So let’s get this out of the way, a pint of beer in Norway is about 90 to 100 NOK or Norwegian kroner which translates roughly to about €10 or GBP£7. So comparative to most places in the world, it is expensive. There is no way in hell that an average 18 year old can afford to go out and get hammered here. And they don’t. So there is no teenage drinking culture here or even young adult drinking culture. They just can’t afford it. How different my college years would have been if I had lived in Norway. Much more vivid, I suspect.
Eating out is also fairly expensive here although I think it is not so different in Oslo as in other capital cities.
Getting your hair cut needs to be weighed up against whether you need a family holiday that year because you probably can’t afford both. The first time I got my son’s hair cut here, I had to pretend I dropped my wallet so that I could gracefully pick myself up off the floor when I heard the price. She quickly put me out of my misery when it came to the tip stage by telling me it really wasn’t necessary. I believed her. I guess she knew I needed to eat again at some stage that week.
Any service that you buy here that is people dependent, such as in hair salons, bars and restaurants, is very expensive and that is because the people who are serving you get paid well. There is a fundamental systemic belief that workers, ALL workers, have a right to a good standard of living for themselves and their families. So the gap between what a CEO earns and what a middle-ranking office worker earns is much smaller than in other countries. The former does not get a stratospheric salary and the latter gets paid a good salary, bringing a great sense of equality where the middle ground is not far from anyone’s reach.
So for my part, I can sleep soundly at night knowing that my hairdresser can afford a holiday each year and a few beers every week.
I’ll admit that I did ponder on the idea of letting my son’s hair grow long and tying it in a nice ponytail. Or worse still, cutting it myself. He will never know how close he came to standing out at barnehage (kindergarten) for all of the wrong reasons. My daughter has seen Frozen far too many times to EVER want to cut her hair again. Thank God that movie is good for something.