Norway Do’s & Don’ts

Norway Do’s & Don’t’s, according to laws & local customs and my own humble observations:

~Do say “hello,” “thank you” (“tussen takk”—thousand thanks), & make small talk.

~Don’t fear for your safety.

~Do enjoy the many vegan options provided at so many non-vegan spots (just bought vegan cake right outside the fish market).

~Don’t strain your neck too much admiring the natural beauty of the…mountains—yeah, the mountains.

~Do drive at 18 years of age.

~Don’t smoke marijuana. Even medicinal marijuana not legal here.

~Do live within a constitutional monarchy named the Royal House of Norway led by King Harald V & Queen Sonja (King Harald is Queen Elizabeth’s second cousin).

~Do pay several dollars more for the average meal and treats (e.g.$13 for a vegan cafe mocha and large raisin bread roll—albeit all-organic within a wonderful little cafe).

~Don’t pay more for local granola cereal—the one thing I’ve found which costs less than elsewhere ($3.78 for a sizable bag; $5.99 for granola bought recently in Kentucky).

~Do eat tons of bread. They love it here. Perhaps, they are obsessed with eating it. But it’s fresh, homemade & is vegan at many places.

~Don’t get a minimum wage anywhere in Norway. It doesn’t exist here. But…

~Do get paid above a certain amount as outlined in a “tariff agreement”negotiated by “the capitalists” and the workers.

~Do live in a Social Democracy (😱) with an explicit aim to not allow for the existence of “an underclass.”

~Don’t think you’ll be in the EU ‘cause Norway ain’t a member.

~Do hike up and down incredibly steep mountain trails if you’re 80+ years old. I saw ‘em doing it just yesterday.

~Don’t expect to see all blonde, White folks as I did. Bergen is very diverse with a surprisingly large immigrant population.

~Don’t be surprised to have Chinese & African immigrants speaking Norsk to you as they assume you’re Norwegian. Although Norwegians speak excellent English, speaking Norsk is highly valued here and it’s quite fascinating to see Eritreans and women in hijabs speaking fluent Norsk with the native Norwegians.

~Do breathe in the pure mountain air and drink from the wild icy waterfalls atop the mountains.

~Don’t expect to see a police officer anywhere ever within a week or more here.

~Do live the Norwegian Dream !

~Don’t expect to want to leave.

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