to make posts about the fun stuff than it is to make post about the things that are hard. But it doesn’t mean that our life here is just fun and games, because it’s definitely not. So I guess it’s time to write something about that too.

LA, like I’ve mentioned earlier, is a very rough city when it comes to work, and in addition to that it’s one of Americas most expensive cities to live in. As for now we are not making enough money to keep our heads above the water here, so we have started to consider our options. We might have to move home in a few months, at least for a period of time. To make the situation extra hard the dollar is very expensive right now as well. We have some money in our Norwegian accounts that we were planning to wire over these days, but with the dollar costing almost 7 NOK we just can’t. We have to wait. So right now we are hoping that especially Per Christian will get some more work soon. Every time he does it’s always on a short notice, so we are crossing our fingers for that.

While the rope is tightening around our necks here we got some bad news from home as well. Our tenants in Oslo are moving out, so we have to find new ones. But who knows, maybe we will need the apartment for ourselves by that time?

As you probably understand it’s a bit difficult right now, and that’s why it’s so important for us to try to have fun and enjoy the time we have here. And hey, if we have to go home at least we know that we tried, and it’s been such an incredible experience! But time will show whats gonna happen. We are not done quite yet. 

IMG_2315


Leave a comment

Bursdagsblogg // Birthday blog

I dag er denne bloggen ett helt år gammel! Tenk at jeg har blogget om dette eventyret så lenge!

Jeg hadde i utgangspunktet aldri kunnet forestille meg at jeg noen gang skulle finne på noe så fjollete som å blogge, men når green cardet var et faktum og vi bestemte oss for å flytte til andre siden av kloden føltes det plutselig riktig. Først og fremst fordi det nesten er terapeutisk å sortere tankene her og ikke minst at Per Christian og jeg selv kan bla oss tilbake, nesten som en dagbok. Det er jo også en fin måte å la familie og venner se hvordan vi har det og hvordan det går med oss.

Og apropos det, så er det lite som skjer akkurat nå, dagene går med til jobbing – og det er jo bare bra! Men på vei til jobb i går befant jeg meg plutselig midt i en biljakt. Jeg sto på rødt lys når en grønn Jeep nesten sneiet bilen min på høyre side og kjørte rett ut på Sunset Blvd i høy fart, og like etter kom en politibil i brasende fart forbi meg på andre siden og gav seg etter Jeepen. Så litt action er det jo 🙂

IMG_3845.JPG
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging about our adventure a whole entire year already! 

If you had asked me last summer if I would ever start a blog I would have laughed in your face, but when the green card became a reality and we decided to move across the globe, it suddenly felt right. First and foremost because it’s almost like therapy to me to write my thoughts down now and then, but it’s also so nice for Per Christian and I to be able to “go back in time” and see what we have done so far. And it’s a very good way of keeping friends and family up to speed on how we are doing.

Talking about that, there is nothing really exciting happening these days, just work. And that’s good! But on my way to work yesterday I found myself in the middle of a car chase all of a sudden! I had stopped for a red light when a green Jeep almost rammed my car and went right out onto Sunset Blvd without even looking. Before I could make much out if it a police car followed him. So there is some action 🙂 


Leave a comment

The green card process

Dette innlegget blir kun på englesk. Beklager, men det er bare for mye å oversette! // I will do this one in English only, it’s just to much to do both!

We are so grateful to be able to live here and experience all the exciting things that we do. It’s such an adventure! USA is for sure the land of opportunities. But the process of getting here is for most people a very long and hard journey. We had it easy compared to many, but it still took us two years from we signed up for the DV Lottery until we got our green cards. During this process I really missed a “manual”, or at least some hints as to how we were supposed to fill out all the forms correctly, what papers we needed, how detailed to be, etc. The instructions we got from the state.gov website was helpful, but not enough. We also signed up at a website called visajourney.com which was very helpful.

Since we are now “on the other side” I feel that the least I could do is share our experience along with the information we obtained in the process, and I hope it can be of some help to people who are in the same situation.

bilde 2

First of all, you can sign up for the Diversity Visa Lottery (aka the green card lottery) at www.dvlottery.state.gov. They usually accept applications in October every year.

The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 diversity visas annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

When you sign up you will be asked to submit a picture of yourself, and it is so important to follow the directions precisely. If for instance your picture is too big your application will not go through, and you won’t even be notified about it.

After submitting your application you will have to wait until May/June the following year to check if you are selected for further processing. Do not lose your confirmation number, you will need that to check your entry status. As a matter of fact, none of us were selected in May/June, but there is another smaller random selection in the fall, and that’s when I was selected. So don’t loose all hope if you don’t make the first cut, even though chances are slim, you should definitely check back in the fall as well.

The first thing you will have to do is fill out some forms about yourself (they want to know everything!) and get your pictures taken, be careful to meet the requirements on these as well, you’ll need to send in two examples. To be approved the principal DV applicant (which in our case was me) is required to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. law. If you don’t meet this requirement you shouldn’t proceed.

We had to fill out all the forms and get our photos taken professionally and physically send it to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), but I think you can do (parts of it at least) online now.

The forms you will have to fill out is the DS-260 (online), DSP-122 (only the principal applicant needs to fill out this one) and DS-230 PART I & II. We were very specific and detailed when we filled out those forms, and it worked for us.

