IELTS hoopla

March 12th, 2005

So I had to waste two days on taking the IELTS test in Oslo, which wasn't too bad because Oslo is a beautiful city (regret I didn't take the camera).

On the flight Friday morning I see this group of guys in suits, I thought they were business men. My flight was delayed (they were on it too) so I spotted them a little later playing cards in a café. Thought that was a little funny but fair enough. To pass the time I walked up and down the terminal and listened to the radio, I hate waiting. So as I walk by, two guys in suits are looking at a laptop screen (they put it down on a garbage can) and as I pass them I look at the screen. Almost burst out laughing when I saw it was Championship Manager. :D They looked like they belonged to that group in the café and I couldn't quite make it out... until it dawned on me that this was Malmø FF going home from playing Rosenborg in the "Royal League" the night before. Some of the suits had the club badge on it but I hadn't seen it up close to make it out. As I had just boarded the plane, one of their players passed me and I could swear I had seen that guy before. Finally after about half an hour it came to me, Daniel Andersson (ex-Bari).

Got in to Oslo at about 1pm, my oral exam wasn't until 3.30 so I had plenty of time. It was chilly but not cold, about 1C and I did a lot of walking in the city centre. Very quickly it all came to me, childhood memories, buildings I remember and how I used to love Oslo. I really miss it now, finally a city as opposed to this little town. So many buildings, some old, some modern, the city is dirty, it's charming, it's urban, it's alive, construction sites, malls, monuments, views, parks etc. Walked by the symphony and they had a big poster for a Schubert concert featuring Yo-Yo Ma. Definitely would have gone if I could. I have to move back sometime, it has so many of the things I love about Norway, it's the only place where Norway feels like it's part of Europe.

So then I get into the oral exam, the examiner is this older English gentleman (going by the accent) and I'm supposed to have my passport ready so that he can check it during the test (fine, whatever). So he starts asking me these basic questions, tell me something about your town, what do you like to do in the evenings blahblah. Then comes a section where I get a question and I have to talk for 2 minutes, 1 minute to prepare. I hate those cause I never can think of anything much to say. Then comes the question "Tell me about an incident that made you laugh? What was the situation, who was there? etc" The only thing I can think of is "the mimbo is hot" but I have to consider my audience here.. :mute: So I start thinking Seinfeld and finally I decide to do a paraphrasing of horses. I would do the actual act but that wouldn't exactly fit the question so I do this and try to make it work. The guy cracks up, he likes it. Unbeknownst to me, the next series of question just happen to be about comedy so I'm good from there. Whole thing lasted 20 minutes and that's all I did all day. :wallbang:

So I had time to kill and I went to see "Hitch". It was good, it was funny (finally a "comedy" that makes you laugh), better than I expected. Will Smith and Kevin James are both very recognizable and at their charming, funny best. :cool: And I don't have to tell you that Eva Mendes is gorgeous. I can't bear to go see a movie just cause it has pretty people in it, it's too boring. But if it's good *and* it has them, that's a nice bonus. :party:

Saturday morning I gotta get up at 6.30 to be at the "university" at 8. Of course I wake up at 5.30 so that's the second consecutive nights I sleep a whole 5 hours. I get up, take the train into the city. Oh how I miss the train. Elegant, quick, no hassle, no traffic, lovely. I used to ride that train to school everyday for 3 years, that very same ride. Sun is rising, it's a beautiful day. 7.30 I'm in the city but today was cold so not really in the mood for walking. But since I got time I had to burn those 30 minutes somehow so I took a stroll. 8am sharp I show up for the latter part of my test. Registration is supposed to start at 8 but everyone's just sitting around and no personell is there. 8.30 they do come and we get it underway. First off is the listening test. Wooo exciting, haven't done enough of these in junior high. :rolleyes: Then comes the reading test. Now I hate how they make these tests, I have never aced one because there's always some ambiguous bs somewhere. Worst of all are those "Which of these statements are true according to the text, answer true or false". Every f. time I get one of those, there are more that are true than the amount you need or some aren't even claimed in the text, stuff like that. So then comes a 20 minute break and we start the writing test. Two writing assignments. By now they are tripple checking our id's god knows what for (oral exam 1, registration 2, writing test 3). The final test lasts an hour and we're done at 12.30. All in all, 3 and a half hours of basically bs and I have to waste two days on this and pay 1800 bucks for the privilige. :wallbang:

My flight is at 4, I got plenty of time. Went over to MacD again to eat, lords knows I already paid enough for the flight, the test, the trains etc, I'm not eating fancy. Back to the mp3 player, listening to Oslo radio. I'm not making this up, bad music sounds better in Oslo. I hear these mediocre songs and I think they're quite alright. The music isn't some kind of escape from the world, I'm in a great place and I can tolerate the music if it's bad. Apart from that J.Lo. song, that could kill anybody. Now get this, I'm listening to this show that's on nationwide radio "Are og Odin" which I never liked before. It's two guys pretending to be village idiots somewhere in Trøndelag (the region that includes Trondheim), speaking in the godawful dialect and saying all kinds of dumb shit. I actually liked some of it. In Oslo I'm no longer there, I'm in the cool capital, I'm listening to it as a parody (which it is) and not as some form of regional patriotism. This new air of appreciation should also explain why I'm currently playing the Chemical brothers and liking it.

Oh and I ran into Jens Stoltenberg on the street. :) (Ex-prime minister and in all likelihood future prime minister.)

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6 Responses to "IELTS hoopla"

  1. Erik says:

    I really only have one thing to say:

    LOL :D

  2. numerodix says:

    And as usual I missed some things I meant to include.. :(

    As I was at the airport that Friday morning and my flight was delayed, I hadn't had any breakfast so I started looking at the food in those cafees and out of nowhere there was a voice in my head "tuna's very rare here".

  3. Torkel says:

    All of this year I've started to realize just how much I love Oslo (probably cause I had to live somewhere else for a bit). I just love the city, all of the different neighbourhoods and areas and everything. So far in my life Oslo and Paris are the two cities that are really special to me.

  4. Erik says:

    Torkel - Somebody said "You gotta get away to wanna go back home again"

    And it's true isn't it?

    [2] That's good stuff :D

  5. numerodix says:

    [3] Torks, all this time I was thinking about how great Oslo is I was also thinking "what a lucky bastard". I would give you a call but I thought you'd be on duty at the time..

  6. Torkel says:

    Yeah, if I get your blow right I was on duty at the time.

    And I may be lucky, but I'm sure you could have found something to study at UIO... ;)