Homemade Happiness

19 April 2015. Stavanger, Norway

I swallowed the last of my homemade ice cream and set the spoon down.

I was seated at the kitchen table of a near-stranger’s home, with two near-strangers as tablemates.

To my left was Amanda, a Vietnamese woman who had recently moved to Norway for a job. To my right was Tina, a Norwegian woman, whose home we were currently in, and who had prepared not just the homemade ice cream we had just consumed, but also the fish dish I ate prior to that.

I was there in the Norwegian home because the night prior, I was performing at the touMAZEing Comedy Festival. After one of my sets, the two had come up tell me that they enjoyed my jokes.

We talked and I discovered the two were close friends from work and had come to the festival because they thought it would be fun for an entire group from work, but rest of them had already left.

They decided to stick around and saw me perform in the Random Room, a stage setup for “random comedy.” I had decided that “random” meant I shouldn’t perform anything pre-planned, so I did an improvised set using a suggestion from the audience and the text messages of one of the audience members.

It went well, mostly thanks to years of improv training and having played a similar style game of “Texts from Last Night” while in ComedySportz.

While talking after the show, I brought up being from Ohio. Surprisingly they had heart of it; unsurprisingly they had never been. I told them that if they ever went, they should go to Graeter’s ice cream because it’s some of the best ice cream in the world and one of the best things you can ever put in your mouth.

Tina, the Norwegian and more talkative of the two, mentioned that she herself made homemade ice cream. I was impressed as that was was something I didn’t really think you could do, or at least something people did.

She said that she was a very good cook and she and Amanda often got together; Amanda would host while Tina would cook.

I said, “That’s crazy because while you may be very good cooks, I’m actually a very good eater.”

I said it jokingly to make small talk, but Tina took it as a possible invite. She replied, “Amanda and I were actually thinking about getting together tomorrow to cook. You’re more than welcome to join us if you want.”

I had decided recently that I was gonna try to say yes more, especially during these travels. Having talked with a fellow comedian who had a number of ridiculously fun stories, he had mentioned that they all came about because he was willing to say yes. So I thought, “why not?”

Sure, it might be a little bit strange, to go over to a complete stranger’s house in a foreign country… but they seemed nice enough and homemade ice cream was up for grabs.

Now, having finished that ice cream, I was happy that I said yes.

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