The biggest issue we had in this process was whether or not we needed a sponsor, because you have to prove that you will not be  a burden (so to speak) for the society when you move. They say you need to have a family sponsorship, or offer of employment or prove financial stability to be approved for the Diversity Visa. We did not have an offer of employment and did definitely not want to ask my family here something like that so we went for the last option, not knowing if it would be good enough. That felt like a huge gamble, but our savings together with the value of our apartment saved us.

Moving on. After you have submitted your forms you will have to wait to get an interview date, that is of course if your papers are ok. You will get a case number which will give you some idea when you can expect to get an interview. The higher the case number, the longer you’ll have to wait. We got a very high one and were afraid that we wouldn’t make the cut off date in September. Yes that’s right, if you don’t get your interview within the current fiscal year, you won’t make it no matter how close you get.

But you should use your time between sending in the forms to getting the interview to gather your supporting documents which you will have to bring to the interview at the embassy. And you will have to get those translated by a certified translator.

This is what you need:

  • Required DV Qualifying Education or Work Experience
  • Birth Certificates
  • Court and Prison Records
  • Deportation Documentation
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Marriage Termination Documentation
  • Military Records
  • Police Records
  • Custody Documentation

If some of these doesn’t apply to you, like deportation or custody documentation, you don’t have to worry about sending it in.

When you get your interview date approximately two months before the interview, you will need to get a medical exam by an authorized physician in the country where you will be interviewed. You must complete your medical examination, along with any required vaccinations, before your scheduled visa interview date. Although we had our medical exam in Norway, it wasn’t a problem at the interview in Sweden. When your medical exam is completed, if you are given a medical exam envelope, you must bring it sealed (not opened) to your visa interview. Some physicians will send the medical exam results directly to the embassy or consulate.

There are only a few authorized physicians in Scandinavia, and be aware of the prices they charge you! We had to pay 4000 kr ($ 650) each for a medical exam that lasted about ten minutes. We even had to do our blood tests and x-rays elsewhere and bring the results to him. But if you want to do this, there’s no way around it.

bilde 3

On our way to the Interview!

To the interview you will have to bring the appointment letter, passport for each applicant (an unexpired passport valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States), photographs (two identical color photographs for each applicant), your medical exam results, original and supporting documents (original documents or certified copies, and one photocopy of each document), english translations and the visa fees.

Before the interview you will have to pay the Diversity Visa Lottery fee which is $330 per person. This fee is nonrefundable, whether a visa is issued or not. But from my experience and what I have heard, if you get as far as an interview you are basically already approved.

We were approved on the spot! She asked me about three questions, and that was it. The questions were about where we were intending to settle and why, and what we were planning to do to support ourselves.

bilde 1

Time for celebration after being approved!

After you are approved they will keep your passport and send it back to you within a few weeks with the Visa, you then have six months to make all your arrangements and travel to the US.

I have gathered some websites that helped us a lot:

www.dvlottery.state.gov

http://www.visajourney.com

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/entry.html

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin.html

Good luck!

bilde 4

 


Leave a comment

Et halvt år! // Six months!

IMG_2072

Herregud, vi har vært her i et halvt år allerede! Det gir ingen mening i hodet mitt, jeg klarer ikke helt å begripe det. Det føles jo som vi kom for noen uker siden! Tiden går altfor fort!

Men jeg må si at vi har klart oss ganske bra med tanke på at vi kom ned hit uten noen konkrete planer eller sikkerhetsliner. Vi er jo her fortsatt! Jeg har fått såpass mye å gjøre at jeg har måtte gå ned i deltidsstilling hos Moods av typen-jobb-når-du-kan, og Per Christian skal snart reise langt av gårde på et prosjekt, så det ser ut som vi kan være her litt til. Vi skal ihvertfall signere nye leiekontrakt i dag!

I går overrasket jeg Per Christian og tok han med ut på middag for å feire vårt første halve år her. Vi dro på Pace i Laurel Canyon, en liten gjemt perle av en restaurant! Så koselig og så sinnsykt god mat!

– – –

I cannot believe we’ve already been here six months! Thats half a year! It makes no sense, because it still feels like we arrived just a few weeks ago. Time goes way to fast here!

But I have to say that I feel that we have managed pretty good here. We came without a plan or any safety lines, and we’re still here! I have gotten so much to do that I’ve had to go down to a part time position at Moods (the amazing kind where I can work when I have time), and Per Christian is soon leaving to do a longer project, so it looks like we’ll manage to stay here a bit longer. We’re actually renewing our lease here today!

I surprised Per Christian by taking him out to dinner to celebrate our first six months here yesterday. We went to Pace in Laurel Canyon, a small hidden gem of a restaurant! Just absolutely amazing – the food, the atmosphere, the service, everything was great! 

IMG_2040

IMG_2042

IMG_2064

IMG_2069

I morgen drar vi på vår første lille ferie her! Jeg gleder meg som en liten unge!! Vi skal feire 4. juli med familien min i Chico på en *trommevirvel* HUSBÅT! En HUSBÅT! Vi gleder oss til å se familien igjen, til å grille, bade og å stå på wakeboard. Tror det blir en veldig fin tur 🙂

– – –

And tomorrow we’ll be going on our first little vacation here! I’m counting the hours and feeling like a kid on Christmas! We’re going to Chico to celebrate 4th of July with my family on a house boat! A HOUSE BOAT!! We can’t wait to see our US family, BBQ, go swimming and wakeboarding! It’s gonna be a great trip 🙂