It is the first of a new month and as I started it this morning by saying ‘rabbit, rabbit, rabbit‘ I will receive good luck for this whole month, yayyyy! Apparently any combination of rabbits, white rabbits or bunnies will do, as long as it is said like a mantra. Oh well, let the good luck flow in!
Summer is long over, or at least it feels that way; temperatures are dropping below zero at night though as it is rain pouring down instead of the magic white stuff called snow, this must still be autumn! The fantastic sunset header graphic that accompanied a fantastic summer in Norway will be nothing more than a fading memory soon…
I am blessed with lovely nature around me, the Lysdammen lake is less than 5 minutes away and is besides a nice starter for a hike, also a great place to take pictures. One that I took last year (promoted to header graphic) was nice, though I like this years picture a lot better!! (he he, I am such a sucker for ‘mirroring lakes’ )
This one must come as no surprise for us men…is it the ultimate key to a balanced relationship, really?!
Shirley Trusty Corey: “The arts must be considered an essential element of education… They are tools for living life reflectively, joyfully and with the ability to shape the future.”
Matthew Arnold: “The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.”
I have been living in Norway for a little over seven years now and yes, I can confirm; all of the below is true! Oh, and the list could have been a lot longer actually; I miss the ‘weird’ habit of BYO to (Birthday) parties, youngsters on their way to a party on a Friday evening dragging a bag with bottles (and then corking and taking back some of their leftover wine when they go back home?!?), or the friend who, without saying a thing, leaves the table in the bar where you are having a drinks with friends. Instead of going to the toilet as you might think, he went to get himself one beer and comes back to the table to enjoy it…all by himself huh?!
Another one: the chaos on the roads when the first snow of the season arrives and the look on *everyone’s* face; completely taken by surprise, many still on summer tires, and most apparently forgot how to drive a car in snowy conditions…while snow in Norway *is* a yearly returning fact, kind of…
Disclaimer: “Weird” does not mean “negative”, some of these strange things are very positive and should be exported to the rest of the world
1. You are telling a great story to your Norwegian friend/colleague. He or she will start making strange sounds: aspirations with the mouth as if they have the beginning of asthma. No panick, this just illustrate how interested they are in your story, and it means “yes, I agree, carry on with your story”. Nothing to be disturbed about.
2. As soon as Autumn comes, Norwegians enter some kind of telys hysteria, lighting them everywhere at any occasion. It is what I call the “endless need for koselig”, which I define as an inner summer that Norwegians create for themselves to feel like it’s warm all year long no matter the circumstances. (see How to make things Koselig)
3. Most Norwegians won’t mind spending 2 minutes sending an sms to bid for an apartment 300.000 NOK over the tagged price, but they will drive several hundred kilometers in a day to Sweden in order to buy a bottle of wine 50 NOK cheaper than what it would have costed in their own country.
4. Some people, especially from Trøndelag in my experience, will show massive enthusiasm and excitement by a simple “Det var bra”. That means anything you did, said or cooked was outstanding. True friendship and compassion can be shown by a single tap on the back. Love could be the lift of an eyebrow. Or the quiver of their trønderbart. Lift of an eyebrow + moving moustache + smile = I love you will you marry me.
5. Norwegians have great fish, potatoes, moose and reindeer meat as well as berries and many other fresh Products from the mountains and the sea. However, on a Friday evening, the big night for eating something special with friends and family, they will prefer eating beans and corn from a can and minced meat; calling it Tacos.
6. Despite mostly speaking perfect English, most Norwegians have not understood that the question “How are you?” is simply a polite form of “hello”. After being asked “how are you?”, some Norwegians might actually start telling you how they really feel. That his wife left him and his dog just died.
7. Norwegians can complain about a lot of things in their country: bad roads, lack of cantines in Norwegian schools, the quality of the salmon industry in Norway, the oil money not being spent adequately and so have you. If you, as a foreigner, raise a single criticism against Norway, they will be shocked that you dare say their salmon is bad or their roads could be better. Wait a second, isn’t that what you just did? I was just agreeing with you!
8. Most Norwegians, including many doctors, generally believe that 90% of diseases can be cured with one or a combination of these three elements: physical exercise, Tran, and ibux/paracet.
9. Memory is something tricky. In Norway there are rules about what is allowed to publicly remember: anything that happens between colleagues during julebordet, afterski party or seminars while we were all drunk is something everyone remembers but everyone pretends never happened.
10. Unlike in the rest of the world, Norwegians will leave you the keys to a remote little wooden hut and expect you to be honest, write down your name to receive the bill for the nights you stayed there and clean behind you for the next people coming. This is, I believe, the most marvellous strange thing Norwegians do and that I would like to create a movement called “honesty” that I will export to the entire world.
