It seems that my time in Alta is coming to an end, but I am not leaving the north. I’m moving to Kirkenes, the mysterious city that lured me up north in the first place. Kirkenes is special because it lies right next to the Russian border, and the street signs there are written both in Norwegian and Russian. The times I’ve visited, I’ve heard Russian language everywhere. The first time I went to Kirkenes for work, I was surprised to see a Russian marked pop up at the square one moring. From my hotel window I observed a group of babushkas set up tables and tents. Apparently, they come to town every month to sell wares like socks, matreshkas, shawls, porcelain and so on.
I think Kirkenes will be a very exciting place to be a news journalist with Russian background.
I do feel a wave of melancholia when I understand that I’m moving from Alta. This city with it’s 20.000 inhabitants, and the magnificent nature that surrounds it, was the place where I got to experience a lot of things for the very first time. I’ve seen the northern lights dance in the sky. Alta is where I earned my stripes as a journalist. I found love here, and good friends too. I’ve tried steering a dog sled with huskies, driving a snowmobile and going slalom downhill. I learned to make the traditional dish of this region – Finnbiff. It has all been exciting, exotic and intense.
I can’t believe three years have gone since I left Oslo. It feels like a lifetime, but also like the blink of an eye. How can it be three years?!