The last time that I talked about my unfolding plans for world domination, I identified what I considered to be the three most significant areas that I would need to focus on; language, money and work.
In terms of language, I feel like I am getting along well actually. I completed the first term of Grade 1 Norwegian Language at the University of Westminster, and despite thinking that I would not continue in that format (…partly due to the cost, and partly due to public transport making me want to FUCKING CRY) I have recently started on the second term. Each term consists of 10 weekly 2-hour sessions, on Tuesday evenings. I missed the last two sessions of last year because I was in America, but when I came back for the second term, I was pleased to note that the rest of the class hadn’t got as far through the content as the tutor had planned. I honestly don’t feel like I am any further behind than anyone else, despite the sessions that I have missed.
I have never been one to praise myself, but genuinely I feel like my understanding, my ability to work things out and my general recall of vocabulary is better than most of my peers at this stage. Don’t get me wrong, I am not for a minute trying to suggest that I am in any way close to being able to actually speak Norwegian! While I have been struck by the simplicity of the language itself, I have been undone by the complexity of the pronunciation – my grasp of the vowels and mastery of tonal changes in the language are still nothing short of Fucking Atrocious. That said, I can now translate over half of my Norwegian friends’ Facebook status updates without having to resort to Google Translate. That at least is progress, and as simple as that is, I feel disproportionately pleased every time I can understand what someone has said.
Work is probably the element that has gone through the greatest thought-evolution in the last 4 months. I was struck by an idea a little while ago that studying in Norway might be an excellent way to kill three birds with one stone. It would mean that I could a) get to live in the place that I want to live, b) study for the level of education I would need to get a decent job there, and c) do a life-reset and train myself properly for something I actually want to do, as opposed to falling into job after job out of convenience.
It seemed like a perfect solution, since there are actually a significant number of courses delivered in English language in Norwegian universities. However…what proper research has uncovered is that the courses which are delivered in English are all for Masters degrees. Bachelors degrees are all taught in Norwegian, and since I have neither the grasp of the language to study in it, nor a pre-existing Bachelors degree which would allow me to leapfrog onto a Masters course, that whole idea is a complete non-starter.
The range of options I am left with is significantly narrower than I had perceived it to be two weeks ago. The thing is, I actually feel a lot more comfortable having the field stripped down like that. If I am honest, I have always been stronger fighting my way out of a corner I have backed myself into, than I will ever be at making a sensible choice in an open field in the first place.
The reality then is this; unless my Norwegian language skills improve exponentially in the next 9 or 21 months, I will not be studying in Norway. I certainly won’t be studying in the UK, so that means I will more than likely have zero qualifications, and cannot expect to be able to obtain any significant employment there, based on the lack of anything that isn’t frankly conjectural in my CV.
With my current lines of thinking and the information I have available to me, there are three ways I see this playing out at the moment. I will either 1) live like a student for the rest of my life and fall back onto work that is probably low-paid but doesn’t require qualifications, 2) move out there with enough money that I don’t have to worry while I am finding a solution, or 3) get a job with a UK based firm that has links into Norway and the opportunity to move.
I am not actually unhappy with any of those three ideas. In fact, I am so unambitious that I am really quite drawn to the idea of simply working bar jobs for the rest of my life and just getting by in a beautiful place. That said, I cannot be certain at this stage that you don’t need qualifications to tend bar…
Anyway! The pattern with every job I have ever been in is that I start at Dunce level, get quietly good at it in a reasonably short space of time, and then people start looking at me and going, “Woah, you’re actually pretty good at stuff!”. I honestly feel that if I could just get in somewhere, I would never be short of work. It’s the getting in that will be the difficult part, so perhaps the idea of finding a company with links in Norway might be the most sensible next line of enquiry…
(…because let’s be honest, idea 2) is not going to fly. I am more than likely never going to have enough money to buy me more than a handful of months in Norway – while I am this far away from an immediate need for the money, the temptation when I am sat at home to go “Fuck it! I am going to Sweden for a week!” will always override any good intentions that I have to save.)
And that really does cover off the money element. I would do myself a disservice at this stage by being anything less than honest with myself – long term planning is really not my forté. If I have the option of keeping £750 in my savings…or going the States, seeing my friends and getting tattoos, I already know what I am going to do in that situation and there is no point pretending otherwise.