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
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?"