According to Julie

Koselig = the meaning of life


During Julie’s* stay in Oslo, and again during a conversation with Peter, the list of "signs you know you’ve been in Norway too long" came up repeatedly. I finally found a really long version of this list. Some of these are really, really funny, some are pretty disturbing (like the first and last one), and they are all true.

*Julie?!?!? Where am I supposed to link to you?

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

  • …you start to believe that if it wasn’t for Norway’s efforts the world would collapse.
  • …you only buy your own drink at the bar even when you are with a group of people.
  • …you can’t remember when to say "please" and "excuse me".
  • …you always prepare to catch the closing door if following closely behind somebody.
  • …a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that:
    a) he is drunk
    b) insane
    c) American
    d) all of the above
  • …silence is fun.
  • …you use "Mmmm" as conversation filler.
  • …you actually believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
  • …you know Norway’s results in the last three years in the "Melodi Grand Prix" song contest (Eurovision Song Contest).
  • …it seems nice to spend a week in a small wooden cottage up in the mountains, with no running water and no electricity.
  • …you know at least five different words for describing different kinds of snow.
  • …an outside temperature of 9 degrees Celsius ( 45F ) is mild in mid June.
  • …you know the difference between Blue and Red ski wax.
  • …you don’t fall over when walking on ice.
  • …you associate Friday afternoon with a trip to the Government liquor store.
  • …you think nothing of paying $50 for a bottle of ‘cheap’ spirits at Vinmonopolet ("the wine monopoly").
  • …it’s acceptable to eat lunch at 11.00 and dinner at 15.00.
  • …it no longer seems excessive to spend $100 on drinks one night.
  • …you know that "religious holiday" means "let’s get pissed".
  • …you find yourself more interested in the alcohol content than in the name of the wine.
  • …you enjoy the taste of lutefisk (jelly-like, bad-smelling fish) and cod prepared in any way, including fried cod tongues.
  • …you like to wrap your hotdog in a cold pancake.
  • …you associate warm rice porridge with Saturday and Xmas-eve.
  • …you can prepare fish in five different ways without cooking it.
  • …you wear sandals with socks.
  • …your wardrobe no longer has suits, but blue shirts and mustard coloured sportjackets.
  • …you don’t look twice at business men in dark suits wearing sport socks.
  • …it feels natural to wear sport clothes and backpack everywhere, including the cinema, bowling alley, and to church.
  • …you find yourself speaking halfway Swedish with Swedes.
  • …you can’t understand why foreigners haven’t heard about Bjorn Daehlie.
  • …you don’t question the habit of always making “matpakke” (sandwich in paper – some sort of lunch packet)
  • …you know the meaning of life has something to do with the word “koselig” (cosy)
  • …you get scared when a stranger randomly starts up a conversation with you.
  • …you can’t stand leaving the country because people everywhere else are so nice, it’s annoying.
  • …you look away when you walk by people on the street.
  • …you vigorously defend whaling and enjoy consuming whale meat.
  • …you have two cars, a cabin and a boat, if not more.
  • …you think it’s weird if a house isn’t wooden.
  • …you earn more than you spend.
  • …you associate Easter with cross-country skiing with friends and family in the familys mountain cabin.
  • …you are shocked if it’s not 2 months of snow every year, at least!
  • …you can see mountains and the ocean, no matter where you are.
  • …you expect all dinner parties and meetings to start precisely on time, if not before.
  • …you fall 3 meters, and don’t get hurt. If you do, you’re not worried at all.
  • …you get your hands on Norwegian chocolate and guard it with your life
  • …you are more afraid of the Customs than terrorists.
  • …you would rather miss your flight than not have enough time to buy the duty free alcohol quota.
  • …you order drinks at Gardermonen (Oslo Intl Airport) at 6 am
  • ……you say ”oh well, down it goes” when served bad wine.
  • …you actually think that fishballs have taste.
  • …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 degrees Celsius (53F) in the water and claims that it’s “fresh”
  • …in winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark – while only working eight-hour days.
  • …if there’s a terrorist attack on the other side of the world, your first reaction is "oh my god, did any Norwegians get hurt?"

3 thoughts on “Koselig = the meaning of life

  1. This was hilarious. Is it okay if I quote it in my blog?

  2. Martine – Of course! Every blogger loves a link. But you know, this isn’t mine. I got it off a Facebook group, and it’s a collection of many similar lists written by unknown people.

  3. Pingback: How to teach yourself Norwegian « According to Julie

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