Aphasara is a new recruit at Maren Anna where she works as a cook. She comes from the town of Nakhan Sawan in Thailand where she worked in her mother’s restaurant. She has lived in Sørvågen for three years with her Norwegian husband and two year-old baby and has learnt Norwegian.
Rando-Lofoten: What did you feel or think when you first arrived here ?
Aphasara: Before moving here I came on holiday with my husband to Bodø in the north of Norway. It was in June, I woke up in the middle of the night and its was light. I shook my husband, telling him it was time to get up, that we’d slept until midday. He took me out to see the midnight sun (laughter). When I moved to Sørvågen it was very different.
I arrived on 15 December, it was permanently dark, there was snow everywhere and I was seven months pregnant. At the beginning I found it very hard because my husband works on an oil rig and is away from home every other month. I was on my own and the weather was… (laughter) no, I really don’t like winter! But when the sun returns, first of all for one hour and then two and so on, everyone begins to go out and we go for walks together, it’s really nice. Here in Sørvågen it’s a small place, it’s a bit like a family, the people are very friendly, everyone says hello. That only happens in the Lofoten Islands I think, I’ve been to other places in Norway such as Trondheim and it wasn’t the same.
R-L: What do you like about the Lofoten Islands ?
A: In summer I like everything here, it’s so lovely. You can enjoy the permanent daytime and go fishing at whatever time you like. After school the children can go and play outside all day, they go swimming in the village lake.
R-L: What’s the biggest difference for you between Thailand and Norway ?
A: Everything is different, the customs, society. At the beginning I missed Asian cuisine but that’s no longer a problem. What I miss is land, great stretches of flat land that you cross without having to cross water. In Norway wherever you want to go you always have to take a boat and I don’t like boats. I like walking but here in the Lofoten Islands I get vertigo!
Bacalao (morue séchée réhydratée et cuite dans une sauce tomate à la manière portugaise).
photo d'Anette Bjørnsen