A few days on, and I’m already starting to feel quite settled here. With starting my courses at the university, normal cooking and baking and meeting lots of new people, my days are already filling up rather well. While I actually start to like and get used to the way of life around here, there are some things that just strike me as rather special.
Knives and Stuff
As you probably know, I’m quite a foodie. So food and kitchen equipment are among the first things I notice. What I found really typical in my new house is that there are in fact eight different specialized knives for cutting meat, but only one for fruits and veggies. And that one is actually more of a general knife for all kinds of things. I think that provides some insight in the common eating style around here, with lots of fish and meat being the basis and veggies as additional option. I can totally understand why that is, with a tough climate for growing things. But I still have to get used to it a bit more. (And I will stick to lots of frozen fruits and veggies for now)
Love of Snow
For me as a foreigner, the first big pack of snow was something very special and beautiful. But I soon found that all Norwegians appreciate it just as much. Even when they probably have seen hundreds of snowy days like that, my housemates still told me how much they like the snow and enjoy going for a walk in it. Children are building fortresses of snow almost everywhere and lots of Norwegians can be seen taking an extra walk as well. Amazing how they keep appreciating the beauty of it!
Snow or Not, Life Goes On
Living in the Netherlands, as soon as there was even a flurry of snow, half of the country just stopped running. Trains got stranded, people wouldn’t want to go out by car and everyone seemed to get into a state of semi-panic/excitement. Up here people enjoy the snow, but don’t let it stop their daily lives. With this many snowy days, they will not have a lot of options but to carry on despite the weather. But I still think it is impressive. Buses and trains just keep running, cars keep driving and people go about on their daily business. The streets are shoved clean every now and then, forming huge piles of snow next to the roads and for the rest you just have to adapt your shoes and tires to the snow, no big deal.
Well, I think being greeted at the introductory meeting for international students with “welcome to the most expensive country in the world” pretty much says it all. Prices around here are unbelievable. Knäckebröd and some other local specialties are ok, but for the rest… I’m not complaining, though. I mean, of course, living here will use up a lot of my savings, but it will also teach me to really live sober and think twice before buying anything.
A Lovely City
Overall, I really like it here. Despite some strange things, I think Norwegians are very nice people and the city is lovely. I can’t wait to get to know more Norwegians and to explore more of the area. I will keep you updated!