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

Ass hair styling
  • 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 centre.
  • It’s acceptable to eat lunch at 11 am and dinner at 3 pm.
  • Your front doorstep 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

Written by persons unknown, in a previous millennium.

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6 thoughts on “You know you’ve been too long in Norway when…”

  1. 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?”

  2. 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? 🙂

    1. 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

      1. 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 😉

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