Things We Have Learned (2012)

Things We Have Learned (2012) . . .

In Norway:

The bigger the rig, the more polite and considerate the driver is. If there’s an exception to this rule, it’s the occasional tour bus. 

It’s the drivers of the smallest, nimblest cars who cut blind corners most sharply.

It’s nearly impossible to find tofu.

When they move the life-sized carved statue of the troll indoors, the shop is about to close.

Speed limits are very cautious: with rare exceptions, a top speed of 50-60 mph on highways and 30 mph whenever you’re within sight of a built-up area. But practically nobody tailgates, and drivers seem content to obey those limits--perhaps because the speed cameras are merciless and speeding fines are extremely high.

Undredal makes a really good goat cheese. It’s brown.

The layout of some Norwegian shopping malls duplicates the effect of the streets in Norwegian towns. The shops are arranged at odd angles; some are a half floor above or below another; side corridors go off at odd angles and dead end; the floor may abruptly change level; and you can’t get anywhere without going back to the main aisle.

Whenever you find one grocery store--even in a shopping mall--you’ll often find another right next door.

Public toilets have seats and toilet paper. Some of the ones in public places cost 5 or 10 kroner to use.

Rather than pay, though, people in this affluent country sometimes loiter outside the toilet door . . . then, when someone inside comes out , they catch the door before it closes and go in.

Showers at most campgrounds cost: 5, 10, or even 20 kroner for up to 10 minutes of hot water. (And when the time runs out, the hot water is off.)

You usually pay for WiFi, too--sometimes at an exorbitant rate. They pronounce it “Why-Fee.”

There is a chain of clothing stores called ACNE