11. Someone you know just ignored you in the bus? Totally normal, this person is pretending they haven’t seen you/haven’t recognised you in order to avoid having to live through the awkwardness of talking to you for 3 minutes. Last night I saw someone I had met once and thought “No, I am a foreigner, only a Norwegian would ignore this guy”. Then followed 4 minutes of horrible awkward conversation which I just about survived with dignity, thinking next time I’ll look at my shoes and do like the rest of them.
12. It is called “Irish goodbye” but it could be renamed “Norwegian goodbye”. You are part of a group sitting in a pub, in a living room on any other social place having a good time. Suddenly someone disappears without saying goodbye and you might assume they went to the toilet/have a smoke. No they went home or to bed without saying goodbye. The question: were we THAT boring??
13. The black thing going down that man’s teeth is not a gum-disease, it is løssnus. Instead of smoking, Norwegians and Swedes use this pocket of tobacco they put under their upperlip, which also makes an unusual bump on one side of their mouth. Try kissing a man with løssnus! By the way I am not saying cigarette is better. Still gross but less weird because a bit more common in the non Scandinavian world.
14. What is the budget per family on sports equipment and clothing for every year? It seems to me anyone here starting from 6 years old has all the necessary equipment to go hiking in the mountain (gear for winter + summer), cycling, swimming, slalom skiing, langrenn skiing, running and sometimes klatring and other hobbies. Despite this stuff being very expensive some renew it every second year or every year. At that price no wonder some of these guys put on their full kondomdrakt to go pick up havregryn from the store.
15. When planning to have a baby, Norwegians will not look at astrology like Chinese or Indians. They will try to make sure their baby is born before September 1st in order to get a secured spot in a kindergarten for their baby. My colleague even did some acupuncture in order to deliver her baby just before the due date for this matter.
The interesting thing here is that after a few years in Norway, the things that seemed strange at first become completely normal. I actually told my mum, who lives in South of France and who was worried for me as winter is coming in Norway, that there is no dårlig været, bare dårlig klær. And the first thing I do when arriving somewhere outside of Scandinavia is to worry about finding knekkebrød in the stores. Who knows, in a few years I might even start growing a moustache and move to Trøndelag. Everything is possible is our strange world!
This text was published in Norwegian in today’s VG: Kronikk: Nordmenns mange rariteter
Daniel J. Boorstin: “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Andrea Bocelli: “All that counts in life is intention.”
Anyone who ever purchased something from Apple the past decade knows how a beautiful experience the unboxing of any of their goodies is, and this was no exception. Ha, no wonder, Apple even has a special ‘secret packaging room‘ , a team that spends a LOT of time on improving user experience from the moment that the purchase is made and the unboxing begins. The box itself looks arty, the various parts fit beautifully inside the box, and obviously all attention goes to THE product when the box is opened! The unboxing prepares you and sets the bar for the user experience that customers love so much. It is a great thing about Apple products; everything just works, I love it! (it just takes time to sync 60+Gb he he)
Oprah Winfrey: “I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.”
It is a known fact; people (not all! ) boost up their lives on Facebook, pretend it is nicer, funnier, better, more exciting then it really is. Competing with your fellow Facebook friends on who is getting the most Likes and/or Comments, in a way much comparable with the ‘I want to have a bigger car than my neighbour’ rat-race in (Western) society. What a waste of time and energy…
Facebook is currently *the* biggest ‘six degrees of separation‘ network, giving you the ability to (re)connect with friends, real friends, meet new people and connect with them, their lives…ain’t that beautiful? But, is really used to that extend? To really connect and interact?
For a second, wake-up and realize that most of this is entertainment for the masses, one big cover over your eyes to blindsight you from the real world, the truth and what really matters in life…
So, how much time do you spend on Facebook and what does it give you really?
Benjamin Franklin: “Wish not so much to live long as to live well.”
Following the release of Apple’s new Mac OS X operating system, Yosemite, last Thursday, I took a leap and installed it on both my MacBook Air and iMac. Especially the iMac install was a *big* leap, as I currently don’t have enough storage space to fully backup the nearly 3TB I have on the machine. The MacBook Air install was therefore a trial and since the installation went more than super smooth, it was nothing more than a calculated risk.
I have to say, Yosemite is doing good so far; my MacBook Air feels snappier and battery life improved?! I also like to look and feel and…it will be even better when iOS 8.1 is released for my iDevices tomorrow; some nifty features bundled as ‘Continuity’ will bring OS X and iOS closer together than ever! The ability to continue things I started on my iPhone on my iMac called Handoff (such as writing emails, working on documents, etc.), answering calls and sending text messages from my iMac/MacBook Air though my cellular connection on the iPhone, are as said; nifty features.
Also, my storage ‘challenge’ will be solved soon, either via a NAS (am looking into a Synology or QNAP), or through a new Mac mini (updated last Thursday too ) combined with a Drobo 5D DAS…I need Terabytessssss hahaha (just 1,5 year ago I thought the iMac’s 3TB would be sufficient enough for a longggg time).