As I edge closer to the anniversary of my 3 years in Norway, I have started to reflect a little on how living here has impacted me. Without stating the obvious, like I now know all the words to multiple A-ha songs, here is my short list of the ways in which Norway has influenced my life:
1)When I cruise through the produce section of the supermarket, individually wrapped red,yellow, and green peppers look completely normal to me.
2) I do that “negative agreement” thing that all Norwegians do. Example:
My Question: Would you like some ludefisk?
Your Answer: No, thanks.
My Response: No. (As in no of course not, that was quite silly of me to even ask really, I will go away now)
3) I start finishing up tasks and getting ready to go home at 3.30. That’s the end of a normal work day, right?
4) Tuesday afternoon is mid-week.
5) I go to medical appointments during work hours and only feel slightly guilty.
6) I have consciously committed to spreading the good news of the 2 duvet double bed. This is truly a revelation of epic proportions which, for reasons unbeknownst to me, Norway has suspiciously kept from the rest of the planet. People of the world need to know that the real secret to a long and happy marriage is not true love or genuine compatibility, but not having to share a blanket with your partner every night for 35 years. Halleluiah.
7) I think a cinnamon bun, risegrøt (rice pudding) or a plain white roll are a perfectly acceptable mid- day meal.
8) I never wear high-heels out on the town anymore. If you have lived in Stavanger more than 12 minutes, you will know why. For those of you that haven't, be forewarned that death by cobblestone is a real thing. Kim Kardashian and her stiletto-ed posse wouldn't stand a chance here.
9)When faced with a queuing situation, I immediately try to take a number. Any number. Just give me a number. Someone.
10) And last but not least, I expect cars to stop at all cross walks of which I am within 25 metres of crossing. Preferably, they should also read my mind and stop at ones I am even just CONSIDERING crossing. When they don’t, I get angry and make a rude gesture
Okay, so maybe the last part of that sentence indicates my residual North-Americanism, as I have yet to see a sober Norwegian over the age of 6 have a public temper tantrum. Could this mean that Canadian Beth is still alive and well in there somewhere? I hope so. But in the meantime, you will have to excuse me- I have a few more A-ha songs to learn while I am waiting for my number to be called.