2014/09/18

I am now a published author

... with royalties to my name. Seven Euros and 49 cents. I am on my way to independent wealth, wooo hooo!

2011/07/29

A break

It's been a while since the last proper posting. This is partially to do with the fact that I'm a lazy slob and partially to do with last week's bombing/shooting attack, which hasn't exactly tickled my funny bone. By all means, do send in your questions, but don't expect any answers for some time. This goes double for long, elaborate answers to extremely general questions about life, the universe and everything which will take approximately for ever to deal with... keep it short and concise, people. I'll keep ya'll updated periodically.

2011/07/05

I've published a book!

This blog "Ask a Norwegian" is now available as an e-book at Amazon Kindle. (You can download a Kindle for PC for free at Amazon. Also, for Iphone, Ipads, Blackberry, Android.)

For Americans it costs $10, for others $13.80: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0059XPVIO

For UK citizens the price is converted from $ (I'm not from the UK so I can't actually SEE their price): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0059XPVIO

For assorted Eurotrash it costs less than 8 Euro, you can buy it from German Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0059XPVIO

Below is the product description, written by yours truly. If you're still not convinced, browse around and read some stuff for free... then go over to Amazon and make me rich!

Yours greedily,

Ghost

Update: I couldn't be bothered with all the crap I was getting regularly from Amazon, so fuck'em. When I get my Nobel in Literature, who'll be sorry then? Eh? Eh?

Product Description

Originally a blog, now in book form comes the legendary* tales of the cold lands of the north! All the questions about Norway and Norwegians you never knew you wanted answered!** This book will not only enlighten you about Norway, but also insult quite a few other nationalities, species and sexes in addition.

Why are Norwegians so restrained, and are they really rude? What should you eat in Norway or see in Oslo? What is the most common pet? And are Swedes actually human? The answer to these and many more questions are found in this book.

Excerpts:

"There's ample opportunity for bathing, though I've never tested the waters myself for fear of getting harpooned."

"The Danes are generally drunk out of their minds, the Swedes are incapable of feeling emotions and most Norwegians just don't care about you, because we know we're better than you are."

"...today's Bergensians: The bastard offspring of horny, drunken Krauts and Norwegian prostitutes."

"The most common animals are cats, dogs and Swedes ... for disciplining domesticated Swedes, I recommend a rolled up newspaper or a Colt .45, depending on the transgression."

"Because, no matter how hard we've partied, no matter how much we puked (and on whom), no matter how big of an ass we made of ourselves we can always take comfort in this: At least we're not Germans."

"Cabins should have no water or electricity, in fact as few modern conveniences as possible. This is to ensure that the first several hours of any visit will, by necessity, be spent chopping wood and/or pumping water manually into buckets or containers, or carried up steep slopes from the nearest lake or river - which may be a mile's walk or more."

"Ours is an unappetizing hodgepodge of something that looks like it has already been vomited and redigested at least twice, and from the looks of it, the chief ingredients are corn (maize), sour cream and rat."

"Norway is a Lutheran country and until a relatively short time ago, most Norwegians never had sex, we reproduced through cell division or Immaculate Conception."

"Norway, like Sweden has a long tradition for bestiality..."

"...men are from Earth and women from Venus, or some other planet where the weather is permanently foggy and so communication is always fraught with dangers."


* Almost unknown.
** Well, some of them.***
*** Only a few, really.

2011/06/06

Happeeeee barfday Shweeeeden!

Since I'm usually very mean to them, it is a great joy to be able to congratulate Sweden on this, its National Day. The day is known as "Svenska Flaggans Dag" (Swedish Flag Day) and to the extent that it was marked at all, it was known as this until 2005. The Swedish authorities, such as they are, made the day an official holiday that year.

The Swedes have been trying to steal copy from Norway's May 17th celebration, but they still have a long way to go before they have made the date June 6 into a completely irrational celebration of the fact that a given amount of people were born within the same geographical confines at a given point in time. Huzzah for the concept of the nation!

This is also an ideal time to post a picture of one of the very few Swedes that have risen to the level of "human," the princess Madeleine. Whoooo whooooooo:


Princess-Madeleine

2011/05/09

Inquiry

I got an email from a woman in California yesterday, with an inquiry as to the name of a Norwegian movie she'd seen a review of. She could not recall where she'd seen the review nor the movie's name. So I'll just put it out there and see if any of my faithful readers (that's both of you) can identify it for her:

"I read the review within the last several months so I'm guessing that the movie was released in 2010.  The story was about a youngish married couple.  The husband was out of work for a long time and just sitting around doing nothing until his wife kicked him out and told him to go find himself, or something like that.  So I think he and a buddy take off in their car for someplace in Norway and the movie is basically all about their trip.  It sounded great to me, and I have never seen a Norwegian film so that made it even more interesting.  In the review the name of the movie was given in English and it must have had either "Road" or "Trip" in it because the one time I searched for it after reading the review "Road Trip" kept popping up."

2011/04/25

How to get a Norwegian girl

Marit from Norway asks: An American friend and I were discussing dating here the other day and he told me "you have to teach me how to get a Norge girl" (after that question we had a short discussion about Norge vs. norsk). My experience in how to get a Norge girl is quite limited as I am a girl myself and not really that into other girls. Maybe you can help him?

