Annoying things (some) Norwegians do

A Frog in the Fjord: One Year in Norway Book
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1. You know how some media say the biggest problem of the 21st century will be the lack of clean water? Norwegians usually let the water run for many long minutes before they take a glass of water from the tap because it has to be cold. Very cold, like glacier water temperature. While the rest of the world is saving drinking water Norwegians just want it at the right temperature.

2. Whatever achievement you managed to make yourself proud of (dived at 12 meters deep, skied for more than 10 km, swam 3 km) there will always be a Norwegian around to let you know he/she did double or triple that “achievement”, and repeats it every week. Janteloven says they can’t say they are better than everyone else so they find other ways to do exactly that: tell you how much better they are than you.

3. You are in the street/metro and recognise someone you know. Most Norwegians will pretend that haven’t seen you at all and will walk away while talking on their phone or suddenly shuffling something in their bag. It’s not that they don’t like you, they just don’t want to have to lose 5 minutes of their life pretending to be interested in whatever small talk you’ll have together. Yeah okay, they don’t like you.

4. Norwegians to whom you say you come from this or that country will politely ask you why you live in Norway and for how long. Then if you tell them how wonderful Norway is and why they will smile in content. They knew that already but they are glad you also noticed that their country is the best in the world.

5. No matter how bad a meal in a restaurant may be, Norwegians will never complain. Even if served a bowl of rotten vegetables, they will eat in pain and pay the 150 NOK or more the meal was supposed to be worth. French people on the other hand are known to complain in restaurants if the food is cold, or bad, or not at all what I ordered. If you, foreigner, want to complain, your Norwegian friends will want to hide under the table with shame. I mean you give me a glass of water back because it was too warm for your taste but you don’t complain when given really bad food. Why??

6. Have you ever had the strange feeling of getting out of a long tiring meeting and being told the conclusion of the meeting is that there will be another meeting? Welcome to working in Norway!

7. Spring has just started and we’ve had 3 days of sunshine. I am as white as an aspirine but somehow half the people I meet in the street are more tanned than me after a whole summer in the sun. How is it possible they got this tan just in the past 2 days? Norwegians need to show a perfect tan, all year long, even if that means taking pills that make them orange and get skin cancer in Syden.

8. Norwegians rarely get angry, in public at least. Instead they will send subtle signals that they disagree or are annoyed instead of saying it clearly. Exception of Northern Norwegians who are usually much more direct, of what I saw at least. It becomes very confusing for foreigners who are usually able to identify angry people by their yelling and angry faces. On a positive side though, this does make Norway one of the most peaceful countries on the planet.
9. Most of us were taught to save electricity by shutting lights when we leave a room, especially if we leave it for many hours. Not Norwegians: they basically always leave all lights on, even when they leave their office for the weekend or a long holiday. “This is not Versailles” would have said my dad: electricity costs money and it is energy. We save it, full stop. “But our energy is clean” is the answer you’ll get from Norwegians.

10. All Norwegians have been used to sleep outside as a baby. This means that as adults they sleep with windows open (whatever the temperature outside, yes including negative temperatures) and usually without heating in the room in order to feel the cold on their face while their body is feeling warm under the dune. Now this is fine, even proven to be healthy (that’s what they say at least). But for the rest of us who are not used to falling asleep by -2 degrees it’s very rough and the source of endless discussions with our loved one.

The most annoying ones are, in my eyes, what are called the “Bærumgutter”, i.e. rich kids who became spoilt adults. Sorry, it’s true: their water needs to be colder than anyone’s, they complain so much and so loud in restaurants just enough to make even French people ashamed, brag about whatever achievements they’ve had and which car they bought and sometimes don’t even let you pass with your bicycle because they are driving a super fast (and expensive, and flashy) car. So in the end, the most annoying Norwegians are the most “unorsk” of them. I hope that’s a consolation for all the Norwegians reading me 🙂 See here for information on the Wonderful things (most) Norwegians do.

P.S: As a note, it seems this applies mostly to Oslo and its Østlandet surroundings, and that in smaller cities or villages, in the North of Norway and other places people react completely differently to the situations described above.

