Usually when you move into another country, you have those assumptions and stereotypes in your head, which don’t really come out to be exactly true after few months of living there. Here’s what I came to, after six months of residing in Hamar (as a student).
It’s quiet. When the city is never busy – as Hamar is – you actually stop noticing it, but just drive to Oslo for a day – you will be shocked. And from my experience, most of Norwegians cities are like that. There are only few bigger places such as mentioned Oslo, Trondheim or Bergen. But to be completely honest here – even Bergen seemed to be quite cosy and chill, without all the busy city wibe. In Hamar there aren’t many cars, many tourists, the only noise you can get is on Saturday’s night by the popular bars, where young adults get little bit too drunk or just them shouting from their cars while speeding through main streets. Actually my first impression of the lack of noise was that it could be the perfect place to live for older people. And it is. So many places for them to hang out, such as Gjenbrukshuset (which is a huge charity shop) or just little coffee shops where they seem to gather quite regularly.
Everything isn’t that expensive, which is quite revealing, because I used to live in a conviction that to live properly in Norway you either have to work hard here or have tons of money. But with the months passing, I realised that you have charity shops (the Gjenbrukshuset as an example) with extremely inexpensive things, like for instance forks for 1 NOK each, or sweaters for 20 NOK. When it comes to food, there are tons of apps, which provide you with newest bargains in every shop, you have 50% off fridges in Rema1000, a lot of restaurants do also cut the prices for things, that are about to expire. So if you’re living wisely, you can cut a lot of expenses.
It’s really sports-friendly. When I wrote in post What I love about Norway. that a lot of Norwegians go out with their dogs, they run a lot etc. (especially on weekends you can see how much they love to be outside), I still support that opinion. Of course not everyone is like that, but that’s mine general assumption. What exactly I mean by sports-friendly? Well, let me explain. Not only there are tons of sports-related shops, you can also get yourself whole ski-equipment or similar things in charity shops or second-hand shops. Also I noticed that schools and universities organize ski tours, which I don’t remember to be a thing in my country. It’s good that there’re things like that, teaching kids that there’re activities as joyful as playing computer games or scrolling through facebook. When you go out to run – especially in winter / autumn – you don’t get those weird stares from people, because a lot of them do the same. I know for a fact, that in some countries it’s still a problem, to be really active and not judged and the same time. I hope it will change someday.
It gets dark really quickly. And by that, I mean the daylight lasts only for eight hours (which for some people may be a whole day of work), so therefore you really start to appreciate the Sun. When the day is sunny, people go out, enjoy the fresh wintery air and smile. And to be completely honest – the sunsets in Norway are one of the best I have ever seen in my life. So, if you’re living in Norway, take some time out and go watch a sunset. I really recommend it (no matter how trivial it actually sounds).
People are nice, which sounds so cheesy, however that’s the truth here. When I moved here, one of the first things I have noticed, was how positive and kind towards others they are. Sometimes when you go for a walk, you can see people smiling at you randomly, which in my country, to be completely honest, happens rarely. Or they just say hei or halla out of courtesy. I don’t want to get deeply into economy etc., but it may be due, of course, to the current, really good, economy status of Norway. Well, good for them!
Well, I hope you guys enjoyed my little list over here. I probably didn’t write everything I have meant to – because I can’t possibly remember all the things – but I’m quite satisfied with it.
Hope you all are having lovely week so far.