Answer: Uhm. Well, I could of course suggest that he go with the time-honored tradition of hitting her over the head with a wooden club. Seemed to work fine for the cavemen, if a thousand cartoons are to be believed. If violence against bitches women isn't your American friend's idea of a good time (sissy!) he could woo her with flowers, chocolate or just plain money. I hear nothin' gets a bitchy bitch liberated woman going like the offer of money for sex - I mean, with money you can decide for yourself what to buy, right, and what's more liberated than that? So yeah, money for the modern, independent, thinking bitch woman!

It should be said that although the vast majority of Norwegian women are very bitchy liberated, there are still a few women such as God intended them to be traditionalists around. If the bitch woman you're interested in is one of these, you might want to consider smacking her around a more direct approach, such as having her cook and sew for you on the first date. That way, you'll see if she's of any practical use to you, and she'll get a chance to show you her skills. Win-win!

There are of course some practical things to consider. The first is where to meet bitches women. The most common place these days is in some sort of private hell of noise disco, where one can realistically expect fornication some degree of mutual interest in the opposite sex from the get-go. Contrary to what science has believed, even leetle womenses are sluts have sexual feelings and urges, and the disco is generally where they go to find a fornicator partner.

Once you've located a place where bitches women congregate and have established that some of them are indeed sluts in mating season, the next step is to imitate a good listener while you're planning how to get in her pants initiate a conversation with one of them. This is a difficult thing even at the best of times, as men are from Earth and women from Hell Venus, or some other planet where the weather is permanently foggy and so communication is always fraught with dangers. As a man you need to have a high tolerance for incessant nagging about completely uninteresting things that are not in any way related to beer, sports, cars or naked chicks her talk about emotions, flowers, children and other assorted feminine stuff bullshit. You must realize that these things are meaningful to her and fake it accordingly listen carefully until such time as she is ready to fornicate mate with you.

Should all these things proceed according to plan, you may after a time find yourself in a situation where you are contemplating suicide marriage. Now marriage is a plot deviced by Satan himself to suck your soul out and send it to the deepest pits of Hell, where it will burn in all eternity fine thing, but foreigners should be aware that the bitchy bitches liberated women of Norway may not want to marry in church because they would ignite upon entering one (or at all), unlike most American bitches women, for whom a huge wedding costing approximately the gross domestic product of a medium-size African country is the dream of a lifetime. This does not mean that the Norwegian bitch woman loves you any less, it just means that she wants all your money her freedom intact.

If you're ready to give up your sex life make this commitment and marry or just live in sin together, you will soon be presented with the question of whether you want to kill yourself to have children. This is certain to kill the last, little desire to live be a life-changing decision, and should not be undertaken at all lightly. You must be ready to make escape plans sacrifices! Remember, if you're not ready to have your wallet ripped out through your heart for all of this, you really should not be fornicating dating at all!

2011/04/14

How Swedes cook

Awesomeness... insane awesomeness! Watch a Swede make meatballs for dinner!

2011/04/13

Pets

Ros from California asks: What is the common amount of pets per family in Norway... Also, what type of animals is typical?

Answer: It has been estimated that around 800,000 households in Norway have pets of some kind. The most common animals are cats, dogs and Swedes. The number of animals per family varies widely. Most households that have any kind of pet have more than one, and it is quite common to keep e.g. cats and dogs together.

Keeping Swedes pets has long traditions in Norway, probably starting with dogs around 7,000 years ago. As Norway became richer and people got more leisure time, more exotic animals found their way into our homes, so that today even animals like pigs, goats and horses and disgusting ones such as spiders and snakes are kept the recommended way to keep spiders is to stomp them into the ground on sight. There is a general ban on the keeping of amphibians and reptiles, but you can get permission to import them if you can prove allergies to other animals.

Cats are probably the most common pets in Norway, with about 600,000 animals. As some of you know I absolutely adore cats (not in an... ahem... unhealthy way, though), and I can't think of anything more entertaining than to watch kittens play (insert pause for unintelligible babytalk here). They are playful, independent, beautiful animals and I ... (insert another pause for unintelligible talk).

However, the tendency of cats to "breed often and early" has led to a problem of overpopulation. Cats not intended for breeding should be sterilized on penalty of sterilizing their dimwitted owners. Another problem is people who acquire cats and then leave them during a summer holiday or simply because their retarded offspring has tired of the animal. Such people need killin'.


There are about 560,000 dogs in Norway, ranging from the gayest tiniest poodles to the biggest Irish wolfhounds. There are seven types of dogs deemed endemic to the country and our national dog is the "Elghund"- Grey Norwegian Elkhound. There is conflicting information about this breed, as some easily fooled eejits say it is thousands of years old, while others maintain it was created sometime in the 19th century out of several older breeds. The Elkhound (which should really be translated as MOOSEhound, since elg = moose) is an intelligent and sturdy breed certainly much smarter than the average Swede

Come to think of it, people probably also keep a shitload of other animals, like rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats and mice. I include very small dogs like chihuahuas in this group of animals, which I like to refer to as "ridiculous." For fuck's sake, anything smaller than a cat doesn't deserve to live, at least not off of humans. Might as well buy a garden gnome. Also, people who keep goldfish should be declared legally braindead.

