Norway is the best country to live in. Really?

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?

Illustration: Ole Johnny Hansen. No use is permitted on another platform without the consent of its author

All I want for Christmas is…more voices in Tre nøtter til Askepott

“Oh my God, I am so excited that Christmas is coming!” says my flatmate. “Me too” I told her. “I love Christmas because I meet my family and we eat oysters and snails”. As I guessed from my flatmate’s disgusted face, that is not what Norwegians eat for Christmas. I started an investigation in Norwegian Christmas: What do you guys eat? What do Norwegians watch? … Continue reading All I want for Christmas is…more voices in Tre nøtter til Askepott

Wonderful things (most) Norwegians do

After my previous blogpost Annoying things (some) Norwegians do, I was expecting many reactions of people saying that what I wrote is unbelievably wrong and how dare you say bad things about a country hosting you etc.. Forseeing such reactions, I had prepared a counter blogpost to reassure the crowd on my intentions: despite sometimes poking where it hurt, I am conscious of all the … Continue reading Wonderful things (most) Norwegians do

The Definition of “Fun” for a Norwegian

You and I have fun while lying on a beach with friends, stuffing ourselves with chips in front of a movie or going to play curling. All of those things also enter the category “moro” (fun) for Norwegians, but there are so many other things which are fun for them and not at all for the rest of the world. This gap is striking when … Continue reading The Definition of “Fun” for a Norwegian

Where on Earth is Syden?

When one asks a Norwegians where they went on holidays, some reply they had a great time in “Syden”. “Oh Syden! Yeah right. Everyone knows where that is”. Mmmh well, Norwegians all seem to know, but it doesn’t really ring a bell for foreigners. My Indian friend knew the answer right away. When I told him I was writing a blogpost on Syden he said … Continue reading Where on Earth is Syden?

How to make things “Koselig”?

There is an important concept one needs to understand and embrace when living in Norway: being “koselig”. Most English speakers translate it by “cosy” but that term doesn’t even begin to cover everything that “koselig” can express. This concept is difficult to translate to those who do not live here, but basically anything can (and should) be koselig: a house, a conversation, a dinner, a … Continue reading How to make things “Koselig”?