Welcome to Norway!
The guy pushed a plate with a foul smelling cheese at me and smiled. As soon as I put it on my mouth and made a face, he handed me a glass of aquavit, which I promptly drank. It took me a few seconds to control my gag reflex, but eventually I swallowed.
The blond guy laughed and said:
We drink this, so we can eat that. We eat that, so we can drink this. Welcome to Norway!
There is nothing I can say about last Friday’s tragedy that would be fit.
I’m convinced Norway will come out stronger from this. I don’t know if it’s the killer winter or the beautiful-yet-harsh land, but as my Dad says: Norwegians seem to have an unfair level of common-sense.
Individually they will be as emotional as they deserve to be, but their society will not fall into the fear & hate trap many others have reacted to, as a response to events like these.
Norwegians are amazing people. Reserved with their personal lives, fair with their society, and incredibly open to all cultures that respect their way of living.
If you where planning to visit Oslo, don’t change your plans. If not, consider it.
And remember, you haven’t truly met a Norwegian until you’ve had a drink of something.
/img via Johnie Hjelm