69 thoughts on “Annoying things (some) Norwegians do

  1. Haha ! I completely agree with you. No 2 is getting on my nerves, no5 and no8 I´ve seen them. And I completely agree with the P.S. Out there, far away from Oslo there is another Norway ! Nicer !

  2. Good post! Very sharply observed. Re “Bærumsgutter” we use to say they are “born and inflated in B-L-ærum” Blære- (hence Blærum 🙂 ) in norwegian directly means bladder, but also means a well inflated not so sympathetic person, with an ego bigger than Galhøpiggen, and correspongingly very loudly outspoken 🙂 That said, there are also plenty of nice people in Bærum :-).

  3. I am so happy that this small things is all you have to complaine about…so then it is true, we are allmost perfect! 😉

  4. 1. Warm water needs to be 65-70 degrees and cold around 4. That’s just the way it is. Also, water needs to circulate.

    2. It’s just a polite, but smirky, way of giving you new goals to reach.

    3. Hmm, I guess we tend to avoid things that will distort our well planned day. But this is very individual.

    4. I hate it when I do that so I don’t ask any more. It’s mostly curiosity, but for some it’s to get an ego boost.

    5. This stems from our normal upbringing. “Eat your food without complaint” is how I was raised and how my son is being raised. This is a habit that is hard to shed when you’re grown up. So we hate making a scene and loathe people who do.

    6. If you work in public services then that’s the way you work. Meetings are necessary to avoid making decisions.
    This is the same in all countries.

    7. This is individual. Some people run for the tanning booths to get some rays when spring comes to prepare the skin for summer holidays. Some do pills or spray – which both looks ridiculously fake.
    I use solarium in the winter to get some much needed sun.

    8. It’s like #5. Don’t complain and make a scene. Dialogue is usually more productive and there are plenty of other ways to let out steam (chopping wood, run, walk in the woods/mountains, etc.) other than telling at people in public.
    It gives a feeling of being treated unfairly when people try to have a public row with you. Using the public eye to humiliate the one your yelling at. Most will turn their backs and never talk to you again.

    On the P.S./#9
    When the stall is cramped the horses bite.
    So, people behave differently in cities than in the suburbs and so forth.
    When it comes to blærumsgutter. I’ll take a wild guess that you live somewhere not on the west side of town. It’s just ordinary prejudice and jealousy mixed with good old Jante law.
    I myself don’t really care where people come from and I certainly make no assumptions about peoples social status or their positive or negative personality traits based on east/west, north/south.
    You’ll find idiots and assholes in all areas and they’re certainly evenly distributed.
    So, don’t assume that the young douche in an expensive car is a west end boy. He could easily be from Stovner or Mo I Rana.

    1. Regarding Bærumsgutter – I lived in Bærum (Høvik and Blommenholm), now I live in Sandefjord and I completely agree with that statement made about them. The point is – when you know the true upper class or upper middle class people from countries where this is traditional (England, the Netherlands, Bavaria, etc.), you can see how rich people behave. I don’t mind people being (very) rich, but, sorry to point it out like that, most of the “Bærumsgutter” I had a possibility to meet behave only slightly better and slightly less “harry” than nouveau-riche Russians. And this has nothing to do with Janteloven.

    2. When the stable is cramped, the horses bite… I had never heard that one before! Brilliant, and so true!

      1. I wonder if perhaps the expression originally went like this:
        “Når krybben er tom, bites hestene.”
        This translates (roughly) to:
        “When the manger is empty, the horses are bitten.”

        “Krybbe” may be translated into either “manger” or “trough”, feeding device for farm animals. I chose “manger” because like the Norwegian “krybbe” it is also the one used in the context of baby Jesus being put into one. The word “trough” has a Norwegian equivalent in “trau” which is pronounced quite similarly.

        The meaning would be more or less the same, I suppose: At times of clamour people turn on each other. -Or something to that effect. The clamour here being either food-shortage or over-crowding. If horses in a stable, which I suppose is where you´d find a manger, are bitten, it is understood that the horses are biting each other… lest one suspects the stableboy of entertaining an unhealthy appetite for equus tartare.

        But, of course, I may very well be mistaken. I just haven´t heard the one about the stables being cramped.

