1. You always drink water from the tap but cannot stand drinking lukewarm water. Although in your home country you would never waste water by letting it run, here in Norway you can wait as long as it takes to get a cold glass of water. It needs to have the temperature of the glacier it just came out of.
2. When Christmas approaches, you start decorating your house for it to be visible from space. But the most important thing for you as a true Norwegian is to have more lights and outside decorations than your neighbours.
3. You have a blind trust in Norwegian authorities, and know that the tax authorities will always pay you back whatever you paid extra, with interest, so you willingly pay more taxes every year in order to get it back from the tax authorities the year after. You call it ” saving”.
4. You are very disappointed if there are no Norwegian waffles at you work’s cafeteria on any given Friday. When you first moved here you maybe had wild ideas like eating waffles with melted chocolate and whipped cream, or with lemon and sugar like we eat crêpes in France. But now as a true Norwegian you are so integrated that you only like them with either of these two options: rømme (cream) and jam, or brunost (brown cheese).
5. Your idea of a perfect vacation is one you spend in a cabin in untouched nature, meeting as few people as possible, and peeing in an outside toilet with a picture of the King of Norway on the wall.
6. You never buy Fanta anymore, but choose the Norwegian version Solo instead. Same for Kvikk Lunsj which you would always choose over a KitKat. I mean the Norwegian version tastes totally different and SO much better, am I right?
7. You can spend 15 minutes explaining to someone the difference between the sound “kj” like in “kjøkken” and the sound “sj” like in
“sjokolade”. And another 15 minutes complaining that Norwegian youth says “sh” for everything and does not even differentiate the true Norwegian sounds anymore.
8. You never call your doctor anymore unless your are sick more than 3 days in a row. In Norway there is something called egenmelding which means the first three days are taken by the employee, based on trust and with no medical justification.
9. You believe that people who drink a glass of wine on a Tuesday for lunch are alcoholics, but it is completely healthy to drink until you fall on a Friday evening. That is just called having a social life.
10. You honestly believe Taco Friday is an ancient Norwegian tradition dating back centuries.
11. You miss cross country skiing so much in the summer that you’ve started roller-skiing. And of course the most stressful part about climate change is that there will be less snow for cross country skiing.
12. You sleep with people on one-night-stands and ignore them the next day when meeting them in town or on public transportation.
13. You honestly believe that being drunk is a valid excuse for saying and doing anything without having to be held accountable.
14. You have already developed an identity relating to Christmas food. You now know whether you are a ribbe or pinnekjøtt family. Make sure you choose that right, because that tradition will have to be respected forever, and probably also by your children.
15. When you read the word Aass you think of a beer.
16. You love watching Norwegian tv shows, including “Ribbe minutt for minutt” where you can watch a ribbe (pork belly) in an oven for hours while you cook your own Christmas dinner, or that other one called “Hver gang vi møtes” where singers sing each other’s songs. You cry a little at least once per episode.
17. You think the Norwegian Royal family is so warm and fantastic even though they cost tax payers a whole lot of money. But look at those cheek bones, and the nice speeches they write. It is all worth it.
18. You and your partner switched your double duvet for a single down duvet each. Why on earth would anyone want to sleep under the SAME duvet? Even though you are married and have kids.
19. You know at any given time whether the state monopoly shop for alcohol is open, and how much alcohol quota you are allowed to take home to Norway returning from a trip abroad. You aren’t even sure it is cheaper anymore but it does not matter, you buy the maximum of that quota every time you come back to Norway.
20. You always leave your baby outside in the cold in its pram when having coffee with your friends. As a true Norwegian you believe it strengthens children’s immunity to be out in the cold, and of course as you live in Norway you cannot imagine anyone will steal your baby.
Do these signs strike a chord with you? Let readers know in the comments section below any other pointers that foreigners are becoming native Norwegian.
Lorelou Desjardins is French and has lived in Norway for 12 years. She writes the blog A Frog in the Fjord and her new book called A Frog in the Fjord – One Year in Norway was recently recommended by Forbes as one of the most revealing books about Scandinavia. She also writes a column in the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang about all the weird things Norwegians do.