Give or take, this year the dollar has equaled about 6.5 kroner. There have been better years to travel here, based on the exchange rate. A few years back it was 1:9, something that we exchange students view as mythical as the legends of St Olaf. Of course, King Olaf became a saint because his hair and nails continued to grow after his death, of which the only remarkable thing would be why they kept the body hanging around long enough that they noticed. But we all obsessively watch the exchange rate because we're all relatively poor.* Norway is an expensive country, and we need all the advantages we can get if we are going to go play sometimes. So this makes the few bargains very exciting. Finding good food for cheap is crazy goodness because I might be able to forgo a beer, but I still need to eat dinner. Or in this case, lunch.

Lunch frequently means bread for Norwegians, and thus it means bread for me. 4 kroner bread from Rema 1000. I don't mean buns. I mean a loaf of bread. I never spent that much time in the really cheap groceries back home, but I don't remember there being fresh bread available. This is a 750 g loaf of crusty, whole-wheat bread for about 60 cents. Insane. I'm not going to claim that it is the finest bread ever, and it lacks the excitement of multi-grains and other such goodies. I'm just saying that it is quality bread for less than a dollar shown here in kjempenorsk style.

  • Everything in a Norwegian dorm comes from Ikea. Bread knife, cutting board, dishes, and probably the toaster.
  • An ostehøvel, the Norwegian invention for perfect, thinly sliced cheese.
  • Very hot tea, served not in a mug but in a glass. This isn't always done, but if you can't hold it in your hand for five seconds, your beverage is probably too hot to drink anyway.
  • The nøkkelost – "key cheese" with cumin and cloves – is a Dutch variety, but is of course made by Norway's dairy monopoly, Tine.

*This is relative to the Norwegians. Relative to the Eastern European and Spanish students the cost of living isn't quite as extreme. But we are college students and mostly we're kinda poor back home too.

1 comment:

brenda said...


Sounds like you are at the same point I was when I started to consider writing my dissertation and was afraid I didnt have enough research for 2 pages...turned into 380 pages and the equivalent of 3 dissertations...soooo never fear...organizing it...no...STARTING to organize it is the hardest part...then it becomes fun when you start to see what you have. You wont know until you start analyzing. (cannot put in apostrophes for some reason...)

Happy Thanksgiving away from the Turkey shores.

Dr. B