Thursday, March 10, 2011

The More You Know

Continuing with last week's cultural theme, here are a few more tidbits...

Cultural Tidbit #1:  The Kvikk Lunsj.

It's easily the national candy of Norway.  Upon first seeing one of these in a vending machine back in October, I thought it was some sort of chocolate granola bar that would fill you up a bit (literally, a "quick lunch").  

But, it's not.  The Kvikk Lunsj is, essentially, a Kit Kat, made with higher quality chocolate.  I'll probably be deported immediately for saying that.  But really, it's a Kit Kat.  And apparently people like to snack on them during ski trips in the forest (they even have little trail suggestions printed inside the wrapper).

Anyway, Ken did some superior awesomeness-spotting at the ski jump when he found this little goody:

That's right, my friends.  A Kvikk Lunsj beanie.  Standing in front of us in all its glory.  Before next winter, I either have to a. find one of these, or b. learn to knit.

In honor of that amazing hat, we gave the Kvikk Lunsj some photo love.  
(This was before my feet were so cold that I was somewhat concerned about frost bite for the first time since moving here.  I stuck my feet in front of a heating vent after Round 1.)

(This was before we discovered that the U.S. was not actually participating in the ski jump event we attended.  I also found it amusing that we actually borrowed this huge U.S. flag from our Swedish friend/neighbor, Henrik.)

Cultural Tidbit #2:  A ski jump (and a beautiful day to be at a ski jump).


Representing with red, white, and blue all over the place (still prior to not knowing the U.S. had no chance/was not participating in this competition).

And the winner was...Austria!  We happened to attend this event with our fun friend Katrin, who is from Austria.  She was pumped (and so were we, once we switched our allegiance to Austria when the U.S. let us down).

Cultural Tidbit #3:  A proper Norwegian sandwich.

Open-faced, with brunost (Norwegian brown cheese).  The adorable Norwegian modeling this proper sandwich is our fabulous friend Agnes.  The funny thing is that this sandwich came as a regular, closed sandwich, and Agnes opened it up to two slices immediately.  I laughed.  Anyway, Agnes was our very first friend in Oslo, and she invited us to a party at her house our first weekend here (thanks for the introduction, Elia!)  I want to give Agnes, Øistein, Marianne, and Sunniva a shout-out for being cool, fun friends, speaking English to us slow foreigners, and telling us about Norway, from a Norwegian perspective.  We really appreciate it!  I have a good picture of the whole crew from the night Sunniva made us all a fantastic traditional Nord-Norge (Northern Norway) dinner, and now I can't seem to find it...will have to take another one I suppose!

Cultural Tidbit #4:  A group of foreigners skiing in a park. (Something Norwegians would apparently never do...although there were tracks maybe they would?)

Pretty ski bunnies.  Love 'em!

Much less frightening than skiing with 1,000 other people in the forest.  Pretty sure my backpack-wearing would also be openly mocked by the general Norwegian skiing public.

Moment of Zen:
Nothing beats this for the week, other than maybe the dance-off they tried to have between some middle-aged Europeans during a break in the ski competition (which I could've watched for eight hours, and sadly have no photographic evidence of...)