  5. 5 and 6 is so true ! but I’m guilty of number 1.
    About number 1, one year our water pipes froze and the plumber was asking me why I had not not have left my bathroom taps running all the time when ‘sprengkulde’ was announced in the news !
    How was a French lady supposed to know you have to ‘ waste’ water in Norway when the temperature drops !

    1. Thanks for the Norwegian language lesson! Until now, I never realized that “sprengkulde” does not mean “freezing cold.” Instead, that “bursting” + “cold” literally means “water pipes bursting cold.” Another basic word that all immigrants born south of Norway should be taught.

  6. Correct observations indeed. And in the Northern Norway, you will find the opposite, a much more adequate people, swearing and in very colorful words speaking their meaning straight out.

  7. Kul liste 🙂 Likte den!
    Du har gode poeng, og skriver underholdende – men personlig mister jeg litt.. hva-skal-man-kalle-det, gleden av å lese det kanskje, grunnet mye engelske språkfeil. Ønsker du en gjennomlesing/feedback fra en engelskgrammatikk-nazi (som forøvrig også har ei litta blogg :D), så stiller jeg mer enn gjerne 🙂

    Keep it up!

    1. kanskje du skulle ha skrevet denne kommentaren på engelsk da, for selv for en helt gjennomsnittlig dårlig norskgrammatikk-nazi var det ganske kjipt å lese din kommentar. 😉 dama er fransk og bor i norge, giv her a brake. (hohoo)

      1. Var ikke meningen og være nedverdigende her; jeg måtte bare si det som det var. Det kan jo hende det er fler som reagerer også. Ønsket bare å hjelpe 🙂 Så ikke helt meningen med å skrive engelsk til nordmenn. Om jeg er under engelskvurdering, så trygg på navnet mitt og les i vei!

    2. Vel, jeg er bare glad for at hun ikke skriver på Fransk, da hadde jeg hatt problemer…………. 😀

  8. About weather and foodhabits by the way…as we are not too far from northpool, it is a common thing to preserve food and to eat fat. Now, it is different. Many things about our life is like that…we have habbits from generations. Like every country does… Give people cake if you dont have bread! 😉

  9. Regarding #3, it can be contageous. After years of having Norwegians stare at me as they approached, only to avert their eyes as they reached greeting range, I adopted that habit myself. Now that I am “back home,” I have to remind myself to not only maintain eye contact, but sometimes even smile and say hello to someone I do not know.

  10. Perfect! I would add couple of things though. Here is my little list:

    1) Being convinced that the Norwegian way is the only right way and that everything foreign has to be worse. Couple of examples: Norwegian houses are, at least compared to what I am used to from my home country Czech Republic, considerably lower in quality. In the Czech Republic the average energy class of private houses built before 2006 is C. All newer houses are on the scale between A and C (it is not allowed to built anything worse than C anymore). In Norway it is E, yet I can hear from the Norwegians about how they isolate houses better than anyone else. Electricity – installations in houses here are considerably of a lower quality than what I am used to from the Czech Republic. Professional electricians here do things that would not pass our safety standards and use overpriced material that is equally good as our material that is 100 % compatible with the Norwegian, yet much cheaper. When I asked electricians here to install switches that I am going to buy in the Czech Republic, they, instead of thinking about it, immediately told me that “they are worse in quality, because they are not made by (Norwegian) Elko AS”. Another example – EU kontroll. I have seen what EU kontroll looks like here and there and I have to say that here it is much less strict than in the Czech Republic. They do a lot of very complex measurements before they give a car a green light. Here it is much less thorough. Yet what do we hear? That “down there” they probably don’t know how to check a car if it is safe.
    2) Driving. When I drive from Prague to Hirtshals I do not get as upset as when I drive from Sandefjord to Oslo. People keep driving (slowly!!) in the left lane. Sometimes I think it might be a good idea to anyone making a driving license in Norway to have couple of hours of driving in Germany. Just to learn the good habits they have down there. I am not surprised any more why so many Norwegians are afraid of driving in higher speeds – when I imagine people driving with the style they have on the motorways in 100-110 km/h here, I can hardly imagine what would happen if they were driving 130+ km/h. Not looking into the mirrors, driving on the left side and irritating the rest of the traffic, not using blinkers, not keeping safe distance. On country roads I may add VERY SLOW and irritating driving. When there is an 80 zone and people drive 60 “just to be sure”, there is no possibility of overtaking in 20+ kilometres and one has to drive let’s say from Oslo to Bergen, it is something that may give me a heart attack one day.

