Strange and Interesting Facts about Norway

May 14th, 2013

Life in Norway has given birth to a large number of absolutely fascinating facts about Norwegian life and culture.

Strange Facts about Norway

One thing that would be hard to get used to is the fact that grocery stores are actually closed all over Norway. In the USA you often have trouble finding certain stores open on Sundays, but food is generally considered a vital part of each day and so the groceries stay open. What makes this even stranger is that in Norway the gas stations are open on Sundays – and they usually sell groceries.

Have you ever heard the word vinmonopolet? My rusty Norwegian translation services skills tell me it means “wine monopoly” and these stores are the only places in Norway you can buy liquor or wine. The literalness of the name cracks me up!

A final grocery-related note: Food prices in Norway are absolutely insanely high, especially to the eye of an American. This explains why so many Norwegians find it more cost-effective to drive to Sweden to ship for groceries. I am not making that up.

Interesting Facts about Norway

Despite continually voting against joining the European Union ... Norway has implemented more EU directives than any member of the EU. Think about that for a moment.

Almost everyone in Norway takes 4 weeks off during the summer. If you travel to Norway at the wrong time, you will find everything closed and people nowhere to be seen. Unless of course you happen to have travelled to the same vacation spot as everyone else in Norway, in which case be warned that although the bars stay open quite late, there is a clear distinction between the outdoor bar and the indoor bar. The outdoor bar will close much earlier, and there is little warning, and they will confiscate your drinks whether you’re done with them or not.

As you can see, living in Norway can be just this side of what an American would consider to be “normal.” Normal is, of course, a varied condition that everyone has a different opinion about. Certainly I have no illusions that a Norwegian would have any difficulty in writing an essay about strange and interesting facts about the USA.

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