As you might have noticed from the last post, the dreary weather in Bergen had put me in a bad mood. But there is nothing like an evening of good food and great conversation with family to lift one's spirits. That is what happened last night.
The reason why I came to Norway as opposed to one of many other European countries which I would like to visit, is because my cousin Hans Peter lives here. Hans Peter is a first cousin to Werner and Brigitta... so he is also a cousin of mine. He is a medical doctor with a specialty in nephrology, and for the last several years he has worked at the medical school of the University of Bergen. He and his family attended the big birthday party at Brigitta's house in Switzerland. In fact he was one of the cousins who turned 60 this year.
When I arrived in Bergen on Thursday I gave him a call, and he invited me to their home for dinner on Friday. Yesterday I donned my plastic rain poncho again (it was still raining) and left the hotel around 5:30 P.M. I took the light rail (which is basically a street car) out to the stop nearest their home. Hans Peter met me there and led me to the house which is only a couple blocks away.
I was immediately enveloped by their warmth and hospitality, and my grumpiness about the weather melted away. Hans Peter prepared a tasty dish of chicken over noodles.
Here are Hans Peter, his charming wife Larissa, and his stepchildren Sophia and Alexander. Sophia and Alexander are great. They are intelligent, polite, and kind. I told them that if all of my students had been like them, I might not have retired when I did. Larissa and Hans Peter also have a very sweet young daughter, Angelina, who was having supper with neighborhood friends.
We lingered at the dinner table conversing for hours over several glasses of wine. It was nearly 11:00 before I left. We are going to get together again this weekend. It is still raining this morning, but with Hans Peter and his family around, my stay in Bergen will be enjoyable in spite of the weather.