Norwegians are lovely people, but I must admit it is very true that Norwegians in certain situations can be extremely rude.
At fast food places like Burger King the workers prefer to serve the pretty young boys in their army uniforms first even though you have been waiting longer. At Dolly Dimples, the Norwegian Pizza chain, they make customers repeatedly have to return to the service desk as they always forget something in the order – water, cups, sauce, napkins, or even ingredients on the pizza. The rudeness comes when you’ve had to return a third time and they get ticked off at you for bothering them so much.
At the Airport
I would hate to be on a sinking ship with a Norwegian. They would push and shove you to get off first. Social consideration is not part of the Norwegian character. There is no such thing as elderly, babies or pregnant women first, as soon as the boarding announcement for a plane flight is made – it is every man for himself. We have flown with Farfar a couple of times and even when he is in a wheel chair no Norwegian is willing to let him go first in a boarding line. They don’t even make way so we can wheel him to the front of the line when there is a specific announcement for those who have children or mobility impairment to go first. Even when we did get to go first all the Norwegians behind us pushed past as we walked down the ramp. Travelling with children or pregnant is not easier.
At the Shops
There is a new type of Norwegian rudeness that I’ve discovered since I’ve been pregnant. At the checkout there tends to be a lot of ‘squeezer’s-through’. They don’t care who they push around or bump into just as long as they get through the checkout. This very day even I was packing my shopping at the checkout. When you are reaching for items to bag you don’t have a chance to protect your tummy. A man pushed through and squished my big belly into the edge of the checkout. It hurt but I just took it as an accident. A minute later a woman squeezed through and squished my belly into the checkout. I was annoyed but said nothing. A minute later another man push past and my belly was squished again into the checkout. I was exasperated. If only they knew that an hour earlier my midwife said if my waters break I have to call the ambulance because of the awkward position of the baby…
Normally I would say something to the person pushing through, if not on the first squish then at least on the second. (Not to be mean but to use it as a ‘teaching’ opportunity.) But the saying is true: When in Rome… In such situations Norwegians secretly complain or mumble under their breath, and that’s what I did too. ‘Letting it go’ seems to be very Norwegian. However, I can’t help but feel not saying anything means that I’m loosing part of my ‘Australianess’. Aussies always stick up for themselves and their mates, and certainly don’t put up with rudeness. I just wished that this time I was my Australian self.
However, I’ve also learnt that Norwegian rudeness isn’t normally intentional, it is generally because they don’t have perception of others around them. This is because they are in the habit of keeping to themselves. Being in their own little world is a typical Norwegian state of mind. Maybe if Norwegians became more aware of the people round them, even more considerate, Norway would be voted the best country to live in because of character and not because of modern commodities.