    1. In my experience, Danes are MUCH worse. Rushing past in the left lane, then slowing down to slower than you’re going, then suddenly speeding up and slowing down constantly for no reason. It’s like they completely lack control of their feet. I’d assume it was an aggression thing, if every Dane I knew wasn’t so friendly and relaxed. Norwegian drivers just get on my nerves by rarely using blinkers and apparently not understanding how to merge lanes. Though judging by the last accident statistics I saw, the Norwegian way of driving is better than most in Europe. But it probably has a lot to do with personal preference.

  11. Good observations. On number one. My wife is from Iran, she has been brought up in a culture where water is scarce so she gets stressed when I let the water run for a long time for it to be cold. But saving water in Norway is meaningless, we have it in abundance. The notion that water is a limited resource is unfamiliar to most Norwegians.

  12. An enjoyable read! But I’d have to disagree with #4. As an American (who has lived here for 4 years, if you must know) who has been met with idiotic bureaucracy keeping me from working in the field that I am (highly) educated in, when Norwegians ask me, “Trives du her?” I answer them honestly. I tell them how I really like so many different aspects of Norway, but how the bureaucratic regulations are keeping me from working in the health care field, and how it has been a 4 year fight. I have been met with nothing but compassion,and sympathy, but also embarrasment, criticism and disgust against their *own* “firkante” government and country.

  13. We got a good laugh out of this one – I am Norwegian, my husband is South african – and he still gets the question: “Trives du i Norge?” still after 10 years of living here… The list is true, all of it. 😀

  14. I am from Northern Portugal and i can relate to most of the Norwegian aspects above stated.

    1- I don’t related. In Portugal most people learn to save everything. Water, food, power, money, old stuff. A lot of us still had strong relations to people that lived in rurality and that, until a few decades above, struggled in misery. So, it’s pretty much seen as a waist and a rude thing to do towards everyone to spoil resources that could be precious to others.

    2- I can of relate. Portuguese aren’t excessive braggers, In fact most are pretty humble themselves. Instead of talking about themselves they ALWAYS know someone who did better than you. A cousin, a neighbor, a friend o even an unknown person that they never saw again. It’s a weird thing but, in a sense, they don’t like to admit to you that you are that impressive. Even if they don’t take it up to themselves to reduce your accomplishments, they will point out that they are nothing special as he knows a whole bunch of people that can run 50km under a scorching hot sun without drinking a drop of water.

    3- I totally relate. I even do worst. When my home phone rings i never pick up because i figure it must be some relative wanting to speak with my mother or something. I don’t want to make small talk as i have nothing to say to them. On the streets i will great close friends and family members as well as people i respect. But all the rest of the people i know, i try to avoid them at any cost.

    4- Completely relate. Portuguese’s spend their time bad mouthing the country, the corrupt government, the incompetent politicians, the circus of everyday public organisms, the never ending crisis, the despicably low quality of life (for a EU member) etc. But then they LOVE to point ear foreign people talk good things about it and will not accept any criticism coming from someone else. They will also insist in telling you about how great we once were and all the meaningless things in which we’re better than you.

    5- Yup. I also understand. I will never complain unless there is something really serious and unacceptable. Otherwise i will eat, pay and never return there again. Most of the time you will complain to an employee that is severely underpaid and that cannot do anything to change things as he has no power whatsoever. So, instead of annoying the hotel receptionist because the TV image is not neat enough or because the water pressure isn’t like at my own house, i just accept it how it is and avoid any scandals. I also detest to see people complaining about every little thing and making a living hell of the working day of some poor employee.

    6- This is a classic one all over the world. A lot of talk and no decision. That’s why democracy is such a pain in the *** when it comes to take decisions as no one agrees with the other.

