It is guaranteed that I will get zapped everyday in Norway.  If I don't touch the car, the stereo or a lamp, then I am lucky for the day but how can you get by without those things? Everyone knows that if you rub your shoes on carpet and then touch someone you are bound to zap.  However, in Norway there is no need for carpet or shoes and socks for a zapping to occur.  In Tromsø, whenever Moose or I touched the car in Summer we would get a shock.  In winter the snow on the car dampened the effect, (or it might have been the fact that we wore gloves outside).  The car shocks got so bad that we got into the habit of double touching the car.  The first touch would be light and quick to neutralize the car first of any static electricity just waiting to happen.  It would shock us a little but then we were free to get in or out of the car without a bigger shock. At home I get shocked by the heater, all lamps with metal stands, electrical appliances like the DVD player and even plastic things.  (I'm so glad the computer doesn't shock me!)  Now Norwegians wear socks inside the home and so you can imagine the build up of static electricity waiting to happen.  (I'm sure all Norwegians suffer from podophobia - fear of feet.  I can't even get my lyrical-jazz dance class of tween girls to take off their socks to dance properly!)  However, being an Aussie I walk around with bare feet.  This is because I'm used to it but there are also other benefits - less buildup of dust (socks are crazy dust makers), less washing, less holes in socks and less slipping.  Our floors are primarily thick look-a-like-wood vinyl with rugs only in the entrance area and in the living room, so you can imagine my dismay when I get zapped standing with bare feet on a plastic floor. When I'm at the dance studio I get zapped, not just the first time, but every time I touch the sound system.  Big blue-white sparks fly even before my finger literally touches the system.   I'm either wearing socks, Hip Hop shoes, suede-sole dance slippers or bare feet in the studio.  The floor is a thick parquet and is cleaned regularly (I certainly know this because my face gets very close to the floor on every warm up) but you cannot avoid dust.  The dust buildup from the kid's socks is crazy.  The static electricity is getting so bad that when I touch any student, to re-align bodies or hold hands to dance, I zap them. I know what you're thinking, that the common element in all this zapping is me, but let me assure you that there are other things at hand that make the phenomenon more common - atoms!  When a thing is electrically neutral it has equal positive and negative energy.  Static electricity occurs when two things touch and their energies become imbalanced - one thing collects the positive energy and the other negative.  Touching things with an imbalance of energy is what causes a zap, spark or cling.  There are three main causes of static electricity and Norway has them all: Dryness - Norway is very dry.  Even though the country is lined on the west side by ocean, because it is in a cold climate, the humidity in the air is very low.  This is because the sun doesn't get warm enough to evaporate the water to make the air wet. Dust - Because Norway is so dry there is a lot of dust.  Humidity, water in the air, attaches itself to dust, weighing it down, dampening it and taking away its effect.  However, because Norway has very low humidity, there is a lot of dust buildup floating.  Loose dust on floors can act like carpet under your feet, like rubbing a balloon on a wooly jumper.  Your energy becomes imbalanced and the next thing you touch - zap! Heat - Norway is cold and it is necessary to heat indoors.  Heat draws away humidity, causing dryness and dust.  Fire heat especially is a problem, it can quickly draw out water from your skin.  Heat in objects can cause static electricity. So, the logic is, if you put back the humidity in the air then you'll have less of a problem with static electricity.  But how do you put water into the air?  You can buy a humidifier but there are much cheaper ways.  Boiling water is a no brainer.  Having an open bowl of water near something warm so the water can evaporate is an option.  We have a teapot on our wood-fire oven that replaces the water in the air when we light fires.  There is another trick that I learnt in the theatre.  Being closed inside a black box all day you can imagine the dust floating around on stage.  So, when the air got a little thick, us stage managers would walk round with a squirt bottle, on 'mist', and spray the water directly into the air.  It worked really well.  The air became lighter instantly. Adding humidity can solve the problem indoors but not every time, as you know the problem I'm having.  And I have no clue how to solve the outdoor problem with the car unless I wear gloves all the time or get a remote control door opener.  I guess this is just another thing I have to live with in Norway.  (I can hear the smallest violin in the world playing just for me.) 

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