Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"Nye fenomener gir nye ord." -Aftenposten (newspaper)
(new phenomenons yields new words)

Add another word to the Norwegian dictionary:

Askefast: To be stuck and unable to fly because of volcanic ash clouds.
"aske" means "ash" and "fast" means "stuck"
Norwegians love to put two words together as one, hence, askefast.

By now, I'm sure you have all heard about the volcanic ash cloud that is covering (or was) most of Europe and halted many inter-continental and cross-continental flights. Because of this phenomenon, the Norwegians have created a new word: Askefast.

The cancellations and delays over the past week have not affected me personally, but have affected many of my friends and many important people in Norway. The Prime Minister, for instance, was stuck in New York until he eventually got a flight to Spain, and then by car up to Norway. The Crown Prince may or may not be still stuck in London. The King and Queen were supposed to have tea with the Queen of Denmark until the ash cloud forced them to cancel. They also had to drive from the west coast of Norway back to Oslo, instead of taking a plane. My friend Sally was supposed to go back to England for good last Monday, until her flight got canceled. She is rescheduled to fly on Sunday (keep your fingers crossed!). Two other friends took the train to Oslo to fly out to Italy (where one of them is from) last Wednesday, until they found out their flight was canceled and have been stuck in Oslo ever since.

The airport in Kristiansand has been closed, open, closed and open again.

In some parts of Norway, large flakes of ash could be seen on the ground, but nothing like that has happened here in Kristiansand. The only thing that happened was that it got cloudy and rained (and was told that it was acid rain? Or at least had a lot of ash particles in it).

Most of the airlines are back up and running now, since KLM's experiment (testing airplanes to see if the ash in the air does any damage to the engines) and thanks to the volcano emitting less ash.

For me, this is just one more reason to be apprehensive to fly. Not to mention the plane crash a few weeks ago which killed the Polish President and many other important people. I just hope by next Thursday, when I'm supposed to fly down to Amsterdam to visit a friend, that the ash is long gone along with my newly increased fear of flying.

Oh, and check this out:
Island joke
It's written in "messed up old Nordic", says my Norwegian friend, since it's supposed to be from Island...basically it is saying "Give us 30 billion Euros and we'll turn off the volcano! Don't call the police!" Get it? :)

1 comment:

  1. My Mom got stuck in Paris for almost a week AND because she was on a layover and technically "at work" she got paid!!! Amazing luck! So, at least a few people were very happy to be stranded by the ash cloud. She termed it a "Volcation!" She finally made it home safe and sound last night, although, not super excited to be back. Don't be anxious about flying - you are more likely to die from falling down, or being electrocuted! Just worrying about it is probably more dangerous...