September 05, 2002
A Dutchman went to Norway...

A Dutch colleague of mine has returned from a family vacation in Norway and sent me this email about his experiences (and the changes since he was there last time). He's given me his permission to publish it anonymously:

Subject: Norway forever!

Me and my family have been in Norway for holidays. My wife and I were there 15 years ago and I must say, some things are changed.

At the first day we were in Oslo. The temperature was about 30 degrees, and searching for the shadow in Norway was new for us. When we returned to our car, we found two policeman there. The car was broken open and all our valuables were gone. Of course it was a terrible mess in the car, with glass and things in disorder. The policemen were very helpful. They told us there was a drugsscene in that area.

Unfortunately, it was not the last time we felt robbed in Norway. When you look to the prices...............

The next day we went to the police office for reporting the crime. The agent at the police-headoffice told us that it was holidays, so there was no possibility for reporting!!! I thougt that this shit only happens in the Netherlands !

The next thing that has changed is the shopping. 15 years ago there were only small shops and they were always closed. Today shopping is no problem and there are even shopping malls. Good work...except for the prices. As you know, just as in Norway in the Netherlands grows no oranges. We have to import them just as you in Norway. So, why does an orange in Norway cost 3 times the price in Holland?

What also has changed is the number of tourists we saw. 15 years ago we visited several stave churches. In none of them we saw more than 10 people, and the churches were free. Today every stave church has an huge parking place with at least 5 buses, 2 with Japanese, 2 with Americans and 1 with French or Germans or Spanish or, and that is the most terrible experience, with Dutch people. In spite of this, it costs 40 krones per person to come in (family ticket 100 kr) and as you know this is the realy limit for us dutch people.

Also good experiences ? Yes, we found out that everyone in Norway speaks English really well. In a communications perspective, it is far more easy there than in France. And, except for the tourist places, you can find real isolated and scenic areas. That is still the strength of Norway.

See you.

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