4 Quirky Things About Norway

During our month in the woods of Norway we learned a lot about the beautiful country and its proud people – some things were exactly as we had expected (such as the overload of Swedish workers), while other things surprised us.

Here are a few quirky things we learned from Norway …

Norwegians are happy – even when they’re not.

Norwegians sound like they are constantly in a good mood – they even sound (and look) happy when they are mad, although that doesn’t seem to happen very often, as they tend to ‘look on the bright side of life’.

A common saying in Norway is that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing (det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!) - which proves just how optimistic and outdoorsy they are.

Cash is overrated.

In Norway, we never saw anyone paying with cash – anywhere…

And pretty soon we stopped too – it’s the closest we’ve experinced to a country with a cashless society – you can pay with your credit card everywhere, even in the public toilets..!

Simple things get complicated.

A friend of Nathan’s told us about the two years he spent living in northern Norway, and how people there seemed to get very stressed despite having so little to do.

This is something we found equally true where we lived.

As soon as something is slightly out of routine, they don’t know how to deal with it – so they simply choose not to deal with it at all, hoping that everything somehow, sometime, will work out by itself.

They have an interesting attitude to life, which can be described as “if we don’t do it today, we’ll do it tomorrow”.

I also have the feeling that they suffer from the same habit like us Swedes of the need to have “meetings” all the time – only to never quite come to a decision anyway.

The sun sets all day.

What struck us the most in Norway was how the sun looked like it was about to set the entire day – always low, and always orange.

This had a strange effect on the landscape, which by the way was already pretty odd in itself – the nature with its endless rolling hills and winding river was beautiful, but had an eery vibe over it.

Skiing from the top of the mountain kind of gave you the impression that you were skiing on a different planet.

What are some quirky things you know about Norway and Norwegians?

7 Responses to 4 Quirky Things About Norway

  1. Christine December 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    What a great proverb! It’s so true in the winter: with a good coat, being outside is delightfully refreshing!

    • Nathan December 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      It’s really a great quote, I agree, if you invest in a good jacket and gloves, you will enjoy being outside much more.

  2. Felix Lee December 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    We could all use a little optimism once in a while. Sunsets are lovely, but I wouldn’t know how an all-day sunset would affect me. Nice things to know about Norway!

    • Sofia December 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

      Yeah the skies are awesome when it’s sunny, but we did find that the sun affected us more than we first had realized.

  3. Leif December 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    Hahah, this is dead on. When there is 20 minutes of traffic in Oslo everyone starts to stress. “Ikke stress, this is nothing like new york” I always say.

    • Sofia December 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Haha exactly! The funny thing was that when we went to Oslo after 1 month in Trysil, even we felt overwhelmed because we had gotten so used to the slow pace..!

  4. brandy bell December 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    haha, love this list— you’ve made me want to check out norway for myself. after all, a perpetual setting sun should make it one of the most romantic destinations ever!

    thanks for the quirky tips :)