Return to Oslo

This week I took a short trip back to Oslo for what is arguably one of the most important Norwegian events of the year: the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. Unfortunately I like to work through my blog chronologically, so you’ll have to wait a post or two before I talk about that. Sorry!

So, starting from beginning, I took the train down to Oslo from Trondheim and it was yet again another lovely experience. There was however one key difference between this time and the last time: the amount of sunshine I was exposed to. Because of the decreasing amount of daylight and the fact that I was moving North (where we have less daylight) to South (where they have more daylight) I effectively had a longer day with a very long sunrise and sunset. Unlike my last trip, I was able to witness the start and the close of the day all from the train. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed chasing the sun and basking in the extra two hours or so of daylight. Oh, and it helped that the scenery still remains breathtaking.

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Lud, one of the Roving Scholars, and his wife Susan were my hosts in Oslo and they helped me pick out a few new spots to explore in the city. Once I got settled in, Susan and I went to one of Oslo’s bigger Christmas markets, or julemarked, on Karl Johans Gate (Oslo’s main street). While I abstained from buying things, it was wonderful to walk around and soak in the sights and smells. There was of course knitwear (hats, gloves, scarfs, sweaters, etc.) for sale but there were also animal pelts, tourist trinkets, and food. I adore food and was excited to see the caramelized nuts, baked goods, chocolate, reindeer, cheese, and even moose burgers on display. While I was tempted to try the moose burgers I ended up deciding against it due to the excellent meal that Susan had already fed me.

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More Viewpoints!

In case you’re interested in getting some more perspectives from the other 2014-2015 American Fulbrighters in Norway I thought I’d provide a short list of some of the other blogs my colleagues are writing (and I apologize if I missed anyone). In no particular order:

Roving Scholars

  1. Lud Baldwin (who has also graciously mentioned me on his blog–Thanks Lud!)
  2. Heather Bandeen

Researchers

  1. Kyle Cavagnini
  2. Kari Leibowitz
  3. Sarah Strand

Enjoy!

The Bacon Bus: Or Grocery Shopping in Sweden

Like I mentioned, grocery shopping in Norway can be a bit pricey, especially when it comes to meat and alcohol. The solution to this? Go to Sweden!*

Trondheim is conveniently located close to the Swedish border and there is a free bus that runs from Trondheim to Storlien. Just to give you an idea of how much traffic this place must receive from Norway, the bus is free and the shopping center seems like it’s the heart of the town (though calling it a town might be a bit of a stretch).

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As you can see, Storlien is literally as close as you can get to the Norwegian-Swedish border.

The bus is quaintly nicknamed the fleskbussen or “bacon bus” because many of the people take the bus to buy cheap bacon. When I took the bus I used the Thorleifs Bussreiser system and called ahead (+47 72 55 33 94) to make a reservation on the bus.

Getting there takes about an hour and a half, and the bus leaves you about an hour to shop before returning to Trondheim.

As for prices, two kilos of boneless chicken costs around 120 NOK and beer is cheaper at about 70 NOK/six pack (and thankfully the stores accept Norwegian kroner). Other forms of alcohol are also cheaper, but for alcohol over 3.5% you have to order in advance, usually at least two days before your trip. In order to do this you have to go to the systembolaget website, select the appropriate shop (in this case Åre), select your desired alcohol, and checkout. An email with a confirmation code will be sent to you and you have to present this code at the store in order to pick up your purchases.

Funnily enough, it’s not just broke college students who try and take advantage of the cheap alcohol and meat in Sweden. About half of my bus was filled with non-college students, and the elderly man sitting in front of me actually asked if I would pretend to own half of his alcohol in the event that we were stopped by customs. To my surprise, there were no customs or passport control at the Swedish border, and as far as I could tell it seems like you can cross the Norwegian-Swedish border without having to do anything special.

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*I’ve even heard of people flying to Poland to go grocery shopping since the total cost is still less than it would be in Norway, but I have not reached those levels of desperation.

Grocery Shopping: Or Things That Make Me Sad

Not only is alcohol expensive in Norway, so are groceries! Again I like to think that my friends have learned by this point that grocery shopping complaints are strictly prohibited.

