I was on my way to work this early morning and waiting for the 6:27 am train to Moss, as a stared outside the window, around 6:22am, there, I saw for the first time… Snow flakes falling from the sky!! SNOW! O.M.G.. my childhood dream has come true! I was so excited! Imagine this, while everyone on the train station walked briskly and oblivious to what had just happened, I, the first timer, stood there in the middle of the crowd, amazed and fixated to one  single thought, It’s snowing! hehehe I almost missed the train… Almost!because I was so busy savoring every minute and second of it.

 I am feeling all Christmas-y! hehehe but hey it’s just Oct 29, too early! Darn! Anyway, the feeling is just so awesome and calming at the same time..  

Here’s the pic of my very first snowfall here in Norway..


Almost everyday, I see to it to log on to Girltalk and check out what’s the updates, trends and likes in the Philippines. I take pleasure on reading someone else’s experiences, advices and opinions of different topics concerning being a Fab Pinay! And so I just wanna share this, taken from the “This thing called Love” Forum from Girltalk, written by Mooncake and leaves… well-stated, precise and with depth and sense. I hope this will help you guys realize something, as much as it gave me a better perspective about love and life. :)

 7 lessons learned by Mooncake and leaves

1. our one job is to understand the other person. if people took the time to see through their partners, they probably wouldn’t be fighting as much.

2. i was watching p.s. i love you last night and all i could think of was, holly’s character was really stupid, as most women probably are. picking fights about completely nonsensical things. gad, once you’ve got a gerry, you don’t really need much else. appreciate what you have.

3. 95% of problems are imagined, anticipated. the demons are usually in our heads, which is perfectly fine but only up to a certain point. we all have trust issues, abandonment issues. as they say, “if you don’t have a baggage, you haven’t traveled.” but don’t use that as an excuse to be a total a$$ to your partner.

4. in both of my relationships, hindi ako nagpahabol, hindi ako nagpakipot. it doesn’t mean i’m like that with every guy. hindi lang ako plastic at hindi mahilig mag-inarte. both relationships, if you judge by the length of time, have been somewhat successful. so no, ang trabaho, hindi natatapos sa ligawan.

5. the idea that infidelity occurs because your significant other has found someone younger and more attractive than the original partner is, to put bluntly, incredibly stupid. people cheat because there is a big emotional void in there. because they don’t feel appreciated. because they’re loaded with insecurities. it takes two to build and destroy and save a relationship. so please lang, wag mag-inarte na parang biktima lagi o damsel in distress. peste.

6. don’t compare your relationship with other relationships. people are such big liars.

7. you have to love the other person more than the plans you’ve made, more than your version of what makes up a great and fulfilling life.

I saw a TV show (btw, we had just our cable connection! yahoo!) that talked about stress eating this morning. The premise here is that when one is stressed out, he or she copes up with it by eating. So a person eats even not being physiologically hungry.

 Food, actually, can alter your mood. They set off emotional and chemical reactions in your body that can temporarily make you feel calm or powerful. When your stress meter goes up, food can have a relaxing effect on someone, but this is only for a short time. It also brings many problems, starting with excessive weight gain. Stress eating is often followed by painful self-judgment that can actually drive you to reach for more food. You feel guilty, mad at yourself and believe something’s wrong with you, when actually there is none.

So being so stressed out for the past couple of weeks, i realized that I had started to pig out more and more… that eventhough I have just ate 1-2 hours ago, when i see food, i just can’t stop the urge and just reach out for them. Unfortunately, I have gained 1 kilo already after 3 months and that is no good news! So this must be the stress eating which had been quite a popular term nowadays in our health and figure conscious society. :P I am quite alarmed for the fact that I cannot afford to gain weight and store so much fat after finding out that I have higher than normal level of cholesterol despite being only 25 years old and with normal BMI (body mass index).

So anyway, this is taken from workplaceblues.com and tells about strategies that will help to decrease stress eating. I am looking forward to apply these to myself and perhaps, as early as now, I can deal with stress eating.. —

However, there are ways to break that cycle and stop eating to feed emotional hunger.

