Norway: “Converse trainers are OK“ (CrossCultures 14)
Guest post by Rafael González García de Cosío
If you are planning to fly to Norway, make sure you land at the right airport. The website you are booking your flight on might display ‚Oslo‘, however it could mean Oslo – Torp Sandfjord, about 120 km south of the Norwegian capital. This little airport is as big as a supermarket, and the security guard shuts down the main door as if he was locking up a bakery. You should, of course, make sure you bring enough money: your whole University savings, probably because Norway is extremely expensive. The taxi to the capital costs around 230€, and the taxi driver is not frightened to tell you: “You can jump in and I will take you, but nobody is taking you for free, this is Norway bro“.
Prices are even higher in the capital. You may pay 3€ for a bottle of water, 25€ for a burger and no less than 8€ for a beer. Salaries, however, are of course higher there. So, people can afford to look at store windows where they don’t sell shoes, clothes or TVs… but saunas! Norway is not only a country to relax in (the weather makes it hard, anyway), it is also the perfect place to do sports. It is very popular to see people skiing on the streets (by the way, ski is a Norwegian word): they are equipped with wheels to slope down park roads. When it comes to partying, it is like any country in the world: one is only allowed to get in with the right shoes… unless you have converse trainers. “Why is that guy allowed to get in with white shoes?“ asked a tourist who was rejected. “He has Converse, they are OK“, the bouncer replied.
In Norway it’s pretty easy to talk to people as English is perfectly spoken by the majority of the population. Norwegians are also happy to meet new people, and are open to foreigners. It’s normal in a country with a population of only 5 million. No doubt a place to look for peace and quietness!