So, here are a few things to know about grocery shopping in Norway. First things first, there are definitely certain stores that are cheaper than others. At my Fulbright orientation in August we were told:

Cheap Grocery Stores:

  • Kiwi
  • Rema 1000
  • Coop Prix
  • Rimi

More Expensive Stores:

  • ICA
  • Bunnpris
  • Meny
  • Joker

Most Expensive Stores:

  • Statoil
  • Narvesen
  • 7-Eleven
  • Deli de Luca

While the cheaper grocery stores tend to fulfill most of my shopping needs, the more expensive stores, Meny in particular, tend to contain more variety. All of the grocery stores have sales that you can see on the mobile app Mattilbud.

There are also some added costs that come with grocery shopping in Norway. Plastic bags cost 1 NOK so most people bring their own bags when they shop. Another thing to know is that most drinks have an additional charge on top of the listed price. This additional cost covers the price of the bottle the drink comes in (it’s usually anywhere between an extra 1 to 3 NOK and the cost is listed on the bottle). Most grocery stores contain special machines that will process and recycle your bottles and give you the option of either recouping the cost of the bottle or donating the money.

On to prices! Here are some grocery store prices and all include the 15% tax. All of these items were bought at the cheapest grocery stores:

  • 1.75 liters of Milk (24.90 NOK = 3.51 USD = 7.54 USD/gallon)
  • 1100 g of oatmeal  (19.90 NOK = 2.8 USD)
  • Half dozen eggs (22.3 NOK = 3.14 USD)
  • Pasta noodles (5 NOK = .70 USD)
  • Tomato pasta sauce (20.90 NOK = 2.94 USD)
  • 125 g of blueberries (20 NOK = 2.82 USD)
  • 125 g of raspberries (21.96 NOK = 3.09 USD)
  • Onion (2.14 NOK = .30 USD)
  • Set of avocados (29.90 NOK = 4.21 USD)
  • Green beans (23.90 NOK = 3.37 USD)
  • 750 g of carrots (24.96 NOK = 3.51 USD)
  • 400 g of ground beef (51.40 NOK = 7.24 USD)
  • 500 g of scampi (109 NOK = 15. 35 USD)
  • 2 chicken breasts (35.60 NOK = 5.01 USD)

 

Early on in our Fulbright orientation we were told to stop converting prices to USD, but we were also told that if we felt absolutely compelled to apply an exchange rate to our purchases we should use the Big Mac Index. The Big Mac Index compares the price of big macs across the globe in order to give a conversion rate that is based on purchasing power parity (see parents I did take that basic economics class in college). Using the Big Mac Index the conversion rate is 10 NOK/USD. Using this rate instead of the current exchange rate makes the prices of the above items become more reasonable:

  • 1.75 liters of Milk (24.90 NOK = 2.49 USD = 5.39 USD/gallon)
  • 1100 g of oatmeal  (19.90 NOK = 1.99 USD)
  • Half dozen eggs (22.3 NOK = 2.23 USD)
  • Pasta noodles (5 NOK = .50 USD)
  • Tomato pasta sauce (20.90 NOK = 2.09 USD)
  • 125 g of blueberries (20 NOK = 2 USD)
  • 125 g of raspberries (21.96 NOK = 2.20 USD)
  • Onion (2.14 NOK = .21 USD)
  • Set of avocados (29.90 NOK = 2.99 USD)
  • Green beans (23.90 NOK = 2.39 USD)
  • 750 g of carrots (24.96 NOK = 2.50 USD)
  • 400 g of ground beef (51.40 NOK = 5.14 USD)
  • 500 g of scampi (109 NOK = 10. 90 USD)
  • 2 chicken breasts (35.60 NOK = 3.56 USD)

 

There are only two other things that I’ve found a bit atypical when grocery shopping in Norway:

  1. The units. In the US it is required that food vendors clearly state the volume or weight of an item on the front of the package. In Norway however it can be a bit like playing “Where’s Waldo?” to find the actual units on a food item.
  2. Milk. I used to resent not being able to buy a gallon of milk in Norway; however, this changed when someone told me that milk is never sold in great amounts (the maximum being 1.75 liters) because the milk is fresh. While this does make me feel healthier, this also means that milk usually won’t last longer than its expiration date (typically around a week) since it lacks preservatives.

Nudity, Sex Education, and Sex

Everyone’s favorite topics! And no this is not about my love life. I’m talking mostly academics and culture.

