After living 8 months in Vinstra, here are some funny facts about Norway according to me:
Norwegian can have really strange habits for a French person. To start: the fact of consuming snuss (tobacco in small bags). As it is unknown and illegal in France, it is really surprising at first when you meet people with it. You see something strange in their mouth and you don’t know if you should warn them or not. Another unusual thing is the use of numbers to designate weeks. Many times I had to ask what people mean by “week 5”, “week 11” …
As we talk about confusion, I think Norwegian food can play a big part in it. The strange Norwegian specialties such as Lutefisk, Rakfisk, Brunøst and so on are already famous. But some food like Leverpostei are less well-known. The packaging of Leverpostei (See the picture) can make you really scared of what you’re gonna eat if you cannot understand what is written on it.
This confusion can lead to tricky situation. It is the case with “saft” (concentrate juice to mix with water) where I ended up drinking half of a full glass of it thinking it was regular orange juice. For my defense, contrary to here, the packaging of “saft” (sirop) in France is really different than a regular juice bottle.
Apart from that, Norwegians have strange eating hours for me (Yes, having lunch at 11 and dinner at 15 is normal here). And they drink coffee all day until bed time.
Tricky situation can also be caused by the cold. During winter, the doors of the supermarket in Norway never open fully and, of course, I ended up bumping into the doors thousand times as I was not used to it.
I have also been surprised by the (over) use of lights here, few people switch off the light when they leave a room or the house. Norwegians also still use plastic bags in supermarket (forbidden by the law in France so we have to re-use big sustainable bags.). For a country known to be an example in matter of environment, I have been really afraid of the awareness of the population as individuals.
To end up, I would like to say that you can become used to everything. I know that «Vaer så god» is not an appropriate answer when your colleagues tell you « takk for I dag”. Plus, I’m not surprised anymore by people putting ketchup on pizza, drinking hot chocolate with water (and not milk) or smiling to me for no reason anywhere I go.
À bientôt ! Ha det bra!