“Couldn’t they tell from the beard?” Pohjantähti said to Swedish daily Aftonbladet.
Pohjantähti, who is a baker, had travelled from southern Sweden where he lives with his wife and two children, to a small town south of Bergen, where he was going to work.
But in order to do that he needed a Norwegian personal ID number.
He read up on what to do on the internet and duly presented himself at the offices of the Norwegian social welfare agency Nav.
With him, he had his Swedish ID card and papers from the Swedish Tax Authority, verifying his identity.
However, the first question the female official asked him was whether he was a woman. Pohjantähti was perplexed.
“I looked like a bear when I got there, surely the beard must have given it away,” he told the paper.
But even his ID card, his driver’s licence and his tax papers weren’t enough to convince the woman that he was in fact male.
Neither did the fact that Pohjantähti is married and has fathered two children.
“I tried every way I could think of to prove that I am a man,” said Pohjantähti to the paper.
He can’t see what it was the official thought he could gain from “impersonating” a man.
Pohjantähti had no option but to return to Sweden to fetch his passport, the only proof of sex that the Norwegian officials were prepared to accept.
To top it all off, the hairy Swede found out that he had applied to the wrong agency and should first have approached the Norwegian Tax Authority, reports the paper.