1. Challenge old beliefs, especially the idea that willpower alone can solve weight problems.

2. Forget common diet advice of avoiding favorite foods. A little chocolate may help fight stress, since it helps release endorphin neurotransmitters, nature’s morphine. Excessive stress depletes neurotransmitters that help regulate emotions. However, using food to alter your moods won’t make the reason for your stress disappear.

3. It can boost the action of those feel-good neurotransmitters. Anything from a walk around the block to a gym workout will help lessen the effects of stress, while helping your body be and feel healthier. Exercise is essential to any weight loss program. You don’t need an expansive exercise program - just start moving.

 4. Don’t deprive yourself of food, which often leads to binge eating. Instead, eat what you want and toss out guilt. Develop your own food strategy by making choices. You’ll be more likely to reduce the quantity and not go overboard. Want a favorite dessert? Balance that choice with a healthier entree.

5. Do a stress inventory when you find yourself eating more, or not eating at all. Symptoms of excessive stress include: aching back or shoulders, procrastination, clenched hands, impatience, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, depression and anxiety. By tuning in to your physical and behavioral reactions, it’s easier to face stress-causing problems head-on.

6. If you do much stress eating, ask your physician about stress reactive hypoglycemia. This condition can set off physical and emotional reactions, including tiredness, anxiousness and extreme hunger.

7. Learn what purpose food is serving. Stress eating is usually a response to emotional hunger. Keep a chart for two weeks to monitor your food and feelings connection. Divide it into columns noting when, where and what you eat; what precipitates eating; and your feelings during and after eating.

8. Analyze your chart for precipitating events that lead to eating. Your stress eating may be triggered when a conversation unleashes intense feelings, like being lonely, not good enough, trapped, helpless, or not in control, sometimes hours before that first bite. Trigger-situations need not be intense or with someone important. They may be over-reactions to the situation. Understanding what prompts your eating can be a key to freedom from food and weight problems.

9. Learn your core feelings - feelings connected to past trauma and loss, which may be reactivated by a current event, prompting you to reach for food as an escape. Such feelings can come from many sources - past abuse, a childhood in an unstable home, serious illness, being bullied and much more. Understanding your core feelings and their sources can help you to take action to disconnect in a healthy way, instead of using food. Professional counseling may be of benefit.

10. Find new ways to satisfy the feelings causing you to overeat. If you discover you eat because you feel trapped, explore what it will take for you to feel freedom. You may need to learn assertiveness skills, or leave an abusive relationship. Some people eat to hide anger, some to dull fear, some to mask their powerlessness. Why do you eat? What can you do to change that?

11. Overcoming stress-related eating isn’t always easy, but it is possible. Many professional counselors specialize in offering help in these areas. The bottom line is that the more you know and care for yourself, the less likely you’ll be reaching for food.

There are several ways to travel around Norway - through private vehicles, by plane, by cruise ship or by public transportion, which includes train, tram, bus and T-Bane. Today, I am going to tell you about T-bane.

 T-bane (pronounced as teh-bahn) can be compared to Metro Manila’s MRT/LRT. While the there are lines of MRT connected to one another at certain stations, the T-bane in Oslo has 6 connecting lines. However, they have the several same connecting stations. For you to have an idea, look at the picture below:

So if you are from Mortensrud (T- bane3, green route) and you wish to go to Frognerseteren (T-bane 1, aqua route), ride the Mortensrud t-ban and get off at Helsfyr, and wait there for the T-ban to Frognerseteren. You can get the brochure for the schedule of the T-bane stops at different stations. This is very convenient because the t-bans arrive exactly on time on the stations and you will never be late for work. Every 2-3 minutes, a T-bane arrives with different destination.. Also unlike MRT with all doors opening automatically, you have to push a button on the door for it to open.
How to buy a ticket? In all stations, there are ticket dispensing machines, just like the MRT that runs along Aurora blvd-Katpunan-Marcos Highway.  Also you can buy it at Narvesen (It’s a convenient store). You can buy different types of ticket, depending on your preference..


Billett - ticket

Kort- card

Dag - day

Måned- month - pronounce as mohw-ned

Enklet bilett or the single journey ticket - As the name implies, you can only use this once- valid within one hour of purchase on that day, you can go any destination you wish within Oslo. This costs 24 kroner. (just multiply it by 8 Php)

5 dagerskort or 5 day card this is valid for 5 days, from the day it is stamped. Unlimited travel as long as it’s in any destination within Oslo. This costs 200 kroner

Månedskort or monthly card is valid for one month. Same as 5 day card, unlimited travel within norway, within  one month. This costs 515 kroner.

 Flexikort  or Flexible card, can be used only 8 times. It has 8 stamping slots. If you are not a frequent T-bane passenger, this one’s for you because you can choose any preferred travel day. Just get it stamped before you hop in the T-bane. This costs 160 kroner. This is just like 8 single journey tickets in one card. With one stamped slot, you can travel to any destination within Oslo and valid for an hour.

BTW, the ticket can be used for T-bane, the Tram and the Bus. So if you bought Enklet billett at 4pm and your t-bane departs at 4.01pm, you can still use this ticket if you get on a bus or tram or another T-bane line until 5pm… no need to pay for another ticket. So if you travel alot around Oslo, this is a money-saver!

Here’s a picture of me and my nephew, Patrick, in the T-bane..

Loppemarked is the Norwegian word for flea market… all things are preowned and sold for very low prices. Unlike in the Philippines where the owners profit from the purchases, these items are acquired by persons or organizations with charitable causes without paying for them from the owners ,but then are sold at the flea market to raise funds.. for example saving the environment, helping the support for children with drug-user parents, etc. It has a more noble cause, in my honest opinion.

So today, I, myra and Tita Naring went to a nearby Loppemarked, 200 meters away from our house. Loppemarkeds usually open on saturdays 10am to 4 pm and end on sundays 4pm. During the first day, there are many to choose from- furnitures, clothes,shoes, bags, electric appliances, stuff found in the kitchen and dining, etc. Much like of an ukay-ukay. Of course, the prices are somewhat higher on saturday compared to when you buy the items on a sunday, especially when the flea market is nearing to its end… usually 2 hours before closing time. For example, when you buy a set of dish plates, tea plates, cups and bowls that is originally soldat 100 kroner, you can buy them for only 10 kroner once it hits 2 or 3 pm  (flea markets close either 3pm or 4pm). So it’s really wise to go during the last hour but the drawback is that the stuff there had been “pinagpilian” and chances of finding a decent and not so used items are kinda slim.. but sometimes, you can really get lucky. Also, for flea market watchers, there’s an internet site where all scheduled loppemarked all over Norway are posted so you can plan ahead as to where your next bargain hunt would be. It’s not difficult to find the location of flea markets because there are signs on the road on that area that leads you to the venue, so never fear of losing your way!

I am so fascinated because, as you know, I love bargain shopping.. hunting for a nice item at a very  low price. I always get giddy and so bargain-boggarty! haha For those who are kinda grossed out by the thought of using someone else’s junk,, maybe this is not for you.. But for me who is on a really TIGHT bugdet, this is the place to be. :) Someone’s junk maybe somebody else’s treasure! I got myself 6 winter sweaters and 2 wool bonnets and they are in good condition, mind you.. all 8 items i bought for only 50 kroner.. that is 400pesos. Well in an ukay ukay i suppose that’s a pretty good deal.. :) Oh i just love shopping!

So after a long wait, i am finally here in Norway! So it’s gonna be a diffirent Bargain Boggart.. the primary reason for that is living in Oslo is expensive… Living in Norway is expensive.. another thing is that choices here is limited.  To exemplify this is that, shops are few and my most favorite expression, ” suot ng isa, suot ng lahat!” It will take months maybe for me to settle down here and begin agian my feat for bargain shopping. Maybe I can do online shopping still and recommend cool sites but the real bargain hunt thrill still remains obscure for now.. I will try my best, dear readers, to satisfy our discount-hungry- shopping appetites and hope that I can still find and do magic- the Bargain Boggart’s way!

As for now, I am planning to show you around Norway… the lifestyle, travel, transportation, culture, food, etc.. It’s exciting to integrate into a society that is totally diffirent from the one I grew up in.. so let the journey begin!

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