Swedes are kept as pets, but also as domesticated animals. They eat grass and vermin, their defecation outside will prove useful as fertilizer and they can be trained to do simple chores around the house. They also respond surprisingly well to being scratched behind their ears. For disciplining domesticated Swedes, I recommend a rolled up newspaper or a Colt .45, depending on the transgression.

2011/04/07

And don't mention the war!

Kiera from the US asks: I am doing research on Norway during WWII and I was just wondering what is your take on the happenings during that time period?

Answer: First of all, answering your question completely could easily fill a book or ten, and indeed there is no topic more popular as a subject for books to this very day, than the Second World War. Norwegians just can't seem to get enough of them and the titles just keep on coming, both factual and fictional. Writing about the military and political facts and everyday life during the war is a sure way to sell books here.

The truth, to the extent that we've arrived upon one after all these years, is quite complex. Many of the main questions and quite a few of the particulars are still the subject of fierce academic debate in Norway. The many, many alternative views range from old and new Nazis trying to whitewash defend the Norwegian participation in SS-groups on the Eastern Front to a new breed of commies radical historians who question the degree of armed resistance in Norway during the war. I can't possibly do justice to all of the debates in one blogpost, so this will have to be a general summary.

The common mythos surrounding the Norwegian struggle against the Krauts Germans, the roughly five years of occupation and the heady days of liberation and subsequent meting out of justice to collaborators and Krauts Germans alike is pretty straightforward: We fought like heroes against overwhelming force, we continued to fight in the hills and forests for five long years and the few local quislings were swiftly and justly disposed of in '45. The vast majority of Norwegians were involved in active or passive resistance against the occupants.

When the Krauts Germans invaded Norway (and Denmark) in the wee hours of Tuesday, April 9, 1940, we were almost totally unprepared. We'd beefed up our ridiculously puny armed forces a little bit, but not nearly enough to withstand the attack and our politicians were probably desperately praying for continued neutrality. The Brits had plans to invade parts of Norway and Sweden to help the Finns in their war against the commie bastards Soviets, but this fell through when the Finns sued for peace in March.

However, Hitler had his own plans to ensure the continued flow of Dirty Rotten Swedish iron ore to the Kraut German war industry, and the plans were laid for in invasion. How much of an impact the Norwegian Nazi leader Vidkun Quisling had on these plans is still a subject for debate, he met Hitler in Berlin and is supposed to have argued for the invasion.

At Nuremberg the Krauts Germans argued that the occupation of Norway had been necessary to prevent the British from getting there first, but the British mining of Norwegian harbors started after the Kraut German ships had left their ports and were advancing up the coast of Norway and the War Tribunal concluded that there had been no imminent threat of a British invasion.

There were undoubtedly some heroic acts in the few months between the invasion on April 9 and the formal surrender of the Norwegian military on June 10. One example is the sinking of the battleship Blücher in the early morning of the day of attack. The Blucher carried about 1,000 troops which were intended as a first strike force to occupy Oslo and capture the Royal family and the government. The ship was sunk by Norwegian coastal defenses in the Oslo Fjord (chiefly Oscarsborg Fortress) and ironically the first two shots were fired by German-made cannons and the colonel who ordered them fired was trained in Germany...

The ship went down with over 800 troops and crew and is still leaking oil from the bottom of the fjord. The sinking meant that there was enough time to evacuate the Royals, the Cabinet and the gold stored in the Central Bank. The gold was later transported to England to finance much of the Norwegian war effort there.

However there has been much debate about a lot of the things that went on these first few months. To what degree did the Norwegian Parliament surrender to the Krauts Germans? How did the Norwegian armed forces conduct themselves? What about the Norwegian politicians? Heroes or incompetents?

There has also been a lot of debate about the official Norwegian resistance during the five years of occupation. In the early period there were some government sanctioned Norwegian raids along the coast, from our bases in Scotland. These were largely halted as a response to Kraut German retaliatory attacks on civilians in Norway and the sabotage actions continued very carefully after this.

Some commie radical historians have focused on the role of the independent communist resistance, who were almost written out of "official" Norwegian war history for many years. The most active resistance group in the country from 1941 till 1944 was the Osvald Group, but since its members took their orders from the commie bastards Moscow and not from the Norwegian government in London, they were never awarded any medals after the war. Indeed, maybe the most bitter debate among present day historians is about the role of the Norwegian Resistance Museum and historians connected to it, in preserving the "official" story and suppressing the commie alternative version.

One part of the history of the war that was definitely not glorious was the treatment of the so-called "tyskertøser" after the war. These were women who had done anything from marrying Kraut German soldiers to simply dancing with them and their fate after the war could be a cruel one. Some were put in internment camps for months, some lost their citizenship and others felt the ostracism of their fellow Norwegians. Often it was down to social status whether you were punished and how harshly. It's impossible now to say for sure how many were engaged in fornication fraternization with the enemy, but the highest estimates have been between 50,000 and 100,000. Consider that Norway had about 1,5 million women and then exclude everybody under 18 and over, say 50, and you're left with quite a high percentage of the population, assuming these numbers are correct.