To be honest my first encounter with any of these three things in Norway happened when I was planning my James Bond lesson. The plan was for the class to watch Moonraker (1979) and I realized a few days before we were scheduled to watch the movie that I should double check and make sure the movie wouldn’t be considered inappropriate. My main concern: the sex scenes.* Keep in mind that the movie was made in the 70’s so the scenes were hardly graphic. I was also working with 18 and 19 year olds and figured they would find the scenes unremarkable. But I thought it’d be in my best interests to double check with my co-teacher. To my immense relief, Maria immediately shrugged off my concerns, telling me that the students could care less about sex and nudity but that they would find violence upsetting. Again, Moonraker was made in the 70’s so I wasn’t worried about the corny combat scenes.

One of the things that did stick with me from this conversation was the blasé attitude Norwegians have towards sex and nudity. It’s not uncommon to see uncensored pictures of naked people, and to even find them on the front page of newspapers. It’s not necessarily done it a sexual way; from my outsider perspective, it seems as though people are simply accepting of what the human body looks like. What a great and novel concept in today’s society. No Photoshop for anyone! Saggy body parts galore!

My curiosity officially sparked on these three topics, I was talking with an American friend and her Norwegian boyfriend when I asked what sex education is like in Norway. He told me that sex education is taught in schools as are various methods of contraception. He was a bit stunned when I described a few of the more extreme sex education classes that I’ve heard of in the US. (I’m looking at you Texas). I did however hastened to reassure him that not all schools have abstinence only programs.

After a bit of cajoling from his girlfriend, my Norwegian friend told me that once he reached the age of consent (16) his parents didn’t mind if his girlfriend spent the night at his house. This of course led to a flurry of questions: In your room? (Yes) Could you sleep over at her house? (Yes) Doesn’t that make breakfast with everyone awkward? (Sorta). I went to a fairly liberal high school, but when I tried to imagine people from my high school doing the same thing a picture failed to compute. Then again maybe my high school was just weird.

Thoroughly intrigued as to whether or not this was a universal experience, I increased my sample size to include two more Norwegians. Based on my ridiculously small sample size, it appears that this is the norm. Although I was told that this does not hold true in Norway’s Bible belt. Yes, Norway has a Bible belt.

The last Norwegian opinion I got on this topic happened to come from a Norwegian doctor. I figured that there probably wasn’t going to be a much better authority on attitudes toward sex in Norway. What I was not expecting to hear in this conversation was this bombshell: 18% of Norwegian men have chlamydia. No you didn’t read that number incorrectly. EIGHTEEN PERCENT. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Me: But, but why?
Doctor: Well, most Norwegians have unprotected sex.
Me: Sooo do people just rely on female birth control?
Doctor: Yup!
Me: But, I still don’t understand the popularity of unprotected sex. I mean you guys have a comprehensive sex education system, right?
Doctor: Well yes…but…um…you know the sensation…it…ah…feels better
(Note that by this point I had a pretty shocked expression on my face since I was expecting a more compelling answer)
Me: But…I mean sure…but 18%???
Doctor: Well HIV isn’t really a thing in Norway so people prefer to take their chances.
Me: Oh…Well…In the US condoms and safe sex are pretty heavily promoted. Then again that’s not everywhere. There are places in the United States that don’t teach comprehensive sex education.
Doctor: Oh well we don’t really have that problem in Norway. And our teen pregnancy rates are quite low. Here the government will provide women with the Pill for free from 14-18. No parental consent required.

While I applaud Norway on the availability of the Pill and their overall liberal attitude, I still think their arguments regarding unprotected sex, especially considering their STI rate, could use a bit of work.

On a related note: for those of you who have been asking me if everyone looks like Marvel’s Thor, aka Chris Hemsworth:

Well the answer is obviously no. My life would be infinitely more enjoyable if it were, but sadly it is not the case. I would also like to add that there is nothing that kills off the relative attractiveness of your population like giving them a high STI rate.

*The reason my epiphany was so delayed was because I assumed that my American co-teacher would automatically know that every Bond movie has a sex scene or four.

Knitting: Or Becoming the Grandma that I Not So Secretly Already Am

Knitwear is huge in Norway. In fact, I’ve pretty much been craving a Norwegian sweater since I arrived. They just look awesome and ridiculously warm. They also happen to be ridiculously expensive, but I figure that’s nothing that some saving up and a Christmas sale can’t solve.

