Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quirks (Independence Day)

I do this.

I check out other people's blogs.  (I know, so far, not very "out there.")  I love to read them; that is, naturally, one of the pasttimes that inspired me to try one of my own.

One way I find blogs is to link back from the comments on other people's blogs.  A couple of days ago, Helg posted a lovely suggested list of "All American" perfumes, in honor of our Independence Day.  You'll see me, there, commenting.  And others, of course, being more erudite/interesting/clever/provocative.  That's how it goes.  One of the commenters, Alt Godt, made a comment about other countries/peoples approach to America/Americans.  And made clear she was Norwegian.  That was enough for I went to investigate.

Her site, Alt Godt, is a charming a visually appealing mix of perfume and cooking, with a hint of gardening.  So far, so good.  Unfortunately, is entirely in Norwegian.  

This would be where perhaps it gets a bit odd.  You see, I don't read Norwegian.  But I "read through" her posts, anyway.  

Mind you, I know that Norwegian is notable for being a modern construct of a language, created specifically to establish a unique identity from Sweden.  I also happen to know that the 17th of May would be a day roughly equivalent to our own 4th of July, for they both mark the anniversary of independence from a reigning ruling country.  

And I can say "excuse me" in Norwegian.  But unnskyllde me please, while I confess this guys:  I couldn't ask my way to the restroom in Norway.  (Fortunately for me, if I had to, and I were there, just about everybody speaks beautiful English.)   Yet I made my way on down the articles, all the way to "older posts," and enjoyed the garden picture, the food, the saying something about Hermes Gentian cologne.  All in Norwegian.  And I had fun.  Just a quirk of mine.

So, thanks to Helg...thanks to Alt Godt...and thanks to all who keep my country and the internets "free."  I might move about peculiarly, but I am grateful I am able to roam.

Through bloggery AND elsewise, natch.


BitterGrace said...

What a wonderful post, perfectly in the spirit of the holiday.

I've always thought "surfing" was a lousy word for what we do on the Web. It's much more like wandering through a maze--challenging, a little disorienting, and ultimately a lot of fun.

Alt godt said...

I'm glad you found my blog, that helped me find yours! :D You can use google translater, although it brings back the most peculiar results sometimes.

ScentScelf said...

BG...thanks. This serendipitous surfing is what, of course, led me to your wonderful blog...

I kind of like the way that meandering through the 'nets can usually mirror my internal ramblings and odd connections...would that I had had a teacher that could keep up like that.

There is dreck to be gotten past, but that is yet another value of being an independent capable thinker, no? Here's to teaching the next generation to be creative critical thinkers.

And to them having as much fun getting slightly disoriented but meeting the challenge and having a good time... ;)

ScentScelf said...

Hey, Alt godt,

God dag! Yes, when I try a translator, I sometimes get silly results. Of course, who is to say those results are any crazier than what my own brain comes up with?

Glad you made your way here. :)

Musette said...

glad to know I'm not the only one who 'reads' blogs in languages they cannot understand!:-)

Happy 2 days after 4th of July! Wait - 3. But since it was so crappy on the 4th I sort of just moved it to the following day.


ScentScelf said...

Musette, since the days on either side of the 4th were so wonderful, I just considered it a wash. DUM bum! (groan)

Happy day back to you...may your week proceed whatever language you don't understand. ;)

Rose said...

very belated happy 4 th of July! I try and read blogs in French (I also try and watch French TV when I'm there) I kid myself I'm understanding- but I'm not!

it's so easy to forget about work in other languages because it's harder to read- certainly the English are horribly lazy about learning languages (I tell myself I'm not gifted but really I'm sure if I did 2 hours a night I would be fluent in French pretty quickly). I'm not sure that's as true of Americans, I get the impression you're much better at learning languages.

ScentScelf said...

Oh, Rose, you are so kind. We are surrounded by LOTS of water on two sides, to the north they speak English (unless it is Quebec, and I'm not touching that for the moment), so on three of four fronts, laziness goes unchallenged. Foreign languages tend not to be taught until high school, which is woefully late to start picking up a new language, especially for the first time.

On the other hand, it is Spanish to the south, and there are plenty of television and radio opportunities to look/hear it spoken. Univision seems like it is everywhere.

Interestingly, I've known people for whom it was easier to read than speak/hear "foreign" languages...

I don't think I'd claim Americans as better at learning languages.'s to attempts from both sides of the pond!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi Scentscelf- sorry I have been MIA. This is hilarious. I am just picturing you reading this site in Norwegian- sort of like a blogging detective. I think your quirk is endearing!