So what is the big deal? A Norwegian moving to the American Mid-West is hardly going to suffer from culture shock when so many things are similar:
- It is freezing! As I write this the thermometer shows -16C/3F. Ha – don’t make me laugh. I’ve slept in tent and been posted as a guard outside at a temperature of -26C /-15F…
- The food is exactly the same… People can’t stop talking about how much the enjoy lutefisk (jelly-like foul-smelling fish), and somebody I hardly know gave me a batch of homemade lefse (pictured right) before Christmas. People my age seem to know as much about krumkake, kransekake and smultringer as my granny does!
- People drink at home before going out on the town to save money.
- When people hear something really funny they smile as loud as they can.
- Nobody would ever, ever – even if absolutely starving – take the last piece of cake on the table.
- People expect all social gatherings and meetings to start precisely on time, if not before.
- People think butter is a spice.
- People feel guilty about not feeling guilty.
- They day hasn’t begun until you’ve had at least two cups of coffee. And coffee is coffee. It’s all about volume, not about quality.
- People don’t fall when walking on ice.
- People live in (huge) houses, not in (35m2) apartments…
You can also read the first post about culture shock.