What Norway Has Taught Me


Two years ago, I was going to go to Norway by student exchange. I told everybody; friends, family, colleagues, cousins, and people I just met. My friends were excited for me. It became a conversation starter. Christmas, birthdays, and paychecks went to saving for it. But as the financial reality materialized, the vision deteriorated.

This country stole my heart years ago with it’s breathtaking landscapes, beautiful sing-songy language dialects, and it’s honest but warm hearted people.

Oh, and farts.

Sakte Fart
Sakte – slowly
Fart – speed
I like ‘slowly fart’ better though.

Arriving home from Japan, I had more cash left over than I anticipated. I remember thinking, Norway might be possible after all.

I kept saving. And saving. And when I hit my goal almost a year later, the euphoria hit.

“So, I can buy a ticket now,” I told my friends in Norway, “can I come the 23rd?”

My time in Norway was made incredible by my friends. There’s no way it could have been the same without their kindness. But I learned a few things about them. Some totally validate the stereotypes that you and I have heard. But others make me think… Do I really know a Norwegian when I see one? Can you spot one amongst a crowd of Swedes?

Kristine (left) and Martine (right)
Lake House
Martine’s Family ‘Lake’ House (actually formed by glaciers)
Kristine didn’t actually climb this.

It depends.

These are some of the things that Norway has taught me:

  1. It’s your obligation to be patriotic (America – f*ck yea).
  2. It’s okay to drink 3 cans of soda per day, especially if they’re coke zero or pepsi max.
  3. If you make a taco, it must consist of cucumbers and cannot contain any beans – period.
  4. Swimming in 12 degree weather is a weekend outing – don’t be a party pooper
  5. Use a knife with your fork. Always. Cake too.
  6. Don’t eat at restaurants. Like, ever.
  7. Do you even money? We do.
  8. Be super clean. Clean everything on your body. If you’re male, Adonis is your lowest standard.
  9. Sweden isn’t cool.
  10. Swedish music is the best.
  11. Swedish candy is the best.
  12. Be contradictory whenever possible.

There’s more, but I’ll leave it for a later post. 🙂

Candy Shop
Swedish candy shop

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