Norway has quite a beautiful countryside. Rolling hills mingle with flat areas and farms abut forests. Oslo is a city of some 600,000 to 800,000 people, 25 percent of whom were not born here. Oslo is very multicultural, as I discovered trying to communicate with the bus driver who was of Japanese origin. During the 40 minute ride from the airport to the city I took in the scenery.

Today was gorgeous, created specially for the weekend by the Norse travel bureau for filming, I’m sure. Silky white wisps adorned the pale blue sky and though the sun blazed the temperature was in the upper seventies. It seemed the majority of the citizens had been drawn to the Karl Johans Gate street and the waterfront area along the Rådhusgata. Stairs became benches and the grassy park areas were picnicked upon.

And I have now decided that Norway has stolen the title of the most beautiful women in Europe. In Poland I observed that about one in every 10 women 18-30 could be a model, and that one in 100 would leave you dumbstruck. From what I’ve seen here today I’d have to say that about the same percentage could be models, but it seems that even the ones I wouldn’t consider model-worthy are more attractive than those in Poland. And the occurrence of being dumbstruck is more common here.

But Norway isn’t all good things. In the early 1900s the government changed the name of it’s capital from Christiania to Oslo. Roald Dahl said it was a shame and he didn’t know why it was done. I think it started as a snide remark about the service in restaurants. O so slow. You get better service in Hell (also a city in Norway). I believe the custom must be to stalk your waiter and club them to get their attention. I’ve left two restaurants today after not being approached within fifteen minutes of sitting down. I finally did eat in a restaurant but had to practically throw myself in the path of the waitress to get a menu. After that I was attended to normally.

And Norwegians are quite pushy in a bar. They don’t try to squeeze through or tap people, they just walk forward chest first slamming into whoever is on their way, not caring if they spill beers or give you whiplash. It would be annoying except that the women do this too, which is fairly pleasant actually.

About Beau Woods

Beau Woods is a cyber safety innovation fellow with the Atlantic Council, a leader with the I Am The Cavalry grassroots initiative, and founder/CEO of Stratigos Security. His focus is the intersection of cybersecurity and the human condition, primarily around cyber safety, ensuring connected technology that can impact life and safety is worthy of our trust. Over the past several years in this capacity, he has consulted with automakers, medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers, cybersecurity researchers, US federal agencies and legislative staff, and the White House.

Posted on April 26, 2009, in Europe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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