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…some more reasons why I love living in Norway – part II

Posted by weehaggis on Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ok, here’s my first list post. Not done one before, but it seems to be a “blog” thing to do 🙂

Things that bug me about living in Norway

  • the cost of beer – ok, this one is obvious, and its not just the cost. The local pub doesn’t have its beer (Hansa) delivered and stored in barrels. Its delivered by what looks like a petrol tanker from where it is pumped into a huge vat in the basement. From there its piped to the bar taps. The hangover it gives is real icky – not the sort that a dose of Alka-Seltzer can cure. Its probably all the formaldehyde they put into it 🙂
  • using public transport – its expensive. Just comparing with my home town Edinburgh. A monthly pass there cost 37 UKP (about 430,-kr), and that covers the area from Edinburgh city center to the extent of the bus network (about the equivalent of a zone 5 pass here). except here a zone 5 pass costs 1315,-kr. Then what makes this worse is knowing that the public transport system is still essentially a state owned monopoly AND is subsidized. Given that one of the reasons that cars and car usage is so heavily taxed here is due to a policy of”make the polluter pay”, you’d think that that there’d be some incentive to travel public. But no, you drive a car and they beat you with a heavy,- stick….use public transport and they beat you again with the same stick. Not a carrot in sight !!
  • ….and still on the subject of public transport….boarding a bus or train during rush hour – it’s like trying to get on the last helicopter out of Saigon.
  • then there’s queues, Norwegians don’t seem to believe in them…unless there’s a machine giving out numbered tickets
  • magazines – no, not actually magazines, but how much they cost. In particular I mean foreign mags (utenlandske blader ). They can cost up to three times the original price. “Empire” has a UK stand price of UKP 3.80 (about 43,-kr), while the Narvesen price is 95,- (and just for comparison, the US stand price is $9.99 – about 55,-kr!!) . Taking out a subscription with your own personally delivered copy will cost you about half the local price…..go figure.
  • taxes, taxes and more taxes. They always seem to be trying to find out more ways to tax your hard earned cash. The funny things is, Norwegians seem to like paying it 🙂

as they say in Norway – norsk ikke sant??

One of these day I’ll do a “things I like about living here” 🙂


5 Responses to “…some more reasons why I love living in Norway – part II”

  1. TM said

    Hm… I guess there could be far worse reasons for not liking a country! 😉

    But do you think the cost of living in Norway could have a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to do with the high wages?! 😉 I remember almost getting busted at the US border once. They thought I was smuggling drugs or something like that – because they could not comprehend how someone who worked as a gasclerk possibly could afford travelling in US for a month…

  2. weehaggis said

    I didn’t say I didn’t like living here. In fact I do like it hear and think Norway is agreat country to live. But, there are quite a lot of things which simply bug me 🙂

    Yes, the cost of living is higher, wages are higher, taxes are higher and things cost more. Without going off on another rant, just a few of the things which really baffle me….Jarlsberg, the cheese produced by Tine here in Norway is sold by Tesco’s in my home town at a lower price than it is here at the local Rimi. Then there’s the price of strawberries. They seem to go up in price when the Norway grown ones go on the market….protectionism….of course not 🙂

  3. moni said

    I live in united states and my kids are norwegian americans, tell me a lot about life in norway, my husband is norwegian from bergen. I need to be relocated in bergen soon.
    Please,let me know about living and the difference from united states to norway.thanks.

  4. weehaggis said

    I can’t speak as an American (being a Scot) but I suggest you checkout Karla’s blog at http://karlastories.blogspot.com She can probably give you a better answer to your question.

    Which is better will very much depend on you outlook on life. If your a dedicated mallrat then dont even think about coming here 🙂 The first thing you’ll notice is the huge increase in the cost of living. The cost of groceries is so much much, while the available choice is so much less. Oh, and make sure the that you have a someome with defibrillator ready for when you find out the cost of buying and running a car.

    But, even after saying all that, it is still a pretty good place to live 🙂

  5. MJ said

    ha – oh how this made me laugh! I know I’m a little late in joining this thread, but thought I should comment nonetheless. Very Very true observations, in particular: a Norwegian’s inability to form a queue and furthermore their incessant need to push/shove/body slam anyone that gets in their way when they are entering/exiting a bus/train/ferry. I am an Irish expat living in Norway and as everyone knows we Irish love to say sorry. We even say sorry to people for bumping into US! And it doesn’t stop at people either – chairs, doors, walls have all been recipients of my aplogies. When I came here I was jaw-broken – shocked (!) to find how rude Norwegians are when it comes to such social etiquettes. I am suprised to have found myself of late becoming more and more like a Norwegian when it comes to barging infront of people in queues or to get on the bus as this seems to be how to get things accomplished here..although – I am petite by nature – so I am at a complete disadvantage when it comes battling my viking counterparts here in Norway.

    Moni – it is true there if you are a capitalist indulgent consumer like myself – TURN AROUND AND DON’T LOOK BACK. Norway has little choice in brands, forcing you to spend almost GBP £ 150 on a weekly grocery shop where I have the CHOICE in the UK to buy the same amount for £50-60. I mean I could spend £150 in the UK on better brands, but the fact is I don’t have to if I don’t want to. ** Here in Norway – you aren’t even paying for the quality you are FORCED to pay for a mediocre product at a rediculously high price. This doesn’t only apply to food brands but clothing brands, variety in shops, restaurants, leisure activties. Convenience doesn’t exist here in NOrway – shops close on Sundays and pretty much everyone finishes work @ 4 – which means after 6pm you are lucky to see a soul in the street. Don’t even think about visiting in July – because everywhere more or less shuts down.

    If you fanatical about the great outdoors**(yes fanatical, because believe me my friend, theres not much else to be doing if you don’t ski/hike/sail) and don’t mind the harsh weather – then Norway is your tea in a cup. Aside from that I don’t know why anyone would want to live here on a permanent basis.

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