    7- Even being from the Northwest, a rainy part of the country, there is more than enough sun across the year to keep a decent than if i wanted to. But because is so easy, no one really cares or think of it as a specially attractive thing. In fact, there is serious propaganda against sun exposure and all the illnesses that come from it.

    8- I really hate making a fuss in public. I don’t like how Latin Europe expresses itself too loudly. It’s rude and reveal a severe lack of respect towards others.I just like to go on with my life and forget what some idiots were doing as nothing good ever comes from arguing in public with people you don’t know and could be lunatics.

    9- This one i don’t relate. Energy cost in Portugal are pornographic. We have a good decent amount of renewable energy. Over 25% witch is one of the highest in the world. Despite that, the traditional education and these scary prices make us instinctively save as much power as we can.

    10. I can understand this. In Northwestern Portugal we can have anywhere from 1500 to 2000mm of rain per year. This makes for very long periods of rain and humidity. Although it’s not very cold, i am not used and dislike the high temperatures that occur in the summer months and across the year in the southern part of the country. I pretty much like the chill weather and often keep the window open even if the day is considered cold for our standards.

    – And yes. The most annoying people are the rich conceded ones that were born in a golden cradle and have no idea on what and how real life is. Usually from prominent families, they feel naturally superior and will probably end up in undeserved important political positions or as CEO’s of top companies of national interest. This will only perpetuate the feeling of “nobility” and create more conceded little arrogant brats in the future. This one is pretty much the same all over the world.

    Considering all this i feel i would fit better in a Northern European society than my own. But then, other things like food, wine a weather make me think that probably not. I guess there are people of all sort everywhere. This description of Norwegians is roughly what people here think about them but, at the same time, is not totally strange as many of ourselves think and act the same way.

  15. You have a such gift of writing! And you really see us Norwegians 😀 I loved this and the good things about Norwegians posts (I’m sure I’d love the other posts too, I just have not read them yet). Being Norwegian I recognise so much about myself in what you write – thanks for helping me start the day bawling with laughter 😀 Hope you have a wonderful day!

  16. The reason for no 1 is this:
    “B.5.6.7 Praktiske råd i forbindelse med enkeltsaker og generell forebygging.
    Man bør alltid la vannet renne en stund før det tas ut vann til drikkevann og matlaging, og man bør ikke bruke vann fra varmtvannet til disse formålene. Hvor lenge vannet bør renne vil avhenge av bygningens størrelse og hvor langt det er fra inntaket i huset til tappekranen. Som regel vil man kunne kjenne det på temperaturen når vannet som har stått i bakken utenfor huset kommer fram til kranen. På den måten unngår man eventuelle stoffer som er blitt tilført vannet fordi det har stått lenge i de husinterne ledningene.”

    Translated: “One should always let the water run for a while before using it for drinking and cooking, … How long the water should run depends on the size of the building and how far it is from the inlet to the tap. Usually one can judge by the water temperature when the water that has been standing in the ground outside the house gets to the tap. This way you avoid ingesting compounds that has gotten into the water while it has been sitting inside the pipes inside the house.” (Pardon my English). We do this because we have been taught to.,5497&MainContent_6287=6493:0:25,6834&Content_6493=6441:70500::0:6446:6:::0:0

  17. Somehow, did not find the items described very annoying. After five years in Malta I started appreciating calmness and serenity of the northen countries. As long as nobody yells “MONICAA!” every morning at 6am instead of pressing on a door bell, it can be tolerated.

  18. The one thing we norwegians love more than being praised is being criticized in a nice, fun way that says “I love you, after all”. Thus, I loved your post.

  19. On the PS note – YES. I grew up in Northern Norway, and I can tell you now that directness is not a problem AT ALL. But Many of these points are totally true. Although I would say in our defense that saving water in Norway is not going to help those that live in Sahara… So yes, I’ll keep the tap running until the water is cold when I’m at home. 😀

  20. I completely agree with this “Norwegians rarely get angry, in public at least. Instead they will send subtle signals that they disagree or are annoyed instead of saying it clearly.”, and still I can’t think of any of these signals. It would be interesting to see if it’s possible to compile a list of them. Anyone cares to get the ball rolling?