There were probably upwards of 10,000 children born to Norwegian women who had Kraut German fathers and the vast majority of these "Lebensborn" kids had a very rough upbringing. The most famous of these is the Norwegian-Swedish singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad, of ABBA fame. Her mother left Norway after the war to escape persecution. It is only these last few decades that the stories of the Lebensborn children have come to light, and an official apology was issued in 1998. Some of the Norwegian children have created their own association, with their own home page.

Again, the war is such a vast and disputed theme it's impossible to do it justice in one blogpost, but if anyone has a question pertaining to any particular parts of it, I'll do my best to misinform answer.

2011/04/06

Tax Day

Ros asks:  What is Norway's Tax Day Deadline?

Answer: The normal deadline for most taxpayers is April 30. The bloodsucking cunts government now knows so much about any individual and his/her earnings that probably most people don't even need to adjust the suggestions coming from the tax office in late March/early April. If you have any kind of business however, you need to do some separate filings and probably won't get any of your own cash back (or for that matter have to repay any) until mid October or even November.

Norway's level of theft taxation is among the highest in the OECD, and has been between 40-45% of GDP since the late 70s. However the heavily taxed oil sector accounts for a substantial part of the Norwegian economy, and quite a lot of the remaining is actually money taken in by one arm of the government and then handed out again by another arm, so actual tax rate can be substantially lower. Then again there are lots of special taxes and sales taxes that drag the numbers back up.

Normal theft tax rate is 28% and is the same for individuals and businesses. Then there are additional tax brackets of 9% and 12% for "higher earners," although quite a few people are hit by that first bracket.  To summarize, there is wide agreement that compared to other OECD countries, Norway has below average business taxes, quite low property and wealth taxes and high taxes on income and consume (25% sales tax, thank you very fucking much).

Personally, I got my tax letter from the government yesterday and so far it looks like I have money due back, but because I had a (very meagre) income due to writing and giving paid speeches last year, I need to file separately for this income, and this will again delay the payout from June til October/November. Fuck & fuck and FUCK.

2011/04/05

Women of Negotiable Affection

Rafael asks: If prostitution is illegal (and heavily prosecuted), how do Norwegian guys deal with their sexual needs (at least the ones usually fulfilled by the sex industry)? Are Norwegian women more promiscuous to compensate for the lack of availability of paid sex? You mentioned Thailand as being a popular holiday destination, that might partially answer my question. Any other thoughts?

Answer: Negotiating affection (aka fornication for money) has been illegal in Norway since January 1, 2009. It isn't illegal to SELL sexual services, only to buy'em, because heaven forbid we make women responsible for what they do. Other countries that have recently banned prostitution are Sweden and Iceland. The reason is probably that these countries have all been through a phase of enlightened sexual revolution, only to see it smoulder into a long dark night of militant, brainless feminism. It is ironic that we are becoming more prudish while e.g. the Americans are becoming more liberal.

The immediate consequences have been to drive most of the street prostitution under ground, or rather inside and to increase petty theft. Only Norwegian stoners, Nigerians and East Europeans now walk the streets of Oslo. A very few have left the business and some of the stoners have turned to a life of crime, finding much of their street market have dried up. Most are now indoors in various types of massage parlors and brothels, both of which are big no-no's legally speaking and where anyone caught pimping may go to jail (pimping has always been illegal).

For Norwegian fornicating pigs men there are still lots of opportunitites as the women continue to advertise in various naughty magazines or online. They do run the risk of getting butt-reamed a hefty fine, but regular paid-up sex does not carry any jail time. As for Norwegian women I don't think the criminalization of prostitution has done much either way for their promiscuity they're still wantonly dressed fornicators. Norway is still one of the more "liberal" countries in the world on these issues, despite our lingering Lutheranism.

There's no doubt that a substantial part of the early travelers to Thailand went there to buy hanky panky. Indeed, every year there are stories about Norwegians getting arrested for fiddling around with minors and they should have their balls cut off with a dull pen knife in various parts of Asia, and even Africa. But the market for traveling to Thailand has exploded these past 10-15 years and it is my educated guess that most who go there these days are families or young backpackers.

There is something of a market in Norway for what is known as "hentebruder" - literally "fetched brides" but in meaning like the English "mail-order bride." There are lots of Norwegian neanderthals men who cope poorly with having a bitch an opinionated Norwegian woman for a wife and so are looking elsewhere to get their rocks off socks darned and their hot dinners on the table every day. Some of these women are Thai, but the volume of people going there is so large now that there are undoubtedly lots of genuine relationships too. I personally know people who are married to Asians and these are marriages of love, not of purchased affection.

2011/04/04

Natural disasters

Mandy asks: Does Norway have natural disasters? What is its biggest threat?

Answer: Yes, Norway has natural disasters, but generally, nothing like the shit that tends to hit other countries. We get storms up to hurricane strength out by the coast, and sometimes floods and landslides hit the inland areas, but loss of life is relatively rare. Our earthquakes are puny affairs and there are no tornadoes.

