United colors of Lofoten !

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We wanted to know what the Lofoten Islands mean to foreigners living or working on the islands and what their initial impressions were when they first arrived on the archipelago.

We therefore decided to interview people of very diverse origins who work in the one and only restaurant in the small village of Sørvågen, which has around 450 inhabitants, located to the south of the archipelago between A-i –Lofoten and Reine in the Moskenes district.

Jean-Baptiste,
a Frenchman, Aphasara from Thailand, Maritt, a Norwegian from the Lofoten Islands and Frederico a Uruguayan, all work at the Maren Anna restaurant and agreed to answer our questions.


 

 

Maritt

Maritt is a Norwegian from the Lofoten Islands. She is one of the ten partners who invested together and launched the Maren Anna restaurant in 2011. She is one of the three partners who work in the restaurant with Aneth the Head Chef and Trond who works at the bar.

Rando-Lofoten: You have worked at Maren Anna from the start. How did it all begin?

Maritt: The restaurant opened in July 2003, which means that this year is the eleventh season. Before that I worked for 21 years with the Post Office, firstly in Sørvågen, then Reine, followed by Ramberg on the Island of Flakstad. I moved around as the post offices gradually closed down.

Read more: Maritt

Aphasara

aphasaraAphasara 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.

Read more: Aphasara

Frederico

frederico 02Frederico was born in Uruguay but has lived in Spain for the last twelve years, in Barcelona, Coruna (north-west Spain) and then in Tenerife where he moved to find work in the tourist sector and because of the climate. He worked at a few odd jobs in Spain for a temping company, but he trained for three years as a waiter, which is his real job. He has now been waiting at the Maren Anna restaurant/bar for the second year running.

Rando-Lofoten: How did you end up here in the Lofoten Islands?

Frederico: In fact, I had never thought of coming to Norway. Sometimes I used to think about leaving Spain, but I thought about Great Britain or Germany where I knew there were good opportunities to find work, but I don’t speak German… The reason I’m here today is that I met Trond, one of the bosses at Maren Anna. He was on holiday with Sarah  in Tenerife in October 2011. They saw me working on the evening my workmate failed to turn up for the shift. I had to do the work of two people and must have moved around a bit faster than usual and I think they were impressed.

Read more: Frederico

Jean-Baptiste

jean-batiste 02Jean-Baptiste is a Frenchman from Rouen in Normandy who arrived in Norway four years ago after following his girlfriend to Oslo. Even though the love story ended there, he decided to stay and take the first job he was offered. He graduated from the faculty of sport and after working as a lifeguard in France, he found work in a completely different field. After a trial period of only one week, he was offered a job in a restaurant in Paris. He got on so well that after three months he became the chef. He now works as a cook in another restaurant, Maren Anna in Sørvågen in the south of the Lofoten Islands, where he has learned to cook the traditional dishes of the islands (halibut, whale stew, dried cod, etc.). He now speaks Norwegian and is a keen hiker.

Rando-Lofoten: How did you end up here in the Lofoten Islands?

Jean-Baptiste: After working in Oslo for about ten months I was no longer very interested in what I was doing and needed a change of scenery. I thought I could give it a go in the Lofoten Islands which I had already visited ten years earlier on a hiking holiday.

Read more: Jean-Baptiste

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