My first impressions of Norway and Oslo

After two weeks here now, it’s time for some impressions and strange things about Norway, that i had not expected.

  1. Hotdogs at IKEA are cheaper than in Germany, but do not come with pickles and roasted onions.
  2. There seem to be more Döner Kebab bars than Hotdog bars. Moreover Döner Kebab all over the city (but not so much like in Berlin).
  3. Securitas! Securitas everywhere! Be it the security guard in the student dorm, security for office buildings, almost every residential house has a Securitas sticker. Even the ticket inspectors on the bus are Securitas people.
  4. NFC public transport tickets. Get a card at a ticket machine, charge it, and then activate your ticket by holding it to an terminal when entering the bus. Neat!
  5. Tickets at the bus driver are more expensive.
  6. Chilled, calm and friendly bus drivers. Never seen one in a hurry or furiously shouting. They are happily waiting for running people that want to catch that very bus.
  7. Very friendly car drivers. They wait very calmly on every zebra-cross, let public buses merge into roundabouts. Never heard a car honking yet.
  8. Overall a lot of roundabouts all over the place, feels a little bit like Britain. Only in the inner city are traffic lights.
  9. Same goes for zebra crossing/crosswalks. No pedestrian lights on the outer skirts, only in the inner city.
  10. Frozen mashed potatoes. We don’t have such in Germany.
  11. Free Bus Shuttles to IKEA with free WiFi.
  12. Free WiFi all over the place. Airplane, Metro, Museum, etc.
  13. Jogger, Cyclist and people in sports/jogging leggings everywhere. I mean i’ve heard they are very sporty, but that’s more than i expected.
  14. Norwegians seem to like Pizza and American Restaurants/Food.
  15. Lots of foreigners in Oslo.
  16. Plenty beggars. At almost every convenience store and every bigger train station. And they are quite active as they approach everyone.
  17. Fast Food restaurants like McDonalds and Burgerking have different prices depending on whether you eat there or take it away.
  18. Norway’s nature is much more beautiful than on pictures.
  19. Moreover the nature begins immediately behind the city boundary. Just one step from your house and you are in a forest.
  20. Stores on a shopping promenade have loudspeakers outside blasting music on the street.
  21. Digital price tags in convenience store.
  22. Separate streets for bicycles and pedestrians only. I’ve seen a bicycle four way intersection.
Bicycle street in Oslo