Every year there are a handful of deaths related to avalanches or people getting lost in snowstorms. These are mostly stoopid furr’ners or else local eejits who just have to go outside in bad weather with thin clothing and/or poor equipment and then get themselves killed. I consider most of these fatalities to be God’s little dose of chlorine in the gene pool.

Historically, Norway was hit pretty bad by the Black Plague. Between half and two thirds of the population were killed off in little over a year in 1349-50. Possibly this was the worst mortality rate in all of Europe. Several incidents of various plagues hit us around every 10 years thereafter, until the mid 1600s. The Spanish Flu may have killed up to 15,000 people between 1917-1920.

Also we have had some landslides and floods. In 1934 there was a huge landslide in a small village out west, which killed 40 people. Part of a mountainside 2,400 feet up fell into a lake which then led to floodwaves of up to 50 feet hitting the opposite shore. It's been estimated that 3,000,000 cubic meters of rock hit the water. Just two years later an even worse disaster hit the coast a little to the south. This landslide killed 74 people in a floodwave of over 200 feet. No report on how the surfing conditions were, but I imagine they were rough.

The worst flooding in recorded history happened in 1789, and hit several areas. The worst part of it hit Gudbrandsdalen, not very far from where I live. There was a period of heavy rain and this combined with the melt water coming down from the mountains to create a wave 20-25 feet in height which swept pretty much everything away with it. 72 people were killed and over 1,500 farms damaged. In total, somewhere around 2,000 people have died from avalanches and landslides over the past 150 years.

Our biggest threat was, is and will always remain Sweden, which is a natural disaster all of its own.

Ve are gudd English speekers!

De Inglish edjucation cåmpany EF (Edjucation Først) hass jøst pøblished a paiper on hov gudd people are in Inglish arond de wørld. Dis mapp shovs de resølts. It tørns aut øss Nårvegians is de verry, verry best in de wørld, so hurra for øss! Ju kan reed the cåmplit resølts heer!

EF EPI

2011/04/03

What to do in Oslo

Kiera from the US asks: What is a top ten list of things to do/to see in Oslo? Especially in the summer?

Answer: I could answer that the top ten list of things to do and see in Oslo all involve MOI, but if I went into any degree of detail on those answers I would likely be arrested. So a top ten list of other things to do in Oslo it is, alphabetically arranged so as not to draw the ire of some fanatic, slighted museum employee (I've been a guide at a local museum myself. Trust me, you don't know how crazy some of them can get):

* Aker Brygge (Aker Quay). This area used to be one of gainful employment, with several industrial sites and the sound and sight of busy workers. Then the government decided that industry wasn't cool anymore and now the whole quay is filled with glass structures with overpriced apartments, overpriced shopping centers and overpriced eateries. Overpaid people like to sit there in the summer evenings eating overpriced food and drinking overpriced beer. At least you can do some people gazing for free. Also, to add insult to injury they opened the Nobel Peace Center in a building next door, probably to gather all the useless, overpriced entities in town in one place, for future bombing demolition purposes.

* Akershus Festning (Akershus Fortress) is a large citadel down by the harbour. Construction started in the 1290s, shortly before Oslo became the capital of Norway. It has been used for many things, including a prison. During the War the Krauts Germans used it as an execution place and after the war we used it as an execution place to get even. The area is still formally militarized, but in practice it's mostly open to the general public. Among the institutions it houses are the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, the Norwegian equvalent of the Joint Chiefs, the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and the Norwegian Museum of the Resistance. The outer walls and surrounding park is a very popular place with local fornicators.

* Bygdøy. A wealthy area in the extreme west of Oslo, Bygdøy houses several museums, some even mildly interesting:
- The Kon-Tiki Museum, which houses the various artifacts associated with prime clown and all round eejit Thor Heyerdahl.
- The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, where you can watch examples of Norwegian buildings through the years, exemplified by some of the very, very few structures that haven't burned or fallen down of their own volition.
- The Viking Ship Museum, where you can watch the vessels which were used to bury the rich and famous of the Viking era, and maybe speculate on what kind of barbarians would kill and bury healthy servants to accompany their masters, then plunder and pillage defenseless monasteries and generally rape large parts of Northern Europe for a couple of centuries. Vikings, woo hoo.
- The Norwegian Maritime Museum, which celebrates the fact that Norwegians have always been a seafaring people. Why anyone is surprised that any Norwegian with the means and the wits to get the fuck out of Norway at the first opportunity did so, is beyond me.

There are some more museum stuff out there plus the Royal Estate, which has been the playground of various kings & queens since 1305 and the Oscarshall, which also used to be a royal playground but is now a museum. There are some nice parks, woods and beaches, not least the nude beach at Huk, which is so popular among the local fornicators and child molesters that it has to be patrolled regularly by the police (hopefully they're dressed).

* Frognerparken is a large, public park on the western side of Oslo. It contains the Vigeland sculpture park, with the famous (or what passes for famous in these parts) "Sinnataggen" (Angry Boy), the Monolith and the Vigeland Museum. There's a public bath and several eateries in and around the park. It's a very popular place for getting hammered in the summer, even though drinking in public is banned in Norway. Lots of people come to fornicate barbecue and generally have a good time in the summer, and thousands congregate to shoot their eyes out watch the fireworks on New Year's Eve.

