(Above – Norwegian ski team is plastered all over cheese packages and ads )
Norway lesson – list #2:
– They get really cheap/almost free healthcare. But like all social healthcare systems, if you need something done badly, you have to either wait in line, or go pay personally at a private clinic.
– However, they are taxed %25-%40 of their income, ouch.
– Norway has no debt. None. In fact, it has one of the biggest savings for a country.
– Nok (krone) currency is hard to get the hang of. It’s about 6 x the dollar, so on top of things being really expensive in the first place, getting groceries at 200 nok actually are about $33 dollars.
– The eldest kid gets the farm, if they don’t want it it goes to the next kid. Still the current way of doing it. Seems to work.
– Each Norwegian kid gets money from the government until they are 18 years old that gets put away into savings. When they are 18, they can take it out and use it for school, housing, and other important life events.
– General European fact I was reminded of – everyone drives manual, because most of the cars are only manual. If you can’t drive manual, you’re screwed….and lame….
– Brown cheese (popular Norwegian goat cheese that sort of tastes like carmel) is good when sliced very thinly. My initial American way cut off way too much and gave me a nasty taste association. Locals method, thin slices = mmmm so tasty. Lesson learned of take your time, start with a little, and it just may be a better outcome.
(If you have more fun facts to add to what’s above, please feel free to include below.)
Ingrid and I got together with some UAF grads Anna, Harald, Auralia, and Einar, in a big ol country farmhouse for lunch and watched the women’s 30k. It was very nice of them to switch to English for me, but it verified the fact that I feel rude being in a country and not knowing ANY of the language. Luckily it wasn’t too much of a stretch since two of these gals are American and one is German. My new educational goals are to learn Norwegian and Spanish. On the road tutoring anybody?
(Below – We went for a ski near Bjorn Daehlie’s old stomping grounds. The terrain actually reminds me of Northern Michigan!)
I meet up with the US Ski team in Finland on the 25th. Next weekend (March 1 and 2) is a Skate sprint and Skate 10k in Lahti. Then we head to Drammen for the classic city sprint on wednesday the 5th! If you have not seen those, definitely youtube them.