You know you’ve been too long in Norway when…

  • You associate warm rice porridge with Saturday and Xmas eve.
  • It seems sensible that the age limit at Oslo night clubs is 23 or 25.
  • You find yourself debating the politics of Kjell Magne Bondevik Jens Stoltenberg Erna Solberg.
  • You think there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
  • It seems nice to spend a week in a small wooden cottage up in the mountains, with no running water and no electricity.
  • You think cross-country skiing is the only real skiing.
  • You know at least five different words describing different kinds of snow.
    (Although… the Scots apparently have no fewer than 421(!) words for snow…)
  • The first thing you do on entering a bank/post office/pharmacy etc. is look for the queue number machine.
  • You accept that you will have to queue to take a queue number.
  • A sharp intake of breath has become part of your active vocabulary.
  • You associate Friday afternoon with a trip to Vinmonopolet (State wine monopoly).
  • You think nothing of paying NOK 65 (US$ 7.5) NOK 80 (US$ 9.5) NOK 90 (US$ 10) for a bottle of ‘cheap’ wine at Vinmonopolet.
  • Your native language has seriously deteriorated: you “eat medicine” and “go and lay yourself”.
  • You rummage through your plastic bottles collection to see which ones you should keep to take to the store and which can be sacrificed to the recycle center.
  • It’s acceptable to eat lunch at 11am and dinner at 3pm.
  • Your front door step is beginning to resemble a shoe shop.
  • When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that:
    1. he is drunk;
    2. he is insane;
    3. he is American;
    4. he is all of the above.
  • The reason you take the ferry to Denmark is:
    1. duty free vodka
    2. duty free beer
    3. to party
  • Silence is fun. (!!!)
  • The only reason for getting off the boat in Copenhagen is to eat pizza.
  • It no longer seems excessive to spend NOK 500 (US$ 80!) on alcohol in a single night.
  • You care who wins the “Hvem fanger sommerens største fisk” contest.
  • Your old habit of being “fashionably late” is no longer acceptable.
  • You know that “religious holiday” means “let’s get pissed”.
  • You enjoy the taste of lutefisk.
  • You use mmmm as a conversation filler.
  • An outside temperature of 9C is mild (in mid June).
  • You wear sandals with socks.
  • You have only two facial expressions, smiling or blank.
  • You think riding a racing bike in the snow is a perfectly sensible thing to do (with or without snow tires).
  • When you start styling your… ahem… hiney hair
  • Ass hair styling

Written by persons unknown, in a previous millennium.


6 Responses to “You know you’ve been too long in Norway when…

  • FarligGods
    5 years ago

    Here are a few more some doubled up…

    You know you have been in Norway too long when
    – you want to leave
    – you always prepare to catch the door slamming in your face when following closely behind someone else
    – you can’t remember when to say “please” “thank you” and “excuse me”
    – you only buy your own drink at the bar even when you are with a group of people
    – driving, you stop using your indicators & think nothing of pulling out in front of traffic with right-of-way
    – you look away when you walk by people, even if you know them
    – a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that: they are drunk, insane, an expat, all of the above
    – you think silence is fun
    – you use “Mmmm-mmm-mmm” as conversation filler
    – you get scared when a stranger randomly starts up a conversation with you
    – you actually start believing that “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”
    – you believe it’s actually fun to spend a week in a small wooden cottage up in the mountains, with no running water, no electricity and a smelly outside toilet
    – you start to believe that if it wasn’t for Norway’s efforts; the world would collapse
    – you think an outside temperature of 9°C is quite mild (in June…)
    – you know the difference between Blue and Red ski wax
    – you don’t fall over when walking on ice
    – you know at least five different words for describing different kinds of snow
    – you associate Friday afternoon with a trip to the Vinmonopolet
    – you think nothing of paying £50 for a bottle of ‘cheap’ spirit at Vinmonopolet
    – it no longer seems excessive to spend £100 on drinks one night
    – you know that “religious holiday” means “let’s get pissed”
    – you find it acceptable to eat lunch at kl.11 and dinner at kl.15, sorry 11am and 3pm…
    – you expect all dinner parties and meetings to start precisely on time, if not before
    – you know Norway’s results in the last three years in the “Melodi Grand Prix” song contest
    – you find yourself more interested in the alcohol content than in the name of the wine
    – you enjoy the taste of lutefisk and cod prepared in any way, including fried cod tongues
    – you happily eat your hotdog wrapped in a cold potato pancake
    – you associate rice pudding with Saturdays and christmas eve
    – you can prepare fish in five different ways without cooking it
    – you wear socks in sandals
    – your wardrobe no longer has suits, but blue shirts, coloured sports-jackets, half-mast jeans & ecco shoes
    – you don’t look twice at business men in dark suits wearing sport socks
    – it feels natural to wear sports clothes and a backpack everywhere
    – you find yourself speaking halfway Swedish with Swedes
    – you can’t understand why foreigners haven’t heard about Bjørn Dæhlie
    – you don’t question the habit of making a “matpakke”
    – you know the meaning of life has something to do with the words “kos” & “koselig”
    – you can’t stand leaving the country because people everywhere else are so nice, it’s annoying
    – you vigorously defend whaling and enjoy consuming whale meat
    – you have two cars, a cabin and a boat, if not more
    – you earn more than you spend
    – you think it’s weird if a house isn’t wooden
    – you associate Easter with cross-country skiing with friends and family in the family’s mountain cabin
    – you are shocked if there are not 2 months of snow every year, at least!
    – you can see mountains and the ocean, no matter where you are
    – you get your hands on Norwegian chocolate and guard it with your life
    – you would rather miss your flight than not have enough time to buy the duty free alcohol quota
    – you are more afraid of customs than terrorists
    – you think nothing of ordering drinks at the airport at 6 am
    – you say “oh well, down it goes” when served bad wine
    – you actually think that “fiske boller” and “Joikakaker” taste nice
    – you barbecue when it’s raining
    – you have bad conscience if you’re not outside when it’s sunny
    – you get dozy after only two days of sun
    – you go for a swim when it’s only 12°C in the water and think it’s “fresh”
    – in winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark – only working eight-hour days and think nothing of it…
    – your first reaction if there’s a terrorist attack on the other side of the world, is “oh my god, did any Norwegians get hurt?”

  • I’ve just stumbled upon the blog, but even though it’s an old post, I have to ask: what is the thing about inhaling? I’ve heard lots of people comment on it – but only immigrants. As a norwegian, I’m puzzled! What am I doing that everyone notices but me? 🙂

    • I did a little Googling, and came across:

      What is the name of the vocalization Norwegian speakers make when they are agreeing with a speaker?

      ‘It sounds like saying ‘ya’, but on an inhale instead of an exhale. In English, it would be replaced by ‘mmhmm’. I heard it mostly when a group of people were talking to each other, and the listeners would make the noise when they agreed with some point.’

      I think that’s what Yago refers to

      • Oooh, now I recognize it! Thank you! 🙂
        And also, thank you for the funny list! I haven’t realized that some of the things you point out are so norwegian 😉

  • LOL loved it! Been there for two months and experienced at least half of whats on the list. The inhaling is still the most fantastic 😀

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