An American in Oslo: Some Facts and Observations After One Month

-$40 for a takeaway pizza, um ok!?

Once again I’m an expat and this time I’m living in one of the most northern, well-organized, and richest countries on the globe: Norway. My earliest memory of Norway’s existence is from my 6th grade Geography class with Mrs. Lockard. She quizzed us on the world’s capitals and the one that stuck out in my mind was Oslo because it just had such a funny ring to it. Oslo. My hipster radar was already on point even before I hit puberty.

That’s where my knowledge of Norway ended until I met the “Norwegians” who taught me more about their homeland than I knew about my own. Now that I live here, I’ve picked up on even more facts and have formed some observations:

It’s an extremely rich country with one of the lowest wealth gaps in the world. In 1969 the Norwegians struck oil in the sea off their coast and since the 80’s have been living lavishly off it. Not Arab style though, nothing here is too os... [more]

By Adrian
Americans Protest Against Obama On the eve of the President's speech: Anti-war demonstrators take to the streets.

Once the golden child of global politics, President Obama has seemingly fallen from grace for his “I reserve the right and responsibility to act” statement he made recently regarding the vote put to congress to allow the U.S. military to strike Syria. Many Americans have called for their representatives to block the president’s pro-war agenda and have condemned the administration for what is thought of as ulterior motives in a move against Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad and his alleged use of chemical weapons against his own people.

Even in small towns like New Haven, Connecticut, home to the prestigious Yale University, peaceful demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest the President’s pushes for Syrian intervention. With my savvy tech skills (yeah right!), I managed to get a few interviews on my iPhone from a few of the demonstrators at Sunday evening’s gathering.

We asked Imad J., a local resident and Syrian-American, h... [more]

By Meghan O.
The American Embassy in Beirut Crushed my 4th of July 2012 But FERN & 961 Have This Year Covered

Read the hilarious email exchange between me and the Embassy

Last year my favorite summer holiday approached and I was distraught as to how to celebrate it so I emailed the American Embassy in my most sincere attempt to go to their party. Below are the emails:


Hello! I am American living in Beirut, I moved here about 10 months ago and started working at LivingSocial. I wanted to ask if there was an official 4th of July party at the Embassy. It’ll be my first Independence Day out of the country and I’d love to celebrate it with other Americans, as well as get to know my fellow compatriots. I’d really appreciate any reply and hopefully it’s positive.

Thanks so much. Cheers, Adrian Avedisian

*** 6/29/2012Dear Sir,

We appreciate your interest in 4th of July celebrations. Any Embassy’s 4th of July event is limited in scale, for contacts of the Ambassador, and not open to the public, even the Americans. That being said, we would ... [more]

By Adrian
It's OK To Do Nothing Or: The Art of Chilling

Travel Diairies III – Step 2: Suntan my A**hole

Until I was 20, I had never left the United States of America (with one short trip to Antigua), so you can imagine how deeply embedded I was in my middle class educated American mentality, some of which includes the prescripted: graduating high school, going to college, getting internships, boosting your resume and getting a job. One thing I noticed after I had graduated college and left the US while living in Beirut for the first time was how difficult I found ‘doing nothing’ to be for me, what with all those summers not idling and those winter breaks squeezing in pointless museum internships.

It was summer and I only worked three nights a week. I found myself stressing on those four other days: “I have nothing to do and I don’t want to do anything particular at the same time” was my dilemma. Plus it was such a hot hot summer and hard to even move. A friend said to me “Adrian, it’s ok to do nothing sometimes. It’s called resti... [more]

By Adrian
Norwegians disguised as Lebanese at Scandinavian festival in New Mexico, USA

Very funny video from the festival!

During a Norwegian festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico, me and Mr Web disguised as Lebanese Radio reporters and interviewed the Americans about Norway. The audience are actually beeing interviewed for Norwegian Radio. It was a strange undercover mission and we learned a lot of crazy stuff about Norway.

