Monday, September 3, 2012

Travel series: Norway

My dear friends. Welcome to a series of travel stories. Today, I will write about Norway.

Hm, so. What could you possibly love to hear...? I was thinking. Yes, I can think.. Might be funny to write about the weird things in Norway, not the stuff everybody else is writing about. For example.. see the Trolltunga, see Bryggen in Bergen, Aurora Borealis, the Lofoten Islands, etc.. Yes these are really all fantastic places and the one I have visited are really stunning, amazing, unforgettable.

But what about the other things? I now going to tell you secret things, that your travel handbook does not write about.. weird and funny things about Norway and Norwegians. 

1) Supermarkets are psycho-style weird
I often felt like in Aldi when I was there. Most supermakrets in Norway do not consider esthetics important. Its a huge difference from what princess Tanja is used. If you happen to find fresh herbs or, be prepared: they will most likely be rottning alrady. Vegetables are boring and scarce I found. No matter how small a supermarket, they have an amazing variety of frozen pizzas, heaps of fast food, meat and frozen food. Vegetables and fruit: well.. It´s not so popular.

Choice is scarce.. they all sell the same products and norwegians like to stick to one product for life once they have deciced. For example: all norwegians I have known so far (one exception, if i remember correctly) have the same dishwashing detergent. Yes thats right. Norwegians like stability and simple things.

2) Toilets
You have to pay 10 NOK (= about 1,50 EUR) fee in most places.. Everything is expensive in Norway, even the visiting the facilities..

3) Houses
Most people live in houses with the normal well maintained english lawn.They are cute wooden houses in white, red, blue or some other pleasant color.

4) Social life
I have heard it several times and read it in books: people are reserved. I never wanted to believe it. No, I kept saying it is not true! For many many years.. but finally, in 2012.. now I have to change my point of view. Lets say: social bonding is not very intense here. It takes time probably to get into friendship. Try to stalk to them when they are drunk then they are more outgoing.

Additionally, they are not very open. If you have a dinner/party scheduled and you want to bring a friend to the party that nobody knows, you have to ask EVERY SINGLE PERSON TO ATTEND. So if you get the chance to be invited, then you are really lucky. But do not expect that people talk to you during the party.. (happened to me.. they set up the dinner for me and didnt even talk to me or ask me who I was and where from). That flabergasted me really!

Ok enough now, i will stop ranting about it.. Surely not all norwegians are like that! I met some really cool ones.

5) Brunost = Brown cheese
They all want you to taste the horrible brown cheese. I found it disgusting and consider it a sin towards the art of cheesemaking! The swiss talking now. Even though I don´t eat cheese at all. Never. I personally hate cheese and they made me try it.They forced me to try it. Little girl crying now.

6) Recycling and rubbish
Its quite interesting to observe the rubbish habits of other countries, isnt it? So, in recycling norwegians really need to learn more. In most places, simple composting was anavailable. Ahh but who needs it, nobody eats vegetables anyway. The funny thing is this:
Most bottles and cans you buy have refund. So when you bring them back, you will get back your kroners. Many people therefore search the towns for empty PET bottles and can bottles. It is quite hard work but I bet you can make some extra food money from that if you go to the touristic places. Since tourists dont know about it, they will simply toss their can into the bin. That is when you come in and start collecting. The best about collecting these refund bottles is this: you are allowed to bring them back and claim the cash only. No need to buy anything.

7) Income and tax details of everybody are published publically 
Yes, how weird is that. Everybody can check your income online. You only need the full name and registered city, then you can see how much they earn, have in savings and how much tax they are paying. Wooow!

Allright my friends. I hope that was entertaining. I will ad more weird things here when I encounter them.


Anonymous said...

During the summer people stop to work at 3pm . Bank, shops everything is closed. So they can enjoy the long summer days, go sailing...LONG WEEK END each week. What a life ! and during the winter is 4PM I am convinced that i one day i would like to experience that life..and then they say they have no time for doing much so busy...must be bad organization or beeing slow
(-: hahaha

Tanja Wanderlust said...

Thanks for your comment. Thats right, I forgot to write about working hours.. They work from 9am-3pm and say "ahhh things have been so busy lately, i was working every day" 6 hours doesent feel like working to me!!!