Monday, April 26, 2010

It all depends on who you say hi from

I've started looking for what to do, once I'm done up here and for the moment I'm leaning towards heading back to the office. At least for awhile until something else might happen....

To start of this search, I went to my usual job-related sites online and decided to give this recruitment firm I've applied to before another chance. I've never gotten an interview through them (mainly since I've never applied when living in mainland Norway). But it so happened their CEO happened to be trapped up here while Eyjafjallajökull had some hickups. One evening, he and I chatted for awhile, he gave me the e-mail and number to his no. 1 in O&G-recruitment and told me to say hi from him when I send her an e-mail.

So I update my profile (not much office-related to update, but still), fill in two related applications and sent her an e-mail this last Friday evening.

When I wake up on Monday I see that she's read it and already told two guys to get in touch me regarding possibilites within O&G in western Norway.

Damn, saying hi from the CEO apparently made all the difference

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just a good song

Well, this song seems to have been one of my themes for the last couple of months.

So why not share it?

Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy!


By Big & Rich and yes, it's country ;)

What a difference a day makes...

...or in this case, a simple Volcanic Eruption.

Yeah, I'm staying at 78 degrees north, which should be way above any consideration since the current blast from Eyjafjallajökull is heading southwest from Iceland.

Think again.

Where do all those planes to us come from?

Yup, you got it right.

So we are at the moment stuck with the "guests" we had yesterady, which most of the time is pretty fine. Except for the fact that they've already spent all the money they were going to spend and get their continuous stays (and meals) at a very low rate (since SAS has pretty damn good rates up here, considering they're the only ones who do the trp).

So (yes, I know I shouldn't start to paragraphs in a row with that, so sue me) what we have to play with is upping them on the wine (since the food is free) and trying to get them to do........ well, not much more.

So (yes, for the third time in a row), I'm - for all sorts of reasons pretty much no one else has - hoping that my country will get it's game on right back real soon.

Well, sure, this has had oone major benefit for me. I may be closer to a new job after Svalbard.

More about that later.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meet interesting people they said...

One of the best things about working as a bartender/waiter is all the interesting and fun people you meet while at work. While most customers (yes, I know I'm supposed to call them guests but a business degree apparently has its influences) are as forgettable as yesterday's lunch, a few do stand out from the crowd.

The polar explorers: We've had a bunch of people heading up for the North Pole; most of them are regular joes who've forked over a big wad of dough and go there by snowscooter or helicopter, but a few of them are the real deal.

One of them is here with his ten year old son (who will be the youngest ever on the NP); he's a nine time pole-visitor and this time he will be leading a group of crazy chinese on skis from the Russian base to the pole (his son will take the chopper).

Another, who is preparing for an altogether crazier stunt is Mark Woods. This guy is going to take a solo-hike to the South Pole, then pretty much jump on a plane up north and do another solo-hike to the North Pole. He's a really cool guy, with whom I've chatted quite a bit (British blokes in general tend to spend a lot of time chatting in bars) and I wish him all the best on his endevour!

The rich guys: These also fall into two categories; they either want to see a Polar Bear (and are prepared to spend lots of money on it), or are stopping by until they continue onwards to the North Pole. I have two personal favourites in this group, both of them Brits.

The first is now visiting for the second time since I got here and is getting quite desperate to see a White Teddy. Thus far, he's logged several thousand km on a snowmobile and is on his fourth visit up here, but still no sightings. He's travelling the world to see all the major mammals and is now down to only the Tiger, the Panda and our own beloved Teddybears. He's a lousy tipper, but tells good stories about past trips and coming adventures. Also, he's pretty much single handedly emptied our stock of Chardonnays. Quite a feat in itself.

The other one is a real old-school British industrialist. One of those who built up the western world as we know it after WWII; pulling himself up from humble beginnings and ending with way more than he knows what to do with (at least according to the bar-side stories). He had factories all over the world - from the UK to Hawaii, from China to France - but now he's retired and spends his time hopping between Andorra, Barcelona and Mallorca (with a few jumps all over the world). This one is a true story teller and a great tipper; preferring Champange to Chardonnays.

Then I have to give an honorable mention to the retired world class footballer who visited us last week with his wife and kids. And I even know what the Italian brute said, which led to his final red card.


These and many others are the guests that visit our not very icy shores. I'm sure there will be plenty more who stand up as the months pass by, and I'll probably tell you a bit about them too.

Friday, April 09, 2010

A really bad (but funny) joke

Q: Why are all the numbers afraid of 7

A: 'Cause 7 8 9

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Avatar

Just watched Avatar at a buds place on his massively huge screen projector (it's an ordinary projector which makes everything friggin' huge compared to my 9" lcd-screen).

First, I have to agree with most everyone that the CGI was pretty durn awesome! It definitely raised the bar for all coming movbies and also proved that you can make a proper flick using tons of CGI.

But why, I continually asked myself, do I always cheer for the bad guys? They were simply so much cooler with their Space Marine suits and wicked helicopters, while the good guys just looked like wusses... also, I liked their (the bad guys that is) go get some attitude.

But maybe that's because I want to work in O&G?

Still, it was a darn good movie and I really enjoyed it.

I'm giving it SSSS out of 5 possible ones.

Friday, April 02, 2010

One month in...

I've now spent a bit more than a month up here where the Polar Bears roam and the Northern Lights go when they need a brake. And so far I've managed to see neither, which is kindof a bummer. Don't care that much about the Lights (since it's hard to top gazing at them when you're soaking in a 40 degree hot tub after a hard days work), but I really, really, really want to see a white Teddy.

Well, I'll get my best chance for that come Monday, when me and a bud are heading out on a snow scooter trip to Tempelfjorden. It'll be my first scooter trip since I was about 15, on a ski trip in Sweden, and managed to flip it over at an attempted turn. I do hope that will not happen this time; especially if we're being chaced by a grumpy, hungry, bear.

Enough about the bears now already.

So what I've mostly been doing is three things: I've worked, slept and spent time on the computer. Sounds utterly fascinating doesn't it? Three things I have no chance of doing nowhere else in the world, right? Maybe the next couple of things brighten it up a bit?

I've taken a few dog sled rides (that's mushing, for you who know the lingo). It's a completely awesome sport and the dogs seem to love it. These being really bad ass Alaskan malamutes(may be an error in the spelling there) and Greenladers who thoroughly enjoy life in the snow at negative 20 c. Also, they are generally very cute, huggable and really want to give you a nice slobbery kiss.

In addition to mushing, I've taken a few hikes around the village, amongst others up on one of the mountains surrounding Longyearbyen. Took the hike early one morning (early being defined here by a guy who works late and never gets to bed before 4-5 AM) and realized halfway up that we had both forgotten to bring those spikey thingys you can attach to your shoes so you don't slip on slippery surfaces (not that either one of us actually owns a pair of those, but still). This was a rather awkward discovery since the mountain began to offer us a lot more ice and hard snow than the nice one further below. Still, we didn't let that stop us on our adventurous endevour but kept heading for the top. And finally we succeded and I planted my brought along flag. Sure, it may have really been a scarf and not a flag, but it's the thoguht that counts.

Other than this I've discovered the local haunts, tried the assortments of beer on offer and started to up my previously all to bad pool playing skills.

And with that I wish you all a Happy Easter Holiday!