My last trip abroad was to Norway exactly one year ago, and before to that, I had not flown in any capacity at all.
Even though Norway’s borders have been open to certain countries and regions in Europe over the course of the past year, I chose to remain in my home country because the idea of unintentionally making other people ill simply because I wanted to go on an enjoyable vacation somewhere did not sit well with me.
Although I’ve been residing in Norway for the most part of the past six years, due to the nature of my business as a travel writer, I spend a significant amount of time away from home each year.
So far, this has been the most extended period of time that I’ve spent in Norway by a significant margin.
I wrote an article around a year ago on how living in Norway has helped me prepare for this epidemic.
Now, a year later, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back and assess what I’ve learnt, as well as what has shocked me. It also became clear that the Norwegians had more than a few secrets up their sleeves for me.
Do you have any experience with the sluggish television that is popular in Norway? The act of adding a new log to a fire is believed to be quite suspenseful in this location.
So I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that in contrast to the dramatic breakdowns that my friends living in other countries were experiencing (which were well warranted), folks in Norway appeared to have an odd sense of composure.
The vast majority of people would often just mutter something about these bizarre corona times while shaking their heads, and that would be the end of it.
The inability of a Norwegian to travel to their cabin is the one and only thing that may drive a Norwegian truly insane.
Did I just state that Norwegians appeared to be rather unconcerned about the pandemic? That was before anybody warned them they weren’t allowed to go back to their cabins.
My friends who are living overseas have expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that they are unable to go on vacation, that their weddings have been delayed, that they spend a lot of time alone themselves, and that they generally miss being able to go out and have fun in large groups of people.
To put that in perspective, the thing that got Norwegians the most worked up over the course of the past year was when they were informed they couldn’t go to their cabins.
To summarise, while the rest of the world grappled with the effects of isolation, Norwegians… lamented the fact that they could not separate themselves further?
The Norwegians are the masters of making quarantine comfortable.
The Norwegians are masters at creating a warm and inviting atmosphere inside their homes, but they are also quite good at spending time outside.
In point of fact, while people in other parts of the world were trying to think of methods to bring socialising outside, people here had already made it the norm.
Even in the dead of winter, you can see people sitting outside in cafés, Norwegians like participating in all kinds of outdoor activities, Norwegian newborns have their greatest naps outside (even in the cold!), and Norway even offers outdoor kindergartens.
It was particularly fascinating to observe where people choose to vacation in Norway last summer, even though the majority of Norwegians opted to spend their summer break at home in Norway.
Naturally, a large number of people travelled to the Lofoten Islands and the most breathtaking fjords in Norway, both of which are destinations that typically attract a large number of visitors from other countries each year.
However, a large number of Norwegians chose to have their vacations along the coast of Helgeland, which resulted in Helgeland having its most successful year of tourism to date; in fact, they had to call in additional ferries to accommodate all of the new tourists.
It would appear that Helgeland is the place to go if you want to enjoy the finest of what Norway has to offer, according to the locals. My guidebook to Helgeland may be found in their entirety on this page.
Even though I’ve known this for many years, I feel as though the last year has definitively demonstrated that Northern Norway is, in fact, the superior region of Norway.
The majority of Norwegians chose to spend their summer vacations in the north of the country in 2018, and as a result, we have seen a significantly lower incidence of cases in the north compared to the south.
In fact, the incidence of cases in the south has been so low that visitors coming from the south have been required to undergo quarantine upon entering Northern Norway.
In point of fact, “southerner quarantine,” also known as “sringkarantene,” was at one point voted the most popular corona term. As someone that lives in the north, I am really delighted that we have finally confirmed that southern Norwegians are, in fact, inferior.
As an American, I think it’s absolutely insane that grocery stores sell just around four different kinds of cereal but perhaps twenty different kinds of hot dogs. I can vouch for the fact that a lot of hot dogs were sold during my time working at a grocery in Rauland.
You can imagine how shocked and perplexed I was when I read that one of the local bars in Troms threw away a hundred paid for but uneaten hot dogs in one night due to a regulation requiring people to order food with alcohol.
This regulation was in place because people were required to order food along with their alcoholic beverages.
Why are Norwegians so opposed to eating hot dogs? This year has definitely caused me to reconsider all that I had previously believed I knew.
Whereas the majority of my friends in the United States and the United Kingdom have been socially isolating themselves out of a genuine fear of getting sick themselves or their loved ones, and where my parents live in France, people appear to take a certain pride in managing to break rules (my parents included, those stinkers), the majority of people in Norway appear to be socially isolating themselves out of a fear of what their neighbours might think of them if they don’t socially isolate themselves.
In point of fact, I’m not quite certain that any of my Norwegian friends have really voiced any genuine fear over the virus itself; rather, I believe that their primary concern is maintaining compliance with the constantly evolving restrictions that are in place in this country.
It is in no way comparable to the situation in which everyone in the United States flatly refuses to wear a mask just because they have been instructed to do so.
There is even a term for it: “hoarding shame,” which is shortened to “hamstreskam.”
When I think about it, the word “shame,” which means “guilt,” perhaps ought to have been chosen as Norway’s most popular corona word.
The Norwegians have a strong aversion to Sweden gaining an advantage over them.
Because Norwegians are so fond of hating on Sweden, it came as no surprise that we all took pleasure in criticising Sweden’s laid-back response to the epidemic.
Norway has maintained its borders closed to Sweden throughout the majority of the epidemic; nonetheless, the Norwegian population was shaken when Sweden recently closed its borders to Norway in response to an outbreak of the British variety here. Like, Sweden blocking… us?!
Even though Norwegians like making fun of Sweden, they have a soft spot in their hearts for Denmark. In point of fact, it would appear that Norway’s approach for the epidemic has been to do everything that Denmark does, and I suppose that it’s working? Tusind tak, Denmark.