And there goes Autumn

HeadsAfter a long hiatus I am back in Prague, and it’s feeling good. Norway was a fantastic country to stay in. The countryside was, to use a ropey-old expression, drop-dead gorgeous. The people were very friendly, and I enjoyed myself a lot. Living in a hotel for so long did have its downsides, and I don’t miss that at all, but I succumbed to a reward scheme and have earned myself enough points to stay somewhere lovely.

My previous impressions of Oslo were more or less accurate, but I will update them here. The most important thing is that yes, Norway is indeed an expensive place. Even compared to London. When you look at simple items such as a stick of chewing gum or a can of coke, and find that they are up to five times more expensive, you start to take notice.

A curious fact is that even though the population of Norway is only 4,604,800 (half the population of London), they have two languages (and possibly more, but the distinction escapes me). Like most places I visited I managed to derive some amusement from words with dual meanings, and particularly enjoyed ‘spare bank’, ‘god parkering’, and ‘fartering’.

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Exploring Oslo

So I’ve had a few days experience of Oslo and my thoughts so far are:

  • It’s full of shiny new people and things
  • It’s very clean
  • Oslo has big traffic congestion problems
  • Norway has a lot of laws
  • The hotel has free wi-fi access in all rooms – nice!
  • It is expensive, but no more so than London
  • I’ve not seen a fish anywhere (although I think they are just hiding out of sight)
  • People get called Odd and Even
  • Most people have an almost perfect understanding of English, and can speak it with very little accent. I’ve been told that English is compulsory at schools from the age of 8 onwards. I suspect that the similarity in structure of English and Norwegian and Swedish may also be a contributing factor. Whatever the reason, I am in awe.
  • I met an old Odd guy who says his father tried to assassinate Trotsky when he was living here in Norway
  • I can once again buy goodies such as muffins and NME magazine. It really is a rock-star life-style I lead.

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