All posts by katiejurek

Console generation eight

So here’s a brief interlude to focus on what’s been happening the last few days with E3 and the eighth generation of video game consoles. The Wii U has already been released, the Xbox One is coming in November, and PlayStation 4 will be also be arriving sometime around Christmas.

My opinion? Firstly, I’d stick with the PS4 or Wii U; getting an Xbox One is like paying half a thousand bucks to a spy (i.e. Microsoft) to listen in on the politically unimportant goings-on in your home. You can turn the Kinect on when it’s “off” by saying “Kinect on”…which means it’s never really off at all, and is always listening. I’ll make sure no one I ever visit has one, and if they do, I’ll be asking them to unplug the system before I come over. 😛

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Norway’s National Day – May 17

I mentioned in my last post that May 17th was approaching. The day recently passed, and for Norway, this date is known by a variety of names: Norway’s National Day, syttende mai, Nasjonaldagen, and Grunnlovsdagen, to name a few. It is the anniversary of the day in 1814 when the Norwegian constitution was signed in Eidsvoll and declared Norway to be an independent nation after the Napoleonic wars. It’s also the day when crazy stuff happens, though all of it is pretty non-militaristic. Children’s parades are common and buildings are decorated all around with Norwegian flags. The longest such parade is in Oslo where some 100,000 travel to take part in it! These parades are often televised and huge numbers of Norwegians participate. I participated myself this year:

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How I’m legally able to keep going to Europe – The Schengen Agreement

I’ve been to and lived in Europe for a total of six months now (three total in the Netherlands, three in Norway) and am about to do so again for another three. At the beginning, though, I had no idea how I’d go about doing this, or if it was even possible without painstakingly acquiring several visas. The answer for going to the majority of European countries is “yes”…depending on which country you’re from!

The Schengen Agreement (named after the town in Luxembourg in which it was signed) is a treaty signed in 1985 that abolishes the internal border controls of as well as gives a common visa policy to the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is like a single state for international travel purposes: it has external border controls for travelers entering and exiting the area, but lacks internal border controls, allowing free and painless passage between its member countries.

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Guest post: Sindre from Norway in Florida

Hello everyone! Today I have a guest post written by Sindre Hauge Larsen, the Norwegian thatI’ve lived with in Norway and recently came to live with me here in Orlando, Florida. He’s going to tell us a little about what it was like for a Norwegian like him to live in Florida for two-and-a-half weeks!


Katie recently wrote about her experiences as a Floridian moving to and living in Norway over several months. She was not on vacation and she didn’t get caught in tourist traps; she lived with me and experienced what daily life is like here. In February we switched roles, and it was time for me to visit her in Florida!

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