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Images compliments of Google.

But, going back to knitwear. I like to think that knitwear encompasses two very Norwegian obsessions:

  1. Wool
  2. Knitting–sorry I know this one is a bit of a letdown

Since I arrived in August, when the weather was actually warm enough for people to wear shorts, people have been telling me about the benefits of wool. Personally, I have always intensely disliked wool because I find it incredibly itchy.* While the quality of wool has definitely improved since I was a kid, it is still a material that I tend to avoid at all costs. My Norwegian friends maintain that I will come to embrace wool once the temperature drops a bit more. I remain skeptical. I currently believe that synthetic materials and down are my true best friends.

And then there is actually making the knitwear. There are a few really well regarded brands that people buy in Norway, but from what I’ve been told people tend to wear what their grandmothers knit them. I haven’t really seen too many young people knitting, but I have seen my share of elderly ladies knitting up a storm. My co-teacher Nancy also told me that it used to be pretty common to have students knitting in class, and that some students admitted to having difficulty concentrating unless they were knitting or doing something with their hands.

Knitting also seems to be fairly ingrained in Norwegian culture, and certain areas even have their own knitting patterns. The one below is the one that’s associated with Sør-Trøndelag, the region that Trondheim is in.

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So, keeping in mind that I am supposed to engage with Norwegian culture, I went down to the yarn store sometime in August to stock up on a few knitting essentials. Now I wouldn’t say that I’m a good knitter by any stretch of the imagination, but I can create things that aren’t shapeless masses. I also got lucky very early on in my knitting endeavors. One of my colleagues is pregnant and let slip that if I wanted to get in some practice, she’d be overjoyed if she could get some baby leg warmers. This was great for a few reasons:

  1. I could practice something on a very small scale. I will also say that the last time I held a newborn was circa 2006 so I was truly guestimating when it came to the dimensions of this baby. Luckily my co-worker thought I didn’t do a bad job.
  2. My co-worker more or less told me that if something vaguely resembled a leg warmer she would be happy. Working with low expectations is great!
  3. The great thing with working with low expectations AND making two of something means that you basically get a second chance to avoid all the mistakes you made the first time–or in my case try to avoid those mistakes.

Anyways, pictures of my attempts below. The thing on the left is an infinity scarf and the green things on the right are leg warmers.

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So while knitting is definitely not something that should be thought of as a future career, I’ve actually found it to be quite fun. Plus, it makes me more grandmotherly than I already am. Other traits that my friends have pointed out that make me similar to their grandparents:

  1. Hating cold weather
  2. A healthy appreciation of sleep and naps
  3. Occasionally getting frustrated enough at a business to send in a complaint letter

Though at this point I think it’s really just the knitting that makes me a grandparent since most of my peers tend to firmly believe in points one and two.

*Yes I know that you normally wear wool over other clothing, but I prefer clothing that I can wear regardless of how many other layers I have on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about I refer you to Wikipedia. For all of the Americans (and apparently Canadians) out there, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. It’s essentially all of the great food you would get at Christmas a month early–plus you eliminate the stress of gift giving. And I suppose if you’re into sports there is a lot of American football that you can watch–I tend to ignore this part of the holiday although a few of the Brazilians that I know here have not. Personally, I’m all about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

And while Thanksgiving provides you with an excellent opportunity to gorge yourself on a ridiculous amount of food, it’s also a day to reflect on what you are thankful for. I know that I have a lot of things that I’m grateful for (don’t worry I won’t bore you with the details, although I will say that my family deserves a huge shoutout) and I encourage all of you to think about the same, even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

So, happy Thanksgiving wherever you are and hopefully you’ll all get to have a delicious slice of turkey and reflect a bit on some of the wonderful things you have going for you.

Facebook

Norwegians really really like Facebook. I’m personally the sort of person who uses Facebook to communicate with friends, read good articles, watch hilarious cat videos, and occasionally look up people that went to my high school. In other words, I tend to use it as a fun way to stay in touch with people and as a source of procrastination. I see email in a completely different light. It is a way for businesses bug me with promotions, a way for work related things to get done, a way for extracurricular things to get done, and a way for people bug me about things that require an in depth or thoughtful response.

