So I just completed my third day in Norway and have some initial impressions to share! The country itself is beautiful with stunning sights, clean air, convenience, a well executed public transportation system and no crime. Keep in mind that I come from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area, a rich area (arguably the most desired place to live, where every resident is convinced it’s well worth the cost) where people check off checkboxes as they achieve ‘success’ and only put in enough effort to minimally sustain all of our relationships.
These are not meant to be controversial, although some may come off as mildly offensive.
Norwegian women are more aggressive than the men. I’ve also been told that Norwegian men are cheap and will even force you to split the bill even on coffee dates. Hm….maybe it has something to do with the fact that you can’t find a decent cup of drip coffee in the city for under 30 NOK ($4.57 USD)!
Which brings me to my second point. Norway is expensive. Like….ridiculously expensive. A crap sandwich with a thin layer of mystery meat from 7-11 will cost you 49 NOK ($7.47 USD). Subway is the only affordable option. Medium McDonald fries cost $3.81. A coke will set you back $3+. Think cooking for yourself is cheaper? Think again! The grocery store prices are just as insane. I saved money by eating two 7-11 sandwiches on Day 1. Day 2 consisted of a meal from Mickey D’s for lunch and a traditional Norwegian dinner my amazing airbnb host made for me!
So this isn’t really an observation rather than a fact shares by Ms.Airbnb hostess but apparently Norwegians are verrrryyyy open about hooking up whenever and wherever they feel the urge! Bar bathrooms are at the top of the list!
Huge age gaps in dating are more socially accepted.
Old Norwegian men are incredibly impatient and grumpy. I imagined them to be jolly.
Norwegians get in to work late and leave early! This is quite the breath of fresh air….an entire nation of people who have figured out the key to work/life balance? We need to bring this to the States! Typical hours are 9am to 4pm…..I’ll take it!!!!
They walk everywhere and are very active. No one is overweight.
They are incredibly helpful. I can’t even count how many times someone asked me “May I help you?” without being prompted! Unheard of in the Bay Area! I even had randos offer me tips on how to save money (buy the one hour pass vs the direct fare and buy them from the convenience store vs the driver)
They suck at directions. Holy crap, it’s not even a hard city to navigate – yet they can even manage to make ‘continue straight’ into a convoluted, impossible-to-follow set of instructions.
They don’t crowd. They understand personal space and actually stand at an acceptable distance behind you while in a line.
They eat a lot of fish and chicken. Beef is usually in hamburger (minced) form.
Potatoes boiled in cream may be one of the tastiest creations ever.
The NSB (train) claims to offer free wifi with a tourist guest login. A helpful attendant gave me the credentials and when they didn’t work he said he’d never seen that before and to ask the conductor. Conductor dude came by, gave me a confused look and claimed that they were having problems THAT DAY. An honest local told me that he takes the train everyday and the wifi has never ever worked! Apparently it’s some kind of (false) advertising gimmick to convince people to take the train over flying! So shady. Thankfully that four hour train ride this morning offered some breathtaking scenery!
They are infatuated with the concept of a selfie stick. I can’t even tell you how many people took a pic of me, taking a pic of myself.
It’s wet and the rain is unpredictable.
Norwegians are hearty, despite their largely slender builds. At 40 degrees F, and a strong windchill, I bundled myself up in two jackets, thermal gear, and a warm hat and scarves while they tramped around in shorts. Brrr….
Many potatoes meet their demise here.
That’s enough of my observations for one day! I made the journey from Oslo to Flam this morning and saw some of the most jaw-dropping New Zealand-esque landscapes along the way. I’ll make a pic post soon to give you a glimpse of what I’ve seen so far.
Here’s a teaser. I tried to take a pic with ‘angry boy’ in Vigeland Sculpture Park and ended up….missing the full capture.