"Mål," in Norwegian, means "goal," and it's a word I've learned quite quickly since being here, especially when it was used at the soccer game we just went to! This was a big deal for me, because I have never been very into sports of any kind. I much prefer to meddle in the worlds of arts and fashion and music. However, the first soccer game I went to was when I studied abroad in Rome, Italy, and my reasoning was something along the lines of, "I'm in Rome; soccer is huge in Rome; I'm trying to experience the whole culture; I need to go." Now, at the 2013 Norwegian semi-finals for "cupen," I went to my second game ever, and it was actually very fun!
I'm using the same sort of logic I used in Rome because here I am, back in Europe and I just feel that "fotball," (used in the European sense, meaning the American "soccer") is such a big part of the culture here. Thus, I'm really trying to push my normal comfort zone and get out there and experience it. And beyond experiencing it, I'm actually starting to enjoy it! This past game was not hard to get excited for because it was the determiner for whether or not our team would get into the finals. We cheered for Trondheim's Rosenborg team, naturally, and we scored a goal within the first 15 minutes. There were some scares from the opposing team, but we finished with a solid 2-1 which got us a spot in the finals in November!
Norwegian observation #4: People get very excited when their team scores.
Now, this may seem natural for some, but this is definitely a new experience for little ol' me. Whether you're watching the game at a restaurant or watching it at the stadium, when the highly-supported team scores a goal, you better have some earplugs. A few weeks back we watched a Rosenborg game on TV at a pub, along with the pub's entire capacity-worth of other Rosenborg fans. I was clearly unprepared for the enthusiastic reactions, and when the first goal was scored by Rosenborg, the instant roar was so loud and so intense that I literally jumped into the air from being seated on my stool. I shoved my hands up over my ears as fast as I could once I had returned to a seated position and ducked down bent almost all the way over the table, as if trying some near pointless attempt to "duck and cover."
At the stadium, I tried to be more prepared, as I remembered how that thunderous sound can come with next to no warning. I did better, though I still had some moments when I thought my eardrums were beginning to explode, namely from the enthusiastic duo seated directly behind us. Towards the end, I was even yelling and cheering along in a mix of both English and Norwegian. I should probably mention, too, that towards the end I was also in the slush-y phase of turning into an ice cube because it was so cold outside, but it was all very worth it. In fact, I even said that I would like to go again. Who would have ever thought? :)
Til neste gang!