Norwegians see Facebook and email slightly differently. Facebook is seen as THE way to get in touch with people. It’s not uncommon for a business to have a Facebook page instead of a website or for people to use a Facebook group to coordinate instead of say email or Google Groups. Since coming to Norway, the number of pages that I’m following and the number of Facebook groups that I’m apart of has exploded. In terms of Facebook groups alone, I’ve joined or been invited to:

  • The best Norwegian course!!
  • Moholt Student Village Activities
  • Nordlysvarsel for Trondheim (Northern Lights group)
  • Fulbrighters on Top of the World!
  • TEDxTrondheimStaff
  • TEDx Trondheim Community
  • Hyttevaktgruppa høst 14 | Studenterhytta (Information on the NTNU Student Cabin)
  • Students’ market Trondheim
  • NTNUI seiling
  • Sailing group autumn ’14

Yup, that’s a lot. Or at least I consider it a lot. Reminder: that doesn’t even include Facebook pages.

As for email, the only emails I’ve received in Norway have been from other teachers and from students; in short, only work related emails.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think that Facebook can be a great resource. I just like to keep my personal life and procrastination separate from my extracurricular activities and other miscellaneous things. I’d much rather have my inbox explode than get tons of notifications from Facebook (largely because I can leave something sitting in my inbox as a reminder whereas I’m more likely to see a notification and then promptly forget about it). The lazy part of me also acknowledges that it’s much harder to try and run a Norwegian Facebook page through Google Translate than it is to do that for an email or a website.

Something else that has surprised me about Facebook in Norway has been posts like the one below:

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Having been told time and time again to be careful with what is posted on Facebook, I find it hilarious to see such unapologetic posts in Norway. And yes, weed is illegal here.

In conclusion: having recently graduated from college, I was hoping to decrease my Facebook usage and instead have had Norway drag me back into it half heartedly kicking and screaming.

Amurica

Since coming to Byåsen, I have only worked with three classes: an International English class, an English class in the health vocational track, and a Social Studies class. So I was excited when a teacher contacted me about a month ago asking if I could stop by her English class in the restaurant vocational track. She sent me a follow up email earlier in the week asking if I could talk about life and work in the US and that she had “also picked up that [the students] find the litigation culture interesting  (specifically, “why people say they will sue people so often”).” To be frank, my initial reaction to the comment on litigiousness was “I wish I knew.”

Anyways, I duly set about planning for my lesson. Because the topic was so broad I wasn’t quite sure how to structure things, but in the end I decided to talk about:

  1. Demographics: What the Population of America Looks Like
  2. Religion and Politics
  3. Work and Family Life
  4. The Restaurant Industry
  5. Particular Quirks of the Restaurant Industry in America

Now I wouldn’t say that the lesson was a complete disaster, but it was definitely a bit of a reality check.

My International English and Social Studies classes are in what is called the “college prep” section of the school. College prep more or less covers core subjects, similar to what you would learn in an American high school, with the goal of helping students go to university. The students that I’ve encountered in college prep all tend to have very good English.

Vocational tracks on the other hand are geared towards helping students enter their vocation of choice. The impression that I got from my Fulbright education orientation and comments made by teachers at Byåsen is that vocational students are generally not the best at core subjects like English. While I occasionally work with a health vocational class, the English level required has never extended much farther than “Who is your favorite singer?” (in most cases Justin Bieber) or “If you were stranded on a desert island what are three things you would bring with you and why?”

Having been spoiled by the high English fluency of my college prep students and the pretty good English of my health class, I completely overestimated the English ability of those in the restaurant class that I was visiting.

Now there were definitely some vocab words that I knew I shouldn’t have used. When trying to explain the Supreme Court I used “unconstitutional” and immediately realized I should have said something like “illegal” or “against the law” instead. I also knew I would probably have to go back and explain what a census was. So when my co-teacher asked if we could review the slides and some of the vocab I had used, I was more than happy to oblige. I think I fully realized how much I had overshot my audience when we had to check if the students knew the meaning of “government.”

