Monday, January 10, 2011

Watched 'The Tourist' with a Manchester United fan, and other news

This evening I watched 'The Tourist' with Sunil, he's the friend whose apartment I stayed in whilst I was lost in limbo during the period between the Hotel and my present place in Stabekk.  He is from India and has been living in Norway for a year.  As usual I took my 40 minute walk to Lysaker train station where I met him and his friend (whose name I cannot remember at the moment, starts with an S.  I'm getting old.).  We went to Sunil's apartment for a bit, bought the movie tickets then went to Burger King to have dinner, not because we wanted to.  We were going to a Thai restaurant but it was closed.  Sunday seems to be shut down day.  Nothing was open, the city was quite dead.  The cinema that we went to was close to the National Theatre.

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If you rotate to the left a bit you will see the cinema, of course this was taken a while back when the Hangover was showing.

Since we were there a full hour and a half early we talked about Norway.  It's always interesting to hear about what others have to say about the country they live in.  The biggest bank charges fees for every transaction from your account, and if you take money from the ATM after hours you get charged an additional fee.  If you ring customer service you will have to pay per minute and all of it is in Norwegian. :)  Oh and they can get the pin wrong, Sunil was sent the incorrect pin and he couldn't get money out from the ATM.  Not only that he has to wait 6 months to get the digits on his Visa electron. :)  I have this feeling that Norway takes a we do not trust you approach. :)  His friend was telling me that they would not even provide you with an ATM card until the first paycheck is deposited.  Plus they will charge you fees if you do not hold a minimum balance.  So the moral of the story is, do not open a bank account with unless you love throwing NOK around.  Sunil also told me you have to pay 30K nok just to take driving from scratch.  That's pretty expensive.

The expensive theme is getting boring now.  I should talk about something else.

Sunil and his friend thinks Norwegians are shy.  It's not him that's just saying that it's also other people who have been living here, so maybe there is some truth in that.  According to him, it's quite common that once you have your childhood friends you rarely make new friends when you're an adult.

We also talked about how compressed the wage structure was, everyone almost makes the same amount.  And previous interview experiences.  Sunil was working in the US in Silicon Valley, I thought was cool.  However he supports Manchester United which is definitely not cool.

In other news, the person who I returned the fitness card to aka my neighbour sent me an sms today thanking me so that was nice.  Also the investigative journalist is now a friend too.  The one from Alternative Jul.  That was a nice surprise.  I