Culture · Erasmus · Oslo · Travel · Weekend Update

Ice Hockey on a Sunday (Norwegian Cultural Level Unlocked)

A few weekends ago (because I’m horrifically late on updates), I had probably the most Norwegian weekend of my life so far. This might not be saying much considering that at the time, I’d only been in Norway for about a month, but I definitely feel like some cultural levels were achieved and I am now more Norwegian than I was when I went to bed that Friday.

On Saturday, SIO (our student organisation) and Chateau Neuf (our student cinema organisation) collaborated to host an outdoor cinema event at Kringsjå (our student halls). As it rained the morning of, people were quite sceptical about the whole event. However, Norwegians are one with nature and the message was sent out that the rain had stopped, the cinema was going ahead and that people had better bring something to sit on.

So I called my friend Lucy and we headed to Kiwi to stock up on essentials (popcorn and chocolate). We had the genius idea of buying two boxes of microwaveable popcorn as not only did they have four packs in each box but it was also cheaper than one bag of pre-popped corn.

This idea turned out not to be as genius as we initially had thought as there was no microwave in Lucy’s flat. And since a girl had moved out and taken the microwave with her, there was none in mine either.

So, in a tribute to the nineties, we popped it old school style.

Which had all the potential to go horribly wrong, but actually worked really, really well!

We rocked up to the outside cinema, massive metal cooking pot full of popcorn in hand and generally feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. The fact that free popcorn was provided didn’t dampen our triumph too much and we used them as refills after we ate most of the popcorn waiting for the film to start.

And on the subject of damp, it may not have been raining but that didn’t stop the grass doing its best impression of a puddle. Cue genius idea number two of putting the forest load of spam in our postboxes to good use and sitting on newspapers. It kept us dry – even if it was slightly primitive compared to the table, chairs and candlelit dinner that some people had dragged outside.

pre-cinema snacking (sorry Shelby!)
pre-cinema snacking (sorry Shelby!)

I do have a slight confession to make here. I may possibly have inwardly (or not so inwardly) judged the people we met on the way who said that they had planned to go but now it was too cold. Pfft, I thought, good luck surviving the Norwegian winter (looking forward to those 5 hours of daylight, Norway!). Even when we were waiting for the film to start, we were looking around people trying to guess where people came from by how many clothes they were wearing. Coming from England and Canada, we thought we could easily survive the chilly September air in a hoodie, coat and jumper respectively.


Yeah karma really hit me with that one.

I’m not sure when and I’m not sure how but it got really cold, really quickly and now I’m doubting my own ability to survive this winter.

The film itself however was really good! It was The Grand Budapest Hotel. I’d only seen trailers before so I had an idea of what the film might be like and thought it might be fun to watch, but I didn’t know much else. It was light-hearted, funny and had some extremely poignant moments which were at times so relevant to current situations that it was almost uncomfortable (i.e. “You can’t arrest him just because he’s a bloody immigrant, he hasn’t done anything wrong!“).

I also cleaned my room. It took me about eight hours and was enough of an achievement that I felt it needed an honourable mention.

Sunday was when the hard core Norwegianess started. It was the last match before the Ice Hockey Series started and as such, it was free entry – which Lucy only found out after she had bought the ticket. The match was Vålerenga, the resident Oslo team, versus the Sparta Warriors, from Sarpsborg. Having been raised in southern England, I hadn’t had much experience of ice hockey up to this point – and one thing I was surprised at, and slightly consoled by, was that even professional ice hockey skaters fall down a lot.

I did really enjoy it though – there was even a small fist fight which I found pretty exciting! While I do live in Oslo and Vålerenga do have their own reality tv-show called Iskrigene (lit; ice wars), I was really impressed by the Sparta Warriors who won 5 – 2 and as such, now get their updates in my Facebook feed (Unnskyld Vålerenga!).

(Shout out to #48 of the Vålerenga team and the synchronised zamboni for very immature yet valid reasons!)


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