I arrived back in Fuglafjørður on Sunday after finishing the language class in Torshavn, and I’m getting settled in my little house. Tuesday’s newspaper had a photo and short story about our language class – I saw the newspaper in the rack on Wednesday, but didn’t buy a copy.
This morning the people from the phone company came to my house and worked for a while on installing my telephone. They think that the line to the house was cut when someone did some digging near the house, so they weren’t able to get the phone connected; they’ll be back early next week to fix the lines. I also don’t have my Internet connection installed yet, so I am sending this from the computer store in town.
It has been raining constantly for the last several days. Monday and Tuesday I did some shopping for groceries and other household items. My house is a twenty-minute walk from the center of town, and on Monday I bought too much stuff, and I had to stop every 5 minutes or so to let my hands rest. Tuesday I didn’t get so much and I made it home without stopping.
The big news is that yesterday I bought a car, with a lot of help from my cousin Jormund. I had been thinking of going back to Torshavn to look for a used car, but yesterday morning I heard that someone in Fuglafjørður was selling a used car in good condition. It is a white 1996 Mazda with 126,000 km (80,000 miles) that runs on gas, not diesel. (Diesel cars have a higher tax rate.) Jormund helped bargain down the price and also helped arrange for car insurance for me. Today I drove to town in the rain. (I had discovered that I can get quite wet during a 20 minute walk in the rain!)
During class we were supposed to write something in a diary every day, and I decided that that is something I should continue to do. This morning I wrote a page or so in Faroese about buying a car. Since I came back to Fuglafjørður I have spent time going through my notes and entering my vocabulary in a spreadsheet. Here is a sample of my Faroese:
Í gjár keypti eg ein hvítar bil frá 1996. Hann kostaði fýri túsand tvey hundrað dollari, ella fimm og tjúgu túsand krónur.
I just finished the exam for the language class. We had 4 hours, but I finished with about 40 minutes to spare. I am using the school’s computer lab for one last time. Tonight we will have a dinner and celebration, then tomorrow morning I will take the bus back to Fuglafjørður.
The language class was a challenge. There were only three of us who didn’t already know one of the Nordic languages, and we were at a disadvantage. The Nordic languages have many strong similarities: similar root words, similar declensions and conjugations, similar sentence structure. About ten students had come from studying Icelandic, some others had been studying Danish, and some knew Swedish and Norwegian as well.
I think I know most of the grammar rules, but my vocabulary is very limited. I bought the new Faroese dictionary that includes a table in the appendices that gives all of the endings for all of the nouns and verbs. The language endings are very complex, and there are many exceptions to the many rules, but now I have a way to look them up, at least.
This is my last week of classes, and on Sunday I will move back to Fuglafjørður. The class has a farewell dinner on Saturday night, so I will be too late to catch a bus back.
I know most students and teachers are on summer vacation, but I think I have been working harder since I retired then I did before. Class starts at 8 am, so I leave Ninna’s house no later than 7:25 for my half-hour walk to class. It has only rained a few days during my commute.
I am spending three weeks in Tórshavn, the Faroese capital city, living with my cousin Ninna while I take an intensive language course at the local college.
Last night I went to a concert at the Nordic House. The first half of the program was a Faroese opera singer performing part of an old Icelandic saga (in the old Icelandic language). The second half was his wife singing some classic opera arias accompanied by the Faroese Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra also performed several works. I saw several people there who I met in New York from the Tórshavn choir.
Tomorrow our class will go on a trip to the Vestmanna bird cliffs. We will first have lunch in a restaurant in Vestmanna. They are supposed to serve us some traditional Faroese foods, and hopefully some other more palatable foods as well. Tonight I will be going to dinner at the house of Henry, my cousin Ninna’s son.