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Friday, November 2, 2012

You can get with this... or you can get with that

Norway isn't Sweden.

Norway, also, isn't America.

I don't know if I've made that fact clear over the eight or so months of this blog (save the summer vacation break).

The two countries are different, not radically different (yeah, the whole "different language" thing jumps out at you...), but different (but, Norway and America are WAY similar than Belgium and the good ol' USA).

It's not a bad thing (something I had to remind myself early on...), but it can lead to a lot of "Wait.  What?" moments.

For Example:

Numerous items in supermarkets are sold based on weight (i.e. Carrots cost 51 kroner a kilogram), not that much different than in the states (well, carrots wouldn't run like $4 a pound unless you were in Alaska, but I digress).  However, in Norwegian supermarkets, there are no scales to ascertain how much one has procured of said product.  I didn't realize this the first time I went to a Norwegian supermarket and proceeded to walk around the store for like twenty minutes searching for a scale.  I ended up almost sending six apples through the bread slicer (if you're scoring at home, yes... there's a fancy, bread slicer, but no scale).  It wasn't like I wanted to only buy 60 kroner worth of apples, I was curious how many grams equaled six apples (approx. 720 grams).  A buddy of mine just chalked it up to the "Norwegian way", but I have definitely seen people sneaking scales into the supermarket.

Whatever.  I've adapted by guessing the weight and, when I'm right, I break out the Anne Hathaway...

Fine, something non-food related...

Alcohol cost more in Norway.

Though, its not to say that all the differences are bad or annoying.

Here is an Oslo, city bus

It is cleaner and runs on a vastly more efficient system than virtually every major city bus I've rode in the states (NYC, Baltimore, DC, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia).  A lot of the bus lines (particularly the one I frequently ride) run 24-hours a day.

Additionally, there is a flat rate for Bus, Subway, and Light Rail (all vastly cleaner and efficient) so there's no figuring out if you have enough on your travel card (I think NYC is also the same and I know the bus and subway in Baltimore are the same, but who takes those?).

Anyway, the longer I live here, the more I appreciate what makes Norway unique and cool (speaking of cool, it snowed twice in the past week... Fall doesn't linger here).  It's a special place with a lot of interesting food and culture.  Writing this blog has been my way to share with you all how fortunate I feel to be having this experience...

Instead of sharing more sweet and corny sentiments, I'm just going to post another funny, norway related .gif


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