This video is a part of a longer road movie from this Article.

... [more]
By @mrmatias
One Movie & 66 Pix from Route 66

Epic Roadtrip Movie Staring Webjørn Espeland from Nrk and Matias Nordahl Carlsen from 2Famous.TV

During the 6000 km road-trip along Route 66 we talked to homeless people, meet an ex-arsonist, pretended we were Lebanese working for Radio Lebanon, and shot big guns. America is just as crazy as I always thought it was. The roads are huge and there are plenty of burger joints. The beer is absolutely better than its reputation with microbrewery’s popping up almost anywhere. Even the criminals are friendly and welcoming and the police let us of with a warning when we were caught speeding. The media is crazy and the information people have about the Middle East is normally punchlines picked up from Fox News.

For me personally Hollywood was an enormous disappointment. When I went to Universal Studios to tell them I was ready to work, they wanted me to pay money to enter the area. God knows that would not have happened in Beirut. After that I tried to call Napoleon Dynamite’s Aunt. Twice. And she still didn’t pick up. But I did meet one of the most famous Leba... [more]

By @mrmatias
What Americans Say About Lebanon

Over a year ago I moved to The Middle East and since then I hadn’t returned home to America. The extent of my overdue visit was reaching critical mass so I finally trekked back with anticipation to see loved ones and love on the luxury of the first world.

In addition to the fun of long showers and wearing booty shorts without a stare, I was mostly curious about how people were going to react when they heard I’ve been living in Lebanon.

Who They Were And What They Said:

One man with red skin on his neck and a button down Tommy Bahama shirt who frequents the neighborhood bar, that kind of bar where everyone voted for Mitt Romney (sorry suckers), said, — “LEBANON!? What are you doing over there girl?” Then he leaned in close and offered some wisdom only years of ... [more]

By Adrian
Adrian's Obsessions Week 5

This week has its highs and lows: It’s Halloween, the all-time best holiday of the year! And my boyfriend left last night to go on his Route 66 roadtrip which means I won’t see him for two weeks until we dreamily meet up in California. Here’s an appropriate list that will have you swaying your happy hips as you hug your pillow and cry your lonely self to sleep (Just kidding I’m not that emotional.)

1. Saturday Night: Misfits

I know I know, you’re asking yourself, why didn’t she put the actual Misfits Halloween song!? Fool I am not, go listen to it, but this song is defintiely way better and even goes with my delayed publishing of the list. It brings me back to my early teenage years when the Misfits ruled my life but not my fashion sense, obvi. Plus he sings about crying on a Saturday night which I SO will not be doing…

2. I&rsquo... [more]

By Adrian

I have a friend, his name is Mr. Web. Yesterday Mr. Web chatted me on Facebook and told me we’re going to do an epic roadtrip down the United States to document the hysteria before, during, and after November’s presidential election. For the longest time (or at least sice our last trip in June) he’s been talking about a roadtrip documentary while crossing route 66; We’ll start in Chicago and drive all the way down to Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ve already got an American girlfriend and a few contacts in Hollywood (I’m looking at you, Leo! and I need more!) so I told Mr. Web I was in.

You see, there’s no reason I would NOT want to work with Mr. Web.... [more]

By @mrmatias
American Rage

If I wanted to argue with you about how my country has dominated, fucked up, and shit on all the other countries of the world including yours, then perhaps I’d have taken my Middle Eastern studies background and joined the CIA, foreign service, or some branch of the US government.

Maybe I’d be living in Beirut sucking some cock at the American Embassy so that one day I could be the ambassador and happily engage in these discussions. But look at me you guys, I’m not! You read my story, I’ve laid it all out there, now let me bitch a little about my #AmericanRage.

1. When I say I’m from America, you can shut the fuck up about the ambiguity of this name because we all know where I’m coming from. And whether I’m referring to the US of America or the Americas doesn’t matter because in the end I’m fro... [more]

By Adrian

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