I accepted the job offer around November and agreed to start early in the year but not immediately at January first. I had to wrap up my master’s thesis in Hamburg and needed to finish some student jobs I agreed upon earlier in the year. The paperwork was surprisingly simple, just the contract needed to be signed and that was it. Since I’m a EU citizen these things are really simple. There are a lot of special rules for non-EU citizens.

But anyways, I needed a place to stay in Stavanger, that was my main concern. Luckily I knew people in Stavanger, which was part of the reason why I decided to go there. I was able to stay at their place for a week, explore the city and find a place to live.

Around New Year’s I found a place on finn.no, which is sort of like the eBay/craigslist equivalent of Norway. Pretty high standard, reasonably priced and close to my friends. Unfortunately a bit far away from work, so I basically required a car from day 1 which was unfortunate because I didn’t budget for that expense. As fate would have it, at the same time a car was available in my family and we struck a good deal on it and I ultimately imported it into Norway some months later. (that is expensive)…

So within a couple of weeks, I got an email from a moving company based in Stavanger which does Europe-wide shipping. They offered two dates where they would pick up all my stuff in Hamburg and deliver it to Stavanger within a week. So one morning, there was suddenly a huge empty shipping container parked outside my flat (blocking the entire street, sorry neighbors). Turns out all my possessions, all the tangibles I own, fit within the first 2m of a shipping container. Luckily they did visit more than one customer that day, so the entire shipping container wasn’t wasted on me.

So then I had to live on a blow-up mattress for some days before I boarded the plane to Stavanger. Lots of last beers and goodbyes that week. I spent an amazing 6 years in Hamburg, my second home. Looking back I can honestly say I miss Hamburg more than I miss Germany. I’m of course a bit biased because most of my friends live in Hamburg.

Once I got to Stavanger it took about 3-4 days for the shipping container to arrive and I spend the next 2 days setting up all of my IKEA furniture.