Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Post 8. Iceland vs. Norway
As I've mentioned before, I think, I am born and raised in Iceland. I recently moved to Norway and as with any move, things can take a little getting used too.
First things first, Icelanders are notoriously impatient. We don't really think we are but when we hear about it taking two weeks to set up a bank account somewhere in another country (not including getting card and such) we are outraged.
In Iceland, you walk into the bank with ID and you have an account and access to your internet bank when you leave. Basically. (It might take a day or two now, it's been a while since I actually went to the bank in person for any other reason than to get foreign currency.)
When we came to Norway it took 5 weeks to get our social security numbers, not the three we were told to expect. Once we had those, we could get a bank account. Well, ze man could because they don't give you an account if you don't have a job.
As an Icelander, it was hard to wait. It's hard to wait for takeout, let alone a bank account.We want what we want and we want it now. (That's a lot of W in one sentence.)
We've learned a lot of patience since moving here.
Then there are the TREES! Glorious, big, bushy trees!! We don't have a lot of them in Iceland.
As a parent, I find there are all kinds of things people do differently here with their kids. For example dinner time.
In Iceland, the classic dinner time is around 6.30 - 7.30. In my household dinner is usually at 7, it was the time of day which worked best for everyone.
However, in Norway, dinner time seems to be between 4-5. Needless to say, this has left us scrambling when it comes to my son's friends coming over at the Norwegian dinner time. All I'm serving at that time are cookies, fruits or toast.
Or when they come over and ask my son to come outside and play and he can't because it's his dinner time.
I am told Norwegians will have a lighter meal later in the evening, which makes sense. At least my kids would be cranky AF if I didn't feed them from 5 to bedtime.
So, I am trying to move family dinner time up a few hours and let me tell you, it's hard! I find myself constantly munching on something in the evening. (So not good for my workout!) The kids don't seem to care either way so we will see. Meanwhile, I will stay away from snacking and munch on apples and peanut butter in the evenings.
Then there's school system. When my son started school, in October, I asked the school for a list of things I need to buy. The look I got from the woman was comical as she asked me what I meant.
I told her again I needed a list of what my son needed, you know, like in his bag when he comes to school.
Again, she shook her head.
"You know, pencils, colors, notebooks, those sort of things?" I tried again and she smiled at me.
This time, she explained to me all these things were provided by the school. I tried one more time.
"But there has to be something I am supposed to buy, right?" Now I was the one starting to sound slow. This time, the woman outright laughed at me and asked me if this was not the norm in Iceland. This is the point where I should explain there were three other people in the office and they all laughed when I told them NO, it wasn't.
This is one of the coolest things ever, because in Iceland, every year, parents are sent a list of supplies their kids must have. Including pencils, erasers, sharpeners, colors (wax, pencils and so on) and then notebooks for math and writing, folders for this and that and on and on and on.
Needless to say, I left the school office with a massive smile on my face.
The kindergarten also surprised me when they informed me I could bring my kids whenever I wanted, as long as the school was open and pick them up, whenever I wanted (again, provided the school was open) All I had to tell them was what days they should expect the girls.
In Iceland, you tell the school what days and what time they arrive and leave. You can, and will, be fined if you are more than 15 minutes late in picking up your children, regardless if the school is open.
In Norway, my girls arrive when we are ready and I don't have to panic if I'm running late with the chores or shopping or whatever. It's so nice.
Of course, these differences are just a few of the many we've noticed here and they are only my point of view.
Feel free to tell me what differences you've experienced after moving. :)