  21. First off, I want to say that I like your posts a lot, inkluding this one.

    1. There are several, well two reasons for this. number one is rusty water pipes. Old water pipes are rusty and therefor u need to let the water run for a bit in order to flush out loose rust particles, he second reason is that we simply enjoy cold, in most forms and shapes.

    2. True, even norwegians find this very annoying, but we will not tell you or that person person so, because its impolite.

    3. Not nessiseraly true. You will probably get a nod, it might be small and hard to notice.

    4. more or less true. One reaon however is to find out if u are staying in norway for a long period of time, or if you are merly a tourist.

    5. This komes from our ubringing. We are taught to “shut up and eat your food” and ” You better apreciate that someone else made the food for you, and that they have spent alot of time doing so”

    6. I have no exprience in this as I dont work in a place were we have meetings.

    7. More or less true, komes from nature. We are supposed to stay outside all year long and it is therefor expected that you have a tan from being outside in the sun. This is ofcourse not true, so we “cheat” with Solarium or sun booths if you will.

    8. We find it embarresing to make a scene in public. This will change if you are in a private setting.

    9. This will change, depending on how much income you have and if u kan afford the high electricity bill.

    10. We do love kold, but as this is a minor issue, most menn will close the bedroom window, but maybe not turn on the oven in order to please you.

    Most of Norway dislike people from Bærum. We kall then Blærum people. We find them to be to uptight and high on themselves, and this is saying something komming from a norwegian.

    P.S: You are absolutly correct

  22. A good read and good observations. I just saw one comment that I disagree with, that suggested that Norwegians are polite. We are not polite, just conflict shy and socially awkward

  23. There needs to be something in there about replacing items in supermarkets to totally random locations.

  24. I totally do #3 all the time, not because I don’t like the person, but because I hate awkward smalltalk with someone I don’t know very well…

  25. Well, for Christ-sake, the damn water will run into the sea anyway, it’s not like we are using up all the water, so that Africa dies from thirst. 😛
    Water in central-europe is collected in huge reservoirs or imported trough huge pipes. As you have been here a while, there are streams and waterfalls everywhere, what we do, is that we stick a hose in one of them and drink, if we’re not, the water will still just run down the mountain and into the sea.

    And who drinks luke-warm water anyway, hello?

    Water, will most likely take over from Oil as our main export when all the oil has been burned off, raised the temperature globally and made sure that drought is rampant across the planet. We will charge 100$ per barrel, thankyouverymuch 🙂

    Much of the same can be said about he electricity, as we get most of it from, you guessed it, falling water. Why people want to pay for lights that are on, but not used, is beyond me as well.

    Well, at least we don’t have any nuclear reactors, like “some countries” ^^

  26. One of the reasons we tend to leave lights on here has nothing to do with the energy being clean. It has to do with houses and buildings being in need of heating for most of the year. Whether those 100 watts of heating comes from a lightbulb or an oven doesn’t actually matter.

    But yes, we could get better at killing the lights during the summer.

  27. But you forgot to mention the weird inhaling noises Norwegians make whenever you tell them about your problems.

  28. Reading through the first part of this made me feel like a foreigner, not a Norwegian. My mind traveled back to my time abroad, and I guess spending a few years in a Swiss hotel school will teach you not to accept substandard food or service quietly. I must stand out like a sore tooth next to my Norwegian peers in more ways than I knew. Depressing, and nice…

    But I’m with you all the way about the Bærum boys (and girls); they are the tackiest of the tacky! And I disagree with myself about the bedroom temperature: I like breathing cold, fresh air, but hate having to walk barefeet across an icy floor, undress in the cold, and then shiver miserably for minutes before successfully heating up the bed, and then having to do the same, in reverse, when waking up.

  29. You’re so right! Especially about that annoying white-trash tan all year round, even on some of the “bærumsgutter”.

    PS: But who uses unfresh water, even for coffee? That’s just grose.

  30. My absolute favourite:

    Nr 11. Supermarket etiquette! If/when you happen to be blocking someones path, a Norwegian will simply stand behind you and wait ….. and wait ….. aaaaaaaaaaaand wait!! They claim it is their “høfflighet/politeness”!! To expect a person to have eyes in the back of their ass and on the constant lookout for Herr OlaDunk whom may just need to get by is ARROGANT … absolutely nothing høfflig/polite about it!! To put it another way: If I am blocking your way and you chose to stand there and wait until I move I might as well be made of stone. Now on the other hand if you POLITELY tap me on the shoulder, smile and say “Unnskyld, kan jeg komme meg forbi/Excuse me, may I get by?” then of course I will smile back and step aside. Treat humans like humans and not objects. Stones that turn into man eating trolls is just a myth!! ;-))

    1. You nailed it! But you’ve been lucky if the Noggy just waited and waited and not being steamrolled. The most dreaded word in the Norwegian vocabulary is “Unnskyld”. Noggies are absolutely clueless about what it means to be polite, to possess social intelligence and good manners. Waiting in a tidy line, forget it. Stepping aside and letting other pass? No way! Saying “unnskyld” would mean actually having to talk to a stranger. The horror!!! Well… not all of our tribe is like that, but way too many.

  31. There`s something about the kids sleeping outside in the cold thing. I did that all the time, my mom and the other moms just put us kids out on the porch, in the middle of the nordic winter. Sounds harsh, they did also feed us alot of goat cheese and cod liver oil…before they sent us to the sauna and made us run naked outside in the snow….does this sound sadistic to anyone else or is it just me? lol never really thought about it but my childhood sounds terrible. I enjoyed it very much though.

  32. Fantastic! Loved the one about Norwegian meetings, it’s frustrating for Norwegians as well! A comment about the water: Earlier we were thought to leave the tap on for a while before using the water, as someone else commented. The reason for this might be that we earlier used copper pipes which gave kind of a taste when the water had been standing in the pipes over night., and as we know, chopper isn’t really healthy. A tip to people still having old pipes is to flush their toilet as the first thing they do in the morning which will remove the problem to some extend. However, Norwegians have a whole different approach to water than any other country. Our water pipe system suffer from more than 40 % leakage while France for example only have 26 %, Sweden 15 % and Denmark only 10 %. It is said to be cheaper to leave it that way, mostly because we have “unlimited water sources”, cheap energy and because nature water’s itself. Another fun fact is that other countries determines the water’s purity based on the taste of chlorine, while we do is, as you say, based on temperature because it makes the water feel fresh and straight from nature’s spring. Therefor Norwegians hate bottle water from abroad, myself included. Looking forward to your next post, loved it!

  33. Would love it if you could write more about us Northern Norwegians, we are quite unlike Eastern ones, I’d say we are much more continental

    1. Dear Margrethe
      I would love to write more about Northern Norwegians, because indeed their culture is different than in Østlandet. But I live in Oslo! I need to take time off to go live up there for a while and learn more about how you guys see the world 🙂

  34. To answer question 3. in trøndelag it is not at all usual for people to ignore you when they se you at the street. we usually shout out if we see someone we know on the street. and would love ta talk to them for a couple of minutes 😀

  35. Re: Bærumsgutter
    This terribly bad behavior is not made by the lot, but by the few. Well, more and more of them. In the fifties/sixties Bærum was still “bondelandet” (agricultural area), but as it is by the fjord and close to Oslo, rich people bought out a lot of property and built houses there. Their offspring is known to say La (det) coste (yes Lacoste), far betaler.

    However, there are lots of Bærum inhabitants that are not rich, and that don’t behave in this manner. I’m one of them (I hope). For us, this is a big problem, as we can’t tell we’re from Bærum when visiting other parts of Norway. We’ll get beaten up…

  36. I’m from Tasmania & I’ve never been to Norway nor had any Norwegian friends but I find this post really amusing. I too am totally embarrassed by restaurant complaining. I don’t care how bad the food is I’d rather just force it down than complain. I like my water really cold too. I can’t drink tap water it’s just never cold enough. I always keep a water bottle in the fridge

  37. Im a little late to the discussion, but i completely agree with this list! And the last point..spoiled husband and i seem to have a weekly rant about running into these people. haha I notice whether spoken or silently, theyre busy one upping each other and its really annoying.

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