As if forty-eight hours travel back from New Zealand to Europe wasn’t enough, couple of days later and two flights in I was standing at the Oslo Airport, still jet-lagged, making introductions in my broken Norwegian while my head struggled to keep up with the familiar phrases resonating around me. Heading to Morocco might not seem the most logical thing to do if you want to improve your Norwegian, but this was exactly it, crash course to Norwegian, delivered among the souks of Marrakech and in the quietness of the Agafay desert.
The trip, organised by Visit Morocco and Norske Reiseblogger (Norwegian Travel Bloggers) took me and thirteen other travel bloggers, all Norwegian, on activity-packed few days to Marrakech and its surroundings to get acquainted with all things Moroccan. And while I tasted the spicy tagines, sipped my mint tea and strolled through the souks trying not to give into temptation to transform our home into an Arabic palace, the familiar Norwegian words and expressions started to make their way into my speech also.
So, if you are planning to come to Norway and want to disguise yourself as a local, here are three essential words and expressions you can’t do without. And even if you’d rather give the happiest nation in the world a miss, you can still take a look at these photographic teasers from Morocco.
If there is one word in Norwegian that fits almost any non-negative situation and is the adjective to use if you can’t think of anything else, it is koselig. Cozy as a translation is too restrictive as the word is used in many situations and even for persons, but it does give the idea of something warm, friendly and inviting. My parents enjoying the company of our two little angels while I was exploring Africa could be described as åå så koselig, even if the latest phone report gave the impression that terrible twos might have taken over our toddler. Hot chocolate by the fire on a cold winter’s night is no doubt koselig, but so is meeting a friend, or having a good meal too.
I’d go as far as to say that the rocky desert about one hour’s drive from Marrakech, Agafay, was also kind of… koselig of course!
After names have been exchanged and hands shaked, introductions can be nicely finished by saying hyggelig. Nice to meet you.
The word hyggelig in my mind has kind of a huggable warm quality that “nice to meet you” will never reach, and hence meeting these dromedaries was quite hyggelig, indeed.
When just one thank you is not enough. Based on the frequency with which tusen takk can be heard in everyday speech, Norwegians are quite a thankful nation indeed. And after this lunch spread at the Dar Moha restaurant in Marrakech, these colourful plates representing only the starters, tusen takk was barely enough.
If you’d like to explore Marocco little more, you can find more images in my Instagram gallery and by checking all the #marokko14 images on IG. The list of all the bloggers on the trip can be found here.
But right now all I can think about is Norway, after three months on the road we will finally be home this weekend and I’ve heard reports that the cross-country skiing tracks are waiting for us in an immaculate condition. Let the winter fun begin!
I’m part of the team co-hosting the Instagram Travel Thursday, an initiative started with Skimbaco Lifestyle online magazine to connect travel and Instagram enthusiasts across borders and I would love if you joined us! Read the guidelines on Skimbaco’s site and you too can now host this link-up in your own blog. You can get the code to add to your blog here. Once you are ready with your own post, please add it to the Linky in the bottom of the page and check out some of the other participating bloggers! In Instagram you can find me at @todestinationunknown.