Just before leaving the UK I did a post on 10 things I love about the UK
as well as a post on 10 things I dislike about the UK
and I promised I’d do the same regarding Norway. Though I’m born and raised here, I’ve spent so much time away that even after four months, I feel relatively new to Oslo, but in a good way. It’s nice to rediscover and actually quite enjoy the city I was desperate to leave at the age of 19.
But let’s get to the list!
1. The chocolate! It’s not too sweet an there are so many varieties from the pure milk chocolate to the one with bubbles and the ones with crunchy/biscuit fillings or soft fillings. When I lived in the UK, I made sure to bring a stock of Norwegian chocolate which I hardly shared with my friends because I enjoyed it so much. And as I’ve resettled in Norway, I still can’t get enough. However, I’ll happily share with friends now as I need only walk for 10 minutes to buy more.
2. The nature. As a child, I groaned and moaned when my parents made me go for a Sunday walk in the forest. BORING! But now I really like it. I had a couple of friends from London visiting me earlier this week and on their last day; we went for a walk in the woods near my house. As we sat down on a picnic bench in the sun, listened to the birds sing and the ducks walking close buy, feeling the fresh air and the smell, I was proud of living in a country with such lovely nature. I am by all means a city girl, but a walk in the Norwegian nature, be it forests, mountains or parks, with or without skis on, will always clear my head and lift my spirit.
3. Oslo. I love it especially in the summer when the main street has a market, buskers and other street artists from all over the world doing their thing, the restaurants on board boats down at the port and, well I could go on forever. It also has the multiculturalism I love so much in the form of shops, restaurants, cafes and people from everywhere. There is also a lot to see, so it’s a great place for tourists.
4. The water. It tastes great and it doesn’t have that white stuff in it that London water has, so washing up is easier. The water is so good; I don’t by bottled water unless I want sparkling stuff.
5. Norwegians. My people are not fuzzy, down to earth and honest. You don’t get that oh so annoying British politeness and I find that if I’m ever lost and Norwegians offer help, they do so without all the “I’m ever so sorry if I intrude” or the “are you absolutely sure?” if you decline. If I had any criticism, it has to be that I wish there was more warmth between and towards people like you find in other parts of the world, but Norwegians are generally quite friendly.
6. Everything is very organized. Buying and selling property is very easy here. It took me only 3 weeks from I saw the flat I wanted till it was mine. And it only took that long because we waited to sign the contract on purpose so that it could be done on my birthday. Otherwise the whole thing would have taken less than a week. Also there are not all the middle men involved in buying and selling like there is in Britain.
7. Good quality houses. In the UK, I often got the feeling the houses and flats were not built very well on the inside. I remember my heavy glass shower door falling over me one day I was cleaning without me even moving it. I also think the doors and wood of the walls were bad quality which would need frequent renewing. And carpets! I hate carpets! Rugs that can be moved I like, because they can be cleaned. Here I have a feeling more thought is put in to the building and the quality of what’s inside the houses.
8. Food quality. I’m not really talking about the Norwegian cuisine itself, more that the food usually is nice, clean and of good quality. And I no longer have the 5 extra kilos I seemed to carry in the UK.
9. Beauty. I know this is both biased and boasting, but Norwegians are generally quite pretty and dress well.
10. There is no class divide. Sure we have rich and poor, like anywhere else in the world, but there isn’t quite the working class, upper class thing there is in the UK.
Watch out for my post on the 10 things I dislike which I’ll do my best to put up tomorrow!