Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are You Joyful in What You Do?

I know I post a lot about learning Norwegian, but I think I've hit a milestone.

Speaking this language has become fun for me. Yep, fun.

I'm not particularly good at it, and have trouble finding words often, but it's still fun. I get joy out of successfully communicating (and isn't that the point?).

In the words of Loris Malaguzzi (the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood curriculums):

"Nothing without joy."

Words to live by.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

'Tis the Season for "Refleks"

Besides looking before you cross the street, have you ever actively taken precautions to not get hit by a car?

Sure, you generally stay on the sidewalk, don't walk in front of oncoming vehicles, and try to use the crosswalks...what else is there?

Well, the darkness is the pedestrians disadvantage, and in Norway where the darkness sticks around and street lamps aren't generally expertly placed every 50 yards, you need to do one more thing so you don't get run over. 

That extra little step is remembering your "refleks". (Husk din refleks! - A sign I've seen around town lately).   "Refleks" are little reflective pieces that you hang on your jacket, or wrap around an arm or a leg. I was most familiar with the kind you put on your bike and never before moving here did I realize that people wore them...and enthusiastically! 

Taken from Norwegian Traffic Safety
According to that website in the caption, wearing refleks reduces the risk of being hit by a car by 85%.

Stian and I were getting ready to go for a walk in the neighborhood (where there are no sidewalks and poor lighting), and took the extra 2 minutes to make sure we both had refleks on our legs and jackets before we left the house. 

My leg with "refleks"
The arm and leg bands are basically slap-bracelets (remember those?)

This is what my refleks looks like without the light hitting it:

My reflective bear is tied to the inside of my pocket so I never forget it. 

And this is what it looks like with light on it:

Stian has an oil platform refleks from work (how appropriate): 

I can't stress how important these are. Walking on a dark street with dark clothes is an accident waiting to happen. As a new driver here, I really appreciate the extra clues as to where the pedestrians are. 

Some people take it a step futher and wear neon vests with reflective stripes, but personally, I'm satisfied with arms/legs/jacket.

Children are often seen wearing the vests (especially on field trips with school): 

There is refleks clothing for animals, too. Horses, dogs, and cats are the most popular. Our cat has a reflective collar (but he's dressed in mostly white so he won't really need it until it snows): 

Sweet little Potet was having a nap on the sofa.
'Tis the season for Refleks (all the way until March or April). 


Thanks Bodø Kommune for the picture