Do I Miss Oslo?

This is one very natural question I get from my friends. I would ask it too. “Do you miss Oslo?” And it would be more polite to answer that yes, of course, I miss some parts, but how can be I honest then? If my sincere reaction is: “Miss what? Snow, icy sidewalks, that long dark period of year called winter? Empty streets, lonely evenings, gray skies and gray faces?” Well, it is different for everyone, but this is the first thought that comes to MY mind. So nope, I don’t miss it, I just can’t :))

In the end, it is all not about finding the perfect place – since it doesn’t exist. But to find the place that is right for you. Your place under the sun. There are people who would love the introverted culture of Norway, who miss this chance to spend long days and weeks alone, without anyone asking them a question. I just don’t happen to be that person. So I am not able to appreciate it either. I am more of the Southern soul, who loves a spontaneous dinner date, a chat with the the neighbor and the cashier man in supermarket. So I found my right place. Even after some weeks here I felt more at home than after years in Norway. There is nothing right or wrong with any of these places. It is just that some are more like you, and some are less.

And then today I bought sushi in the supermarket, a bit shocked by the price (it is the same as in Norway! When other things tend to be cheaper and much cheaper – sushi and salmon have just the Norwegian prices). And while eating I thought: “But sushi service was good in Oslo. There were a lot of takeaway shops with great variety. While here there is so much different food, that sushi gets underrepresented. Maybe, I am unfair about Oslo. Maybe, I really miss some things. At least, sushi…”

So I looked through my memories for ideas and through my photos for images. And as the last color report (about Barcelona) was done in red – I decided to do the same with Oslo. Because, maybe, Oslo has as much passion as Barcelona. Just that it is well hidden, maybe :))

What is great about Oslo (and what I could miss).

Sushi and salmon.

The easy ways of doing things, getting papers done. The more transparent culture of procedures.

The village charm of Oslo.

The smell of cinnamon rolls.

The happy buzz of bakeries on the Sunday morning.

The fresh flowers that I used to buy so often.

The flats with better isolation.

The seasons that are very different and that vibrant happiness that summer brings.

(you can click on any photo to see it full size in the gallery)

What I don’t miss.ย 

The gray days hiding the sun.

The darkness that creeps in so early.

The cold streets through which we rush to get to the warmer place. Without looking at others, without stopping if we see someone we know.

The oh-so-high prices for wine in the restaurants.

The neighbors who seldom say hi.

The ice and snow on the sidewalks making every walk into survival exercise.

If you get ideas about a place you would miss (or not), let me know in the comments.

And may you find your place under the sun! ๐Ÿ™‚

32 thoughts on “Do I Miss Oslo?

  1. I so agree with you: no place is better (they all have their problems), just some places are better suited for some people. Just yesterday I was complaining to hubby how Helsinki is the cloudiest place on earth and he replied in a sarcastic tone, obviously not believing me. He said something like โ€do you think the sky is blue elsewhere then?โ€ And I have to say I would still answer yes, it is. We rarely see blue sky here. Itโ€™s NOT like that everywhere else in the world!!! I know, because Iโ€™ve lived in 5 countries and traveled in so many more. He just doesnโ€™t know any better: to him, this is normal. To me, itโ€™s depressing ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ So I wouldnโ€™t miss Helsinki either – its weather, high prices, and unchatty, unsmiley people.
    When are you doing a Barcelona post? Pics from your neighborhood, walking around? Too busy decorating still? ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 4 people

    • I know! Some things cannot be explained to locals. It is like explaining water to the fish. This is what they have known all their lives. I used to get into discussions like this, but now I would leave everyone to his own opinion. Why tell Norwegians that their country is not perfect if they believe it so? Those who think different, will show a sign))
      I am with you on that line. Like youโ€™re describing Oslo. Those things- who would miss them? ๐Ÿ˜†

      I did a Barcelona post last week, lots of love, but all the old images. I still have to get out and take pictures. Busy with decorating? Not really. Busy with life in general, too much life)) (maybe, I need Norway to focus more on creativity ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜†)

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  2. I felt much more of a connection to people in Norway. I didn’t get to experience Oslo the way I’d like, so I really miss Senja. That is to say I prefer the quieter places, and believe more writers should experience it – even for just a week. And, in part because I studied history and am fascinated by different cultures, I would enjoy the challenges of moving abroad.

