Monday, August 8, 2011

Gratis, ikke Gravid....Free, Not Pregnant.

I chuckle to myself every time I think about this.

Stian's mom and I went shopping for curtains. We went to a few stores and compared thoughts about the different curtains we were looking at. Stian eventually met up with us with impeccable timing - we had just decided on the perfect curtains for the new apartment. I consulted Stian because after all, it was his apartment too, and when he agreed on liking them, we started to look for the correct packages to buy.

We found 4 packages in the right length (exactly what we needed), and then, after turning the packages over and over looking for a price tag, we couldn't find one.

Stian asked me, "How much are these, anyway?"

Trying to be funny with a little Norwegian I learned on TV and in some advertisements, I said, "Hmm. Must be gravid."

He laughed and gave me a funny look. "Gravid????"

Realizing my mistake, I laughed so hard people started looking at us, but managed to correct myself. "Gratis! I meant gratis! Gratis is free. Gravid is....pregnant. The curtains are most definitely not pregnant."

I surely did not intend to say that the curtains were pregnant, but it obviously was much funnier than I planned that little joke to be, and I don't think that experience is something I'll soon forget.

What a great reminder to be light-hearted and open-minded about learning a new language and living in a new country.

Skål! (Cheers!)

The curtains! And only part of the living room.
...please excuse the massive amount of laundry drying in the middle of the room.


  1. cracking up!!!!! this sounds like something i do everyday! i can only imagine us shopping around town together being brave and attempting to speak norwegian LOL! it's going to be so much more fun with you than Andre because you will just laugh and not attempt to correct my mistakes! he tries to correct them and depending on how bad of a day im having i retort back "excuse me, but my mouth can't make that R sound". :)

  2. and PS: that is what my laundry rack looks like as we speak.

  3. Pedantic side note, gratis and gravid are also acceptable words in English, though not as frequently used as free and pregnant (but I have seen both used in american and english books).

  4. Ha!! That's funny. We use the term gravid to describe pregnant bellies in the medical field... However, when I was in school once I saw the term 'gravid' and thought 'maybe it means the same as rigid!' (dumb) then someone had to explain to me.. "No... Your patient is NOT pregnant..." I miss you A!! I hope you are having a blast settling in at your new place with your new hubby!

  5. Hi Alysa,

    My name's Mario and I work for an international relocation company here in the UK called Cartus (

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in delivering an informal session (paid!) to a Norwegian family who are due to move to the US?

    Kind regards,