Yesterday I took part in the Norwegian citizenship ceremony. Even though I had received my citizenship half a year ago, this ceremony felt like a watershed to me. I slowly start to realize that I am not a guest here anymore, that this is my home too. And that I can breathe out, be proud of how far I came and start building something. Leaving the stress behind. Leaving the story of “poor me who has to fight for everything” behind.
Maybe, connected to this event or not, recently I am more aware of how Norwegian I have become in all these years. Today I want to share a simple list of the changes that would have seemed peculiar to me 10 years ago. But now they are my second nature, and it took some effort to step back and notice what is different to me now.
So this is why my life will never be the same again.
- I am used to say hei and du (singular form of you) to strangers, older people, people in authority. I would definitely say hei du to the Norwegian prime-minister. But not sure I would say it to the king 🙂
- After living for years in the same block I don’t know my neighbors.
- I stopped eating the usual bread and feed only on knekkebrød (small dry breads). Once I despised them but now I cannot live without (and sometimes take them on the trips).
- I never mind my belongings on the subway and in cafes. In a café I can leave my purse and go to the till to make my order (another Norwegian habit). When I hear an announcement on the tram “Beware of pickpockets”, I roll my eyes.
- I stopped saying hi to my neighbors on a plane and don’t try to start a chat with them.
- On the public transport I try to find a seat with no people around.
- I take omega3 and a double dose of vitamin D pills throughout the year, except for the summer months (sometimes in summer too).
- Whenever I get a long weekend I start checking for the cheap flights to a sunny place. I don’t go all the time – but I check 🙂
- Whenever I see the sun I leave all my stuff undone and run out to get some sunshine on my face.
- I never let anyone pay for my coffee (if it happens that someone pays for my drink I can’t forget it and am looking for a chance to repay him).
- I live by the timetable of the public transport and when the tram is 5 minutes late I get seriously angry.
- I have a Norwegian flag stocked somewhere in the shelves.
- I believe religiously that potato chips, sweets and soda drinks are strictly the weekend food, and eating them otherwise
is a sinneeds a huge excuse.
- I also religiously believe in workout, and if you don’t workout you must be new to the country.
- I don’t trust men trying to flirt with me on the train or in other public places other that bars. They must be very new to this country too.
There are, however, also some areas with a great potential for improvement.
- Friday taco tradition is not held in my home. Sometimes we eat taco on Mondays.
- I still don’t ski
another great sinand don’t enjoy the winter as it was meant to be enjoyed.
- I don’t follow winter Olympics and other winter sports events. I don’t know how many gold medals Norway has won in the last competition.
- I still talk to my colleagues more than they talk to me.
- I still get annoyed when people stop suddenly in the middle of the street just in front of me, when they don’t hold the door behind them that risks slamming into my face, and generally when they behave like farmers in town.
Do you have an experience of living somewhere that has changed who you are now? It would be great to hear your stories!