Sunday, December 13, 2009

We Interrupt Our Sob Story To Bring You This Bit Of Christmas Cheer

I didn't get Christmas cards made this year, so you're going to have to consider this your substitute. 

I had a brilliant plan for a card: it involved Santa hats, and a globe, and a caption about axial tilt being the reason for the season.  But my sullen, ornery children would. not. cooperate.  I became angry.  Boy became miserable.  There were tears.  And in the end, a glass ornament was shattered.  I felt it best to cut my losses and run from the project.

A couple weeks later we visited the hastily resurrected Pepperkakeby (Gingerbread City).  Spirits were considerably higher that day.  The resulting pictures, more flattering.  Even Boy--still feeling somewhat guilty, no doubt, from the drama he had created the last time I tried to take a picture of him--sat still, and sort of smiled.

I have no idea why, but it is incredibly difficult to get these kids to smile for a picture.  Especially when they're together like this.  I mean, look at that!  Emma gets all mock, solemn introspection.  Amanda gives off this silent-plea-for-help vibe.  And Boy just smirks.  Smug little snot.  He's not really all that better than me...

So you'll recall the sad fate of the first Pepperkakeby.  They did catch the guy who did it.  Some drunk, possilby high (they never said which) 20 year old went in alone, and sort of lost his mind a little bit.  He ended up pretty much turning himself in after a couple of his friends ratted him out for the 100,000 kroner reward money.  But get this--apparently, this kid showed so much remorse, was so literally sick with guilt, and beside himself with the pressure of being hated and vilified by the entire country, that the authorities decided not to punish him any further.  Nothing.  As far as I understood it, they just let the kid go.  (If anyone out there knows otherwise, please let me know.  It is possible that I missed the news of any futher fines levied against him.  But the news of the day right after they caught him was that he had more or less punished himself enough.)

As I also mentioned, Bergen businesses and residents pulled together and had a new gingerbread city ready to open the following week.  We had to be in town the first Sunday it was open for a play which Emma's art class had made the stage scenery for, so we decided to go in early enough to stop by the Pepperkakeby first.

Good thing we got there in plenty of time.  Check out this line.  There were articles in the paper about how long that line was.  Big news here, apparently....

The line moved relatively fast, we were at the entrance in 35 minutes.  Just enough time to take all the above pictures you've just been enjoying.

Here are a few shots to give you an idea of the scale of the thing.  It really is rather impressive.

All the local landmarks are represented.  This is the harbor restaurant where Mister proposed to me.  Awwwwww.

Mister was rather proud to find this one.  That's one of his boats.  Not his, obviously.  He doesn't own it.  But he did design it.  It's a coast guard vessle that the navy docks here in Bergen.

I had other pictures uploaded. I must have exceeded my limit. Blogger won't let me post the rest. No matter. They were just more pictures of gingerbread landmarks. Probably it would have been tedious and boring to include anymore anyway.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of JEDA's heartwarming, coming-of-age story. Yes. There's more. Though something tells me it might be tedious and boring to include anymore of it, it's a saga that has been brewing in me all year. I'm telling it as much for my own sake, as anyone else's. Skip it if you're weary. But I have a feeling that this blog is going to be a whole lot of Edumacatin' Norwegian-wise from here on out. Consider yourselves alerted to the programming change.


American in Norway said...

Very cool! I wish Fredrikstad would do something neat like that!

Corinne said...

Hey, Jesus was all about forgiveness and other non-violent hippie stuff. And besides, there can be nothing so back-handed as Norwegian forgiveness. That dude will forever be The Drunk Who Almost Stole Christmas, and the Weegies will never let him forget that! Maybe a bit cynical for the season, but oh well....

Hey, totally interested in hearing about the edumacations. Today I'll be printing out apps and ordering transcripts, so I'm pulling for you!

Queen LaTeacha said...

So glad to see the resurrection of the gingerbread village (I have NO idea how to spell it in Norsk!)

Cute pics of the kids. I love Christmas traditions and wish I was there to share them with you all. I haven't seen any pics of the derelict Santa yet. Maybe he's in rehab this year, huh?

tracy said...

Love those cute sweet faces and miss their unique voices! Zoe especially misses Daniel's - she is quite fond of it.

Also happy the gingerbread display was resurrected and enjoyed. I too, am looking forward to hearing about the Santa visit. Our Santa visit was fun, and Zoe's request for a sibling was sweet, among the Barbie and book requests. She assumes a baby can also be obtained that way, through the "Santa channel" like taking an order at a restaurant. Oh how we wish it were that easy!

Anonymous said...

Now he didn’t get off scot free, he had to go the konfliktrådet and meet with the guys that run the pepperkakebyen. In that they came to an agreement and he is going to pay a monthly donation to a charity SOS Barnebyer for the next 3 years. He has also had to write a letter to the city apologising for his behaviour

The text goes

Hi. I will start this by expressing regret for what I did to all the children who baked gingerbread for the gingerbread town. You'd been so good. I will also apologize for what I did to the rest of Bergen and the Norwegian population. I'm not proud of what I have done.

I'm very sorry for what I did. I'm glad there are so many who have helped to rebuild gingerbread town. It only shows that Bergensers are proud and happy in the traditions they have. I really am as well.

The night it happened I was very drunk. I only have myself to blame for being so drunk. I've learned my lesson and from now on I'm going to take it much more easy. Nothing like this has ever happened before and I promise that it will never happen again. I know there are many who were saddened because of what I did. That was not something I wanted. I just hope this is something we can put behind us.

It will be good to be finished with this matter. It is not nice to be a wanted person and that everyone will find out who you are. So I apologize again to all of you out there who have been affected by this. It is a very sad case and I try to make it up as best as I can. There are many who have their opinions about this, but I hope everyone understands that I am trying to sort this out in the best possible way. I hope that everybody gets a merry Christmas and a happy new year! My own New Years resolution is very clear.

Finally, I hope that people take me seriously and do not think that anything I write here is just something I am saying to escape. This is not the case. I sincerely apologize to everyone!

Translations a bit rushed so if you want to see the original go to