Three days ago the New York Times was offering its readers a tour of all the amazing things one can do in 36 hours in Oslo. It says that “The Norwegian capital is filled with art and stunning architecture, but nature, too, is an integral part of urban life”. Is that enough to make Oslo the coolest city of Scandinavia? Let’s see what the city … Continue reading Has Oslo Become the Coolest Capital City in Scandinavia?
Three years ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Weird Things Norwegians Do“, where I described 15 strange things I had noticed here. Now that I have been here a little longer, a few things have been added to the list. As before, “weird” does not necessarily mean “negative”. Some of these awkwardness should be adopted elsewhere in this world (but not the grilldress, hopefully). … Continue reading More Weird Things Norwegians Do
A few weeks ago, as the darkest of the winter was creeping in, I decided to start indoor group training in my gym (one of the ways to survive winter depression). I would rather run outside in the forest, where no silly music invades my personal space, alongside people looking at themselves in the mirror while tensing their muscles. Pytt, pytt. I signed up for a basic … Continue reading The Endless Norwegian Search for Perfection and Conformity
A few weeks ago, I was watching the football game France-Iceland on television in Oslo. For the first time, my heart was torn apart between two choices: supporting France, my home country, or Iceland, the almost Scandinavian and underdog of the competition? I could never tell my French friends that I wish Iceland won. But I felt so close to the Icelanders who are like Norwegians in … Continue reading 42 Signs you’ve Been Living in Norway for too Long
After many celebrations of Norway’s National day here, I have shortlisted things you will need on this day, or to prepare this day. If you don’t know what is happening on the 17th of May, you can check online, many articles talk about it. For a short reminder, the 17th of May in Norway isa celebration of the day when the Norwegian Constitution was signed on … Continue reading Everything you didn’t know you needed for a successful 17th of May
So, which promises did you make to yourself for 2016? Be a better spouse, a better parent, a better son/daughter? Stop eating peanut butter at night while you’re on a diet during day time? Eat more greens, hit the gym every second day. Become tall and beautiful. Try to keep a girlfriend. Wait. Try to find a girlfriend. Spend less time on Facebook. Spend more … Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions: Norwegians vs. Immigrants
In the last weeks of 2015, I saw my Norwegian friends and colleagues happier than usual. Did a Norwegian skier just win a competition? Is the price of the Christmas ribbe cheaper this year? Almost better: the United Nations had just published its yearly report, showing that, once again, Norway is the best country to live in. For the 7th year in a row. Can you … Continue reading Norway is the best country to live in. Really?
You have been living in Norway for a while, or have been reading this blog. In any case, now is time to get your knowledge of this society tested on these 30 questions. Do not use the internet to find the answers, but you can use your Norwegian partner or friends. I thought at first this would be easy for Norwegians but it turns out it … Continue reading Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Norwegians?
What is a dugnad? It is another Norwegian word like koselig, tidsklemma, snus, utepils and ka farsken which are difficult to translate in other languages. At first the word dugnad confused me. “Come to the dugnad in my new home in Nesodden, we will be painting”. Why would we paint in a bunad? Isn’t it a very nice dress to paint in? You must admit those two … Continue reading Want to integrate in Norway? Participate in the world’s biggest dugnad
At first religion does not seem to have a central role in Norwegian peoples’ lives. One hears church bells ring in the background once in a while, but it is seldom anyone talks about God, faith, or even Christianity. In big cities, gyms have a higher attendance rate then churches, and Sunday mornings are used to recover from hungovers or enjoy family time in a … Continue reading Strange things Norwegians do with (and in) their Church