Thursday, June 30, 2011
My new blog is called The Starter Life, do come and visit soon.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Having surfed and wake boarded before, I figured it would probably be easier to manage a single snowboard then 2 skis and 2 poles. But for less-than-athletic me, winter sports have an especially steep learning curve! My friends I booked a 1.5 lesson which turned out to be quite useless because it was delivered by this kid (he looked around 15) who couldn’t really say much but, “Ok, go try it,” or “Use the Christmas tree method to get down the slope.” I’m like huh?? I don’t even know how to strap on the damn board! I asked him how to slow my descent down a slope, he said: “Use your foot.” Um, in what way?
My friends were better than me, and I learned more from them when they convinced me to go up to the real slopes and try it out. It was my first time to try the chair lift and I barely made it into the seat holding the board in my hands. I wondered how I would have made it with skis or a snowboard strapped to my feet.
As a super-duper-beginner snowboarder who doesn’t even know how to move on the snow, here’s what I learned on my first day:
- Its best to try getting in and out of a snowboard before hitting the slopes. I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out how those straps worked.
- Another thing to practice is going from sitting down (on your ass) position to standing up in one move. When you stand up, you should have your heels on the ground, toes slightly in the air. This is the move you make right after you put on your snowboard --- which unfortunately I have trouble doing. It would’ve been more helpful if I could have practiced this at home first (like 20 reps every day!). As it is, I mostly stood up in the reverse manner: flipping over to my stomach and standing up with a push up. Very tiring on the arms and palms.
- On a slope, do not, I repeat, do not fully unstrap your snowboard. That’s how I lost the first snowboard I rented --- I fell into a ditch, took off the snowboard to climb out of the snowbank, and then saw the board slide all the way into the woods and off a cliff. Thankfully the rental people didn’t bitch at all, they even gave me another board to rent. Which I almost lost again when I took it off after another fall.
- Watch how you fall, spread your weight. When falling on your hands, ball them into a fist rather than palms spread. And try to avoid falling on your tailbone. Maybe angle your fall to be flat on your back.
- Check out this helpful video!
So I called this post Board/Walk because I invented a new sport --- slope walking! That’s what I had to do when I lost my board the first time…I walked halfway down the slope. And on the 2nd run, I fell so many times on my tailbone and my head that I couldn’t endure anymore. I took off my board and walked the last 3 steep slopes back to the bottom. Must have looked strange to the rest of the ski/snowboard-ers but hey, I’m an old beginner so give me a break!
Friday, February 25, 2011
The cabin was surprisingly pretty, with a small fireplace, big living room and dining space, and a even a sauna...perfect for a getaway of 9 people.
Its tough to get up from a fall on a slope because you need to push yourself up and not start sliding down. And learning how to apply brakes is a bitch! I kept on trying to will my feet to cross and do that "wedge" thing but generally to avoid hitting people, equipment and structures at the bottom of the slope I would just make myself fall. To think that the thing I was most worried about was freezing - actually I was sweating like mad! But then towards the end of the session I was so proud of myself for not falling in longer stretches and doing some proper stops. Yay me!
I think one of the best things about being in a ski resort is the general atmosphere of cheer and friendliness - such a contrast from the more "grey" mood of the city. Its like a tropical beach resort vibe -- without the tropical beach. Oh and all those hot guys at the after-ski party. Shame we didn't stay that long.
I did not have a ball waking up the next day, with what I felt was a badly twisted knee and needing to hoist myself down from the top bunk bed. I gave up on skiing the 2nd day, brought myself to the Lekvagten (Emergency Room) the day after (no major bones broken!) and limped for the rest of the week. My winter sports spirit hasn't died however --- I think I'm ready to try snowboarding next!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I'm on my 3rd unit of the iPhone4 now. The first drowned in a toilet and was unsuspectingly replaced by the Apple service center (hurrah for warrantees!). The 2nd was stolen at 4am in a dodgy club in Bangkok, and now we're at number 3. I've never been lucky with the iPhone, even my jailbroken 3G version eventually lost its wifi capability and had a pathetic battery life, but of course I couldn't complain because it was jailbroken (hence learning the value of warrantees). I was traveling when I lost my 2nd iPhone4 and had to use a Nokia C3 for a month before I could get the next incarnation and then I remembered what it was like to have a life without internet and apps. But now I'm back in Apple world. I still have issues at how it is as a phone, but there are really some apps that make it so convenient to live your life. I'm not an apps junkie so I don't have a ton in my phone, but here are some that I use quite often.
Maps because I'm always lost even in this small city, Yr.no for more or less accurate weather reports, even for other cities (the first thing I check when I wake up in the morning!), Trafikanten for public transport schedules and iTranslate to figure out the Norwegian ingredient names when I'm grocery shopping (also useful for quick email translations!).
I can never remember things so I really like the cheesily-named iPeriod to remember that time of month. I found a new app called Springpad which links to a web application and Firefox widget to save notes, bookmarks and recipes (better than opening my laptop to check on bookmarked recipes when I cook!). I also have ShopShop – for the weekly trip to the supermarket of course, Another interesting memory tool is Keeper, to save my multiple usernames and password to all the sites I've signed up for. Now if only I could remember all those sites!
Astrology updates from Susan Miller (I always get the monthly updates on time!), Drync Wine to remember all the fabulous vintages I've sampled, Foursquare for location tips even in unfamiliar territories.
I don't have much of Games since I got too obsessed with Sally's Spa, but I will welcome any other app suggestions!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, November 29, 2010
Bla is located in the "artistic" side of Oslo, by the river, and walking around this old part of town and encountering surprising sights (like that huge outdoor chandelier) is always interesting. On Sunday nights I've heard that there's even a really good jazz quarter that plays there which I hope to catch sometime.
So...despite the cold there are still cool things that go on in Oslo.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Now winter's here and the difference of living in Europe (and in Scandinavia) is even more highlighted! Yesterday I went out to check the Lanvin for H&M collection and instead of blowing my dough on an overpriced "couture for the masses" dress, I spent it on getting more wool, long sleeved shirts and a humidifier. Who knew there were so many things to think of for winter?? There's the winter clothes layering, the lack of humidity at home that's drying out my skin and causing mini-nosebleeds, plus having to walk outside with a stiff breeze in your face and ice on the pavement. As I write this, its -8 degrees celcius outside and they say this isn't the worst of it yet -- although it seems to have been the coldest November anyone can remember in a long time.
I promise to start posting bits and pieces of my trips in the next few days, I owe myself that!