Even though most of my lesson was a bit too complex for my students, it still proved to be an instructive and hilarious class. I think the parts of the lesson that amused me most were when:

  1. We were reviewing political parties and I was asked what the turtle and the camel were for. Democrats and Republicans take note: your political animals could be drawn better. After I got over my fit of laughter, I didn’t even bother using the terms Democrats and Republicans, realizing that things would go over better if I called them the donkey-people and the elephant-people. In the end, I told them not to worry about the elephant-people since their equivalent doesn’t even exist in Norway. To be fair, they thought that the donkey-people were pretty weird too.
  2. Answering why there is no Church of America. In Norway, most people belong to the Church of Norway and so my students were a bit confused as to why America doesn’t have a state church. I then explained how many of the people who first came to America were coming to escape religious persecution (I then totally blanked on a simple way to explain the word persecution, resorting to a poor definition along the lines of “people actively didn’t like them”) and how that made our founding fathers value religious freedom. After the lesson, I speculated on what a Church of America might look like and settled on thanking our founding fathers for not allowing that to happen.
  3. Tipping. First things first, apparently the word tipping means betting in Norwegian. So my students initially thought I was describing some weird betting system that exists in US restaurants. Once I managed to clarify, my students were still at a bit of a loss as to why you would just give people extra money. When I explained that the federal minimum wage is just above 2 USD/hour for certain restaurant professions, they began to freak out. Needless to say, they began to understand why Americans have this weird habit of giving away money as tips.

While my lesson was not the smashing success I had hoped it would be, it was definitely still a fun experience and a learning experience. I’ve learned that in a vocation track it’s important to review my lesson slide by slide and to be more diligent in consulting with my co-teacher about the level of English that I’m working with.

Cell Phone Plans

A few weeks ago one of the lovely Roving Scholars contacted me to ask if I knew much about phone plans and pay-as-you-go systems in Norway. I thought that the information I emailed out might be helpful for anyone else who might be moving to Norway or even just coming for a short stay.

I am currently using a pay-as-you-go system with Netcom. Alix can attest that I have historically complained about Netcom’s customer service, but I like to think that four months into my time here Netcom and I have worked out all of the kinks in our love-hate relationship. Hopefully. 

Here’s what I would recommend (and I like to think that if you follow these steps that you will avoid all of the problems that I had with Netcom):

  1. Find your local Netcom store and buy a starter pack. 
  2. The starter pack includes a SIM with 14 days worth of calls, texts, and 250 MB of data. From what I can deduce off of the Netcom website you’ll pay 99 NOK for this.
  3. Because you’ll probably want to contact people for more than 14 days, you can buy one of these month long services:
    1. 1 GB with calls and texts for 199 NOK
    2. 3 GB with calls and texts for 299 NOK
    3. 6 GB with calls and texts for 399 NOK
  4. When you decide what sort of monthly pay-as-you-go plan you want you can either buy this service at the store (which comes with a physical card) or buy it online. 

If you buy a card at the store make sure they explain how to use the card. You have to dial a particular number and then type in another number that is listed on the card. Being handed a card and having none of this explained to me at the store started my initial saga with Netcom–make sure they explain which numbers to dial since the voice recording you will hear on the phone will be in Norwegian. I honestly found it to be a bit of a hassle to go to the store every month, so now I just top off my plan online. To do this is pretty simple. You just go to www.netcom.no/smartrefill. Then you:

  1. Input your phone number (kontantkortnummer)
  2. Select the plan you want
  3. Fill out your credit card info and you’re good to go

One benefit of paying for things online is that they will let you pay for up to 6 months of phone usage at a time.

There are a few other things you should know about Netcom:

  1. If you get a weird text in Norwegian including the refill link it’s probably Netcom telling you to top off your balance. 
  2. Only top up your phone once you have completed the 14 days or month long service plan that you have paid for.
  3. For reasons totally incomprehensible to me, the minutes that you buy with a month long plan are valid only for Norwegian cell phones. This means that you have to be a bit wary when calling a business. For example, a call to my bank goes through without a problem, but when I tried to call the Norwegian Health System I ended up using Google Voice for the call since my cell phone didn’t have enough credit.
  4. Unlike other telephone providers, you do not need a personal number (Norwegian version of a social security number) to open an account with Netcom.

The only other phone company that I’ve encountered in Trondheim is Telenor. I initially stopped by one of their offices in Trondheim and they told me that things would be cheaper if I worked with Netcom. From what I’ve heard, working with Telenor costs closer to 500 NOK a month and they won’t let you purchase a plan until you can provide them with your Norwegian personal number.

I hope that helps! Now go forth and call, text, and data use to your heart’s content.