* Holmenkollen is the Old Money area in the hills to the northwest of town. Its most famous sight is the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, which is one of the most visited places in Norway. You can also bore yourself to tears with a visit to the Ski Museum. Holmenkollen is one of the entrance points to the leisure area Marka, with numerous tracks for walking or bicycling (summer) or skiing (winter). It is boring year round. If you're too cheap to buy a postcard, Holmenkollen provides great views of the city.

* Karl Johans Gate (Karl Johan's Street) is the city's main thoroughfare, parading ground and waste dump for beggars, buskers and drug addicts. It runs from the Royal Palace down into the shopping district along Spikersuppa (more about that later), up past Parliament to Egertorget, then down a loooong slope (past numerous shops, offices and sights) until it ends in the Jernbanetorget which incidentally is also where all the drug addicts in Oslo gather for their numerous, wholesome activities and why we haven't taken them all out with some death squadrons is beyond me. The street contains some very nice, very overpriced shops and is ideal for people gazing.

The street was named after Karl Johan, who became joint king of Sweden and Norway in 1818 after staging an invasion of Norway in 1814. He was kind enough to leave our Constitution relatively unmolested, except for the parts he really didn't like. Having the city's main street named after him is kind of like renaming Pennsylvania Avenue in DC the "King George the 3rd Street", but there you are. There's even an equestrian statue of Karl Johan outside the Royal Palace. The fucker was a former general in the army of that supreme madman Napoleon, and his frog French family name was Bernadotte. It is his retarded offspring who's currently occupying the Swedish throne, such as it is.

* Nasjonalgalleriet (the National Gallery) has been the subject of numerous (disastrous) reorganizations the last few years, but it still exhibits some very fine examples of Norwegian National Romantic paintings and quite a lot of Munch's rubbish too, including a version of The Scream. I know fuck all about art but I know what I like, and this is it.

* Oslo Rådhus (Oslo City Hall) is the meeting place of the worst assembley of crooks, retards and eejits in the history of the city City Council and the Executive and it has some fine art galleries and studios. It is open to the public and you can even take guided tours there. The main hall is used every December for the awarding of that supreme symbol of international idiocy, the Nobel Peace Prize. The building itself is quite nice, with great views from the towers. Also, the square outside is the main place for skaters, so feel free to bring your own sniper rifle.

* Spikersuppa (or Eidsvolls Plass) and Studenterlunden is the area betwen Parliament and the National Theatre, with Karl Johans Gate as its northern boundary. It has been referred to as the "national mall of Norway," probably by a drunk madman. In the summer it contains a huge beer tent and in the winter a skating rink, so there's ample all-year opportunity for wobbly walking and falling down.

* Øyene i Oslofjorden (the islands of the Oslo Fjord) is also a popular tourist destination. There are ferries of various sizes running between the mainland and the islands, especially in the summer (full schedule here). There's ample opportunity for bathing, though I've never tested the waters myself for fear of getting harpooned. You can also see some boring ruins of an old convent at Hovedøya and buy overpriced goodies from the local kiosk there. (If you're starting to see a pattern here... good! Bring a fat wallet or be prepared to lose a few pounds to starvation is all I can say.)

Oslo has a lot to offer, but these would be my top ten destinations to show to furr'ners. I'm sure more suggestions will be made by my quarellsome morons trusty commenters!

2011/04/02

Fuck fuckety FUCK

Right. I wrote a looooong post here detailing ten things to do in Oslo. When I came to check on the responses a few hours later, it was wittled down to six things! Any and all subsequent editing further reduced the post to THREE things. I don't know what caused this fuck up, but I know I'm ready to slit the throats of the incompetent cunts at Blogger and their lousy software. Possibly it's to do with the function that lets you hide sections of your text if it's a long story (like mine). This was the first time I used it and possibly it ate my post. I'll give it another go tomorrow and if things still go missing I'm off to Wordpress.

Food - again

Jesus Christ (I have followers in high places) and Roslyn have somewhat similar questions. Well, similar enough for me to combine them and make one, lazy answer. JC wants to know "Why's food so expensive there?" and Ros wants to know "What are your country's minorities as well as favorite minority food And or expressions of what that food does to the gut?"

Answer: There are two reasons why food is expensive in Norway. The first one has to do with the fact that we're a filthy rich nation, so the price of pretty much everything is high. The second reason is that our import policies and our agriculture policies are run by a bunch of inbred, corrupt, thieving morons with maybe half a brain between them protectionist politicians wholly in the pockets of goat molesters with strong links to the farmers. Therefore, Norway has one of the most insanely corrupt generous organized theft subsidy regimes in the world, and some of the most racist, discriminatory protective policies in terms of importing foodstuffs that are vastly superior in price and quality in direct competition with Norwegian products.

When it comes to our country's minorities and their food we have to divide them into two groups. Historically, there's one ethnic minority in Norway, namely the Lapps Sami people. These were traditionally involved in reindeer fucking herding, and the food they've inspired is largely based on this animal. Some products are beef, sausages, soups, cured and smoked meat and even meatballs. The most well known brand of such meatballs in Norway is "joikakaker," but this only contains 11% reindeer meat. Reindeer meat is very meagre (typically around 4% fat) and is eaten all over Scandinavia.

The other group of minorities are the immigrants from various African, Asian, European and South American countries that have invaded our shores come here in the past 40+ years. They've brought their local rubbish cuisine with them, and some of it is actually quite tasty, even to a genetically disposed Kraut Germanic meatlover like yours truly. The main immigrant groups in Norway are Poles, Dirty Rotten Swedes, Danes, Krauts Germans, Pakistanis, Iraqis and Somalis.

The first immigrant restaurant to be opened in Norway, was a Chinese one in Oslo in 1963. These days most restaurants in Oslo are partially or wholly owned by foreign mafias foreigners, and foreign food is on the meny in almost all eateries. There's Chinese and Indian and Thai, there's sushi and tandoori and pizza and even a couple of African restaurants (who knew they had food to spare down there?).

When it comes to "expressions of what that food does to the gut," the only example I can think of is "kebabmage," literally "kebab stomach," which means having an upset stomach. The term has been popularized by the Norwegian comic "Pondus," where some of the characters will sometimes refer to having a "kebabmage" after leaving a bathroom.

2011/03/27

Plastic bags

Jim asks: What did Norwegians put their garbage in before the advent of the ubiquitous plastic grocery sack, and what did kids here use to carry their beer to parties in back then?

Answer: The first garbage dump in the history of western civilization was organized in old Athens, appx. 500 BC. At about the same time, the old Romans started building their Cloaca Maxima, initially to drain the swamps surrounding their city.

In the 1600s the first organized renovation services began in Norway, among the people who went around and collected human waste in our major cities. These people were called "nattmenn" (nightmen) or "rakkere." This latter word is still in use today, albeit slightly archaic, and the modern meaning is a rascal. Somewhat more in use is "rakkerunger" which literally means "children of a rakker" and was for example the Norwegian title of the popular American show "Our gang" aka "The Little Rascals." Rakker is derived from Kraut German and is also related to the English word "knacker," which again has given rise to the term "knackered". In 1685 a law was passed in Norway that made it a criminal offense to taunt someone for working as a rakker!

The concept of garbage cans has been known since at least the mid 1800s in Norway, but as far as I've been able to ascertain, they didn't contain any kind of holding device, for example made out of paper or leather or anything like that. Much of the garbage at that time was reused - organic waste was made into fertilizer or food for Swedes pigs, most of the scrap metal was remelted and the paper and cloth were also made use of. There has been a system for recycling beer bottles, known as "panting" in Norwegian, all the way back to 1902!

Garbage bags has been in use in Norway since the 1950s from what I've been able to find out. Plastic bags were first used in stores in the US from 1957 onwards, according to the American Film and Bag Federation (I'm not joking, there IS such an organization). The word "plastpose" (plastic bag) was first used in a Norwegian newspaper in 1959 and the product itself introduced in 1963 and it has been the friend of beer drinking teens ever since. Before then I'm sure people made do with bags, handbags or nets made of leather or cloth or even bought beer by the case. This last fact would at least account for the hairdos of the time.

In our modern era, the poor plastic bag has been blamed for the fact that people are wasteful, polluting morons. The plastic bag's lightness and inexpensiveness means that they can now be found pretty much anywhere, including in forests, rivers, lakes and oceans. I've witnessed the environmental impact myself in widely different settings, from the German border areas with the Czech Republic to the dense forests of the Crimean peninsula to the ancient ruins of Roman settlements in Tuscany. It makes me homicidal to behold, but I'm afraid the answer is not to ban the plastic bag. Rather it is to wrap said bag around the head of the offending moron until the fucker stops breathing. See, the plastic bag can be used for many fun purposes!

2011/03/26

Marriage

Roslyn from California is a very nosy woman and so has many questions for me. We'll portion them out as usual: What is the socially accepted age for a woman to get married and/or start a family? ALSO are there terms for the old and unmarried gals?

Answer: According to the Norwegian Law of Marriage you have to be 18 years old to enter into marriage, but you can marry from the age of 16 if you get a permit from "Fylkesmannen." Fylkesmannen is the national government's representative in each county and s/he's usually some semi-retired politico who can't be gainfully employed elsewhere. If you marry someone younger than 16 you will burn in hell can be sentenced to up to 4 years in prison.

In 2008 the average age for people getting married for the first time was 34,1 years for men and 31,2 years for women. The average is probably a good deal lower for people who are not ethnic Norwegians. I should hasten to add that a lot of people start to fornicate a family much earlier than this, since about half of all children born in Norway are born in sin out of wedlock, but the vast majority of those are born to parents who live in sin together.

There are several terms in Norwegian for unmarried/old women: "Gammel jomfru" (old virgin) is self-explanatory to some degree, although the etymology is slightly more complex. The term "jomfru" for virgin is not historically 100% overlapping, as jomfru, derived from Kraut German "jungfrau" literally means "young woman." The automatic assumption that a young woman = virgin was always, at best, wishful thinking.

Another term used both for unmarried women and old unmarried women is "frøken" or "gammel frøken." Frøken can be translated as English "Miss" (Frog French = mademoiselle), and is yet again a word taken from Kraut German, where it used to mean "little wife." Female teachers in Norway are still today called "frøken," since most of them, historically, were unmarried women.

"Peppermø" literally means "pepper maid" and was first used in Danish towards the end of the 18th century. It is a female version of the word "peppersvenn," which has been in use in Norway since at least the 16th century. The term comes from the old Hansa trade, where mainly unmarried Krauts Germans were engaged in the spice trades. As mentioned earlier, they were forbidden to fraternize with the local populace and to marry, so the spice pepper was associated with the social status of being single. It is used as such all over northern Europe. The closest translation in meaning to English is spinster. It is, if not common, then at least not uncommon to present unmarried people with a sympathy fuck an actual pepper mill when they turn 30.

Rybak

I have finally reached the level of reader participation where I am getting two questions so similar that I can combine them into one answer, and nothing makes me happier than being lazy! Kiera asks "Do you know a Norwegian violin artist name Alexander Rybak?" and Jesus Christ asks "Why didn't Alexander Rybak sing fairy tale in Norwegian?"

Answer: Yes, I have heard of Aleksander Rybak. If you're Norwegian you've had to be living in a cave not to. For those fortunate foreigners who have not heard of him, the little fucker won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with his own composition "Fairytale." And almost all artists in Norway sing their Eurovision tunes in English now, because they CAN. The old rules stated that you had to sing in your own language, but mercifully this was changed in 1999.

I had actually managed to go without hearing this rubbish for over a year, except for a brief spell at my old school, where an unsympathetic bastard of a colleague played a snippet for me once. But while I was in Ukraine last year, they played it incessantly at the local McDonalds in Yalta, so I couldn't escape it in the end. Rybak is an ethnic Belorussian, so he's very popular in the former Soviet countries and in Eastern Europe.

I don't know what I hate most about Rybak. It could be his spineless (possibly also brainless) show of support for the Belorussian dictator Alexander Lukashenko. While in his native city of Minsk, Rybak said "It's thanks to him (Lukashenko) that Minsk is the cleanest and most beautiful city in Europe. Come visit!". He allowed himself to be photographed with the dictator and gave a performance at the presidential palace. Not a word about the brutal oppression of political dissent in that country.

It could also be his temper, which makes him out as not quite the cozy little fuzzball you see on television. He has repeatedly gone into a rage backstage during musical events. He has also participated in the Swedish version of "Dancing with the Stars", which to me is akin to treason. I mean, that show is moronic enough in itself, but to be on SWEDISH television? He should have had his citizenship revoked!

But mostly I think it's just that I don't want this scrawny, puny, violinmolesting little "fairytale" to be the face of Norway abroad. I feel myself itching to stomp on his precious, dainty fingers with iron-heeled boots and smash his commie-loving little face in with a baseball bat every time I hear his name mentioned.

2011/03/24

Dying from boredom

Cassandra from the US has another question: What do retirees do in Norway, aside from slowly dying of boredom?

Answer: Oh, old people in Norway have plenty to do besides dying from boredom, which is something most of them actually enjoy, provided they have a family they can torture while doing it. It takes a special kind of bloodymindedness to resist absolutely every attempt to activate oneself, while simultaneously complaining to every stranger within shouting range about how your family never visits, you're sitting here all alone, they're all so busy with work/school/fornication and s/he should never have married that slut/slob, yadda, yadda, yadda.

No, there are many, many things old people can do to pass time before the Grim Reaper finally drags their wrinkly, sagging asses off to the Hereafter. They can, for example, bore others with their loooong, dull stories from their own lost youth, stories that are as rich as they are wrong in the details, and which probably changes significantly with every telling. The dullness of the story is usually proportional to its length.

They can also drive friends and family up the wall with their senile little ways. Pretending not to remember where they left their keys, if they remembered to turn off the oven, your middle name/date of birth/sex/species, etc all serve to keep family members busy. I secretly suspect the whole Alzheimer business is just a huge prank thought up by old folks for their own, sick amusement.

Another thing they can do to cause hell & havoc is to change or threaten to change their will every so often. This only works if they're reasonably well off, since all children are entitled to up to one million Norwegian kroner each, and only after that can one begin to play mindgames. One way to get around this is to spend all the money from, for example a house sale, on moving to sunny Spain, leaving the would-be beneficiaries foaming round the mouth. This has the additional benefit of giving them plenty of fresh, shiny, new ears for complaints about how you never visit them, plus making any visit that much harder to do, of course.

They can also poison you with weak tea and biscuits or utterly bland puddings. It is a well known fact that old people detest tasty food. They can make the most delicious-looking puddings, which taste absolutely fuck all when you sink your teeth into them. That is, if you have any teeth left after trying one of their tea cakes. Incidentally, tea cakes are the number one reason why old folks have dentures, and once they do they can't wait for you to join the club.

One final act of spite is to walk outside, fall and break a leg, so you have to go to the hospital to convey your sympathies during work hours. This also serves to drive up the cost of the Norwegian health system, which are already pretty high. Old people know they're about to kick the bucket and they'll do anything to take the nation's economy with them. The reason is simple: So that you and your children won't get to enjoy the same benefits they do. Then again... look at yourself and your family and then tell me you didn't have it coming!