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    • Maybe, you have a Nordic soul. I truly believe that our characters are either northern or southern. No matter how long I have lived in Norway, I was still searching for something else (and got a Spanish man as a result ๐Ÿ˜†). Maybe, after some years here I will be searching again, no guarantee in this life)) but so far I feel at home.
      Would you call yourself a Northern soul?

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      • Yes, definitely. It’s weird though that I was born in the South (Miami). I agree there’s no guarantee in life either, but I know my heart yearns to return to Norway. But I’m not one to really push dating or what-not, although I know that’s one of the easiest ways to immigrate there. I just wanna do it on my merits.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe, it doesn’t have to be connected to where one is born. It is just a state of the mind and the heart.
        Uff, Norway is for the tough ones, living and immigration alike :)) But this is possible too, and on your own merits, I know many people who did it (I guess, this is not representative as all of my friends are immigrants, haha).

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s true. I just find it fascinating. The first time I visited I was less impressed, but that’s because I was unable to do things the northern way, though I was humorously thought to be Norwegian by fellow American tourists, I was just too quiet.

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      • And can you do the things the northern way now? And what does it mean for you? Sorry, I am just so curious! (Like all Norwegians who are not used to hear much about their country from others :))

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      • Perhaps there are a few things I can do now. But as an American living a morw minimalistic lifestyle would be a challenge to adapt. Additionally, my living space isn’t my own, which adds to that. I think I would have to know more of their ways, despite being told even on my trip last May that because of all the research I did, I almost could pass as Norwegian.

        I also think of slow living being more the Northern way. I’ve also tried spending more time outside, but in the US it’s so different and confined (space). Does that make sense?

        I think because I’m already very introverted and independent, I probably come off as distant.

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  3. Ahh, I see you did your best to remember things about Oslo to miss. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m surprised that you included these two: “The happy buzz of bakeries on the Sunday morning” and “The fresh flowers that I used to buy so often”. I thought Barcelona must be similar to Rome and in Rome there is always a happy buzz at the sweetshops and bakeries and fresh flowers on sale everywhere. The flat isolation and the bureaucracy are more pressing matters. As for chatty people – I’m an introvert in Italy pretty much not talking to anybody (but amore and bestia) for days, if not weeks. Countryside helps. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Best of all worlds… I wish you just that. Happy Barcelona berry!

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    • Barcelona is like Rome in some aspects, surely closer to it than to Oslo. In Barcelona there is a (happy) buzz nonstop ๐Ÿ˜† I cannot distinguish much of it. It is a bit buzzier at the weekends, but there would always be people in bars and cafes. In Oslo weekend is a reason to celebrate almost. And they donโ€™t eat sweets during the week. And there is nothing to do on Sunday than walk and drink coffee. So it is not that Oslo is buzzier)) but the contrast between a weekday and Sunday is felt so much more.

      And for flowers, strange enough, Oslo had more fresh flowers than here. Here there are lots of pots. But Calatans donโ€™t seem to buy fresh flowers often – neither as a gift nor for their homes. So I bought some cactuses. But am still missing the vase!
      And what do Romans do with all those fresh flowers?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nice idea! Very Italian one :))
        In Russia, Ukraine the men are supposed to buy flowers all the time, so there are lots of them. In Norway they give it to you when you die… and then you buy it to decorate while you’re alive.
        And in Barcelona I don’t know the flower function. Catalonians love talking about money, so I cannot imagine them spending it on such trivial thing. Food and wine usually solve a lot of problems :))

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  4. True, there is no perfect place. And it’s so easy to slip into nostalgia when you’ve left a place for a bit! But ultimately our perception depends on our own attitude. (Although I do like sunny places with cheap wine a lot!! hahaha)

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  5. Lovely post, Marina and I love the vibrant red in your summer photos from Oslo! I am glad that you feel right at home in Barcelona. I have only lived in Nepal, Finland and Poland and so far Poland has been the best for me. But I’d love to live somewhere in southern Europe! It’s the weather and the chattiness and the culture of eating outside enjoying evening breeze.. that kind of thing just doesn’t happen here, except maybe in summers. There are some things that I miss about Nepal and Finland, maybe that’s a good idea for a blog post! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Uuuummm I read your post and it made me think about my previous homes… Spain, Sweden, Ireland… and if I miss these places or not…
    Well, as you said, you miss some things, and you don’t miss others…
    From Spain I miss my family and friends, of course. But I go often and stay with them, so I always have a taste of Spain every now and then! There are a lot of things I miss from home, but so many that I don’t!! (specially politics… these days reading the Spanish press is even more upsetting than ever!!)
    I loved Stockholm… probably because for me it meant staying finally with my boyfriend (now husband) after living apart for some time. I didn’t mind the winters as long as there was snow on the streets (for me it was another kind of light, hehehe) and because I always thought that 6 months later I would have super long days to enjoy the sun, hehehe. I miss the smell of fresh baked cinammon rolls (oh, those kanelbullar are still something I miss terribly, even if I learnt how to make them at home!!), waking on the lakes in winter and the Christmas lights… and in summer, spending time in the archipelago and midsommar! I loved that holiday!
    Ireland… I really though I wouldn’t miss anything from Ireland. Those three years in the emerald island were probably the hardest of my life!!! But then, I went back a few weeks ago and, surprisingly, I found myself missing a few things… weekend brunch, the squirrels, the deer of Phoenix Park… the light!! For a place where it is constantly raining, they have a very dramatic light (ok, this is the photographer talking!!!)
    And finally Switzerland… I felt so “at home” since the very moment I arrived here!! I don’t know if it’s because Ireland was such a bad experience that Switzerland makes me feel pretty good in contrast. I love living in the outskirts of Zurich. It feels like living in the countryside but with all the advantages of having a big (it is quite small, actually) cosmopolitan city at 15 min from home… and then, nature is everywhere. The lakes, the mountains… I wouldn’t move to another country… I know I would really miss so many things from Switzerland!! Except the meat price… that I wouldn’t miss… ahhaha
    Looking forward to seeing more photos from Barcelona!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Ahh, Mercedes, you have so many places – and so many sweet feelings about them! I see your Spanish heart in it – you can find smth to enjoy everywhere, you are a nation of hedonists, no matter the politics ๐Ÿ˜† (though that situation sucks. I can imagine what you mean. So sad that Spain in many ways is still so years back in its political discourse).
      Mmm, I love your Stockholm! Even though not far from Oslo but feels like another exciting world. But we have to discuss now whose kanelbullar were better ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†
      Your Ireland sounds like my Haugesund (west coast of Norway). I felt so lonely there that canโ€™t think of anything to miss. But then I look at it from now, with my happy eyes, and all I see is islands, fjord and light after the long rains. Haha, the photographer look!))
      So good to hear that you feel at home where you are. Maybe, it is a contrast working but who cares. Whatever works)) I also feel that 12 years in Norway have taught me to love light and appreciate every sunny day more ๐Ÿ˜Š
      And I need to get out and start taking pics! So much life here, sometimes I need to get bored to create ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜†

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  7. For someone who yearns to spend more time in Scandinavia, it is surprising how you found Oslo. However, I should not be that surprised. I slipped on icy paths in Norway, and it is not fun walking with great care every step. But it never occurred to me that people don’t speak to each other or greet each other in the street. Folks here mostly say hello or a short comment. More so than years ago. And I probably shouldn’t tell Snow that blue is the colour in the sky I see EVERY SINGLE DAY – because it rarely rains in Australia now. I get a bit tired of all this sunshine every day. There is a different light in the snowy wintertime, and I guess we all crave what we don’t have and tire a little of what we do have. Home means different things to each of us, would you say it is where you felt most comfortable?

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