Welcome to part II on why a Latin girl would move to Norway. If part I of this article was about things Norwegian say and which I find charming, part II is about those Norwegian habits I cannot help but be fascinated about.
How much Norwegians travel. Is it the Viking blood running in their veins or the need for Vitamin D that is being missed so much in the winter months? Who knows! But ask any Norwegian which countries they have visited and they will unfold an infinite list of destinations they have been to, and a second one with the ones they are planning to, in the future. Leif Eriksson would be proud!
Their open-mindness – specially, cooking wise. Norwegians have Taco Fridays and are very familiar with the different types of Asian cuisine. They love tapas as much as you love komle, because they love food, any type of food, as smart descendants of Vikings that they are. Try to switch an Italian’s plate of pasta with a Chicken Massala and he will spit on your face and curse your family. Now, switch a Norwegian’s plate of salmon and boiled potatoes with any exotic dish, and he will gladly accept the change. This love for food regardless of its origin can be exemplified by the huge number of international restaurants you can find in a city like Stavanger. Chinese, Thai, African, Turkish – you name it! If we are what we eat, then Norwegians are a funny combination of curry, taco sauce and serrano ham. That sounds awful but I think that it is metaphorically beautiful.
Nature is the love of your life… and the weather never matters. Norwegians love being outdoors even though they have the cosiest homes. If they have some spare time, you can find them climbing in some mountain or taking a walk, or a run… even if it is raining so much they should be canoeing. But their moto is: «There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing». And I agree with that (most of the time). Before I moved to Norway, rainy days were indoors days. Now, there is no storm that high rain boots and a long rainproof coat cannot take. Despite this, I am not yet completely Norwegian, so chances are that if I have made no commitments for the day, rain will win the battle and I would stay home curled in the sofa with some hot cocoa feeling guilty as hell. So, the key to be as Norwegian as possible in this matter is: make a social commitment, put your clothes on, and go!
Coffee is the Norwegian national drink. To make sure you understand how different Norwegian’s relationship with coffee is in relation to other nationalities, I will put an example of my own: Once, I went to my doctor here in Norway, and my doctor recommended me to take it easy and to lower my daily intake of coffee to maximum two cups a day. And he said it with anguish in his voice, as if he had just told me I should restrict the number of breaths I take in a day. Truth is, I do not drink more than half a cup a day, but Norwegians are having coffee all the time. The funny part is, you will never see them overexcited due to the huge amount of caffeine they ingest, they keep it calm and quiet, even after their 6th cup of coffee. Give me six cups of coffee and I probably would not sleep in a year.
Overall, these are few of the things that convinced me to stay in Norway and leave behind my beloved sun and t-shirt temperatures. Living in Norway has taught me that the world is your oyster, and you should enjoy its diversity whether you take an unexpected trip or try a new takeaway place. This country and its people has shown me that your will matters more than the weather conditions, both on a literal and a metaphorical sense, and that you should do more of what you love. And if what you love is coffee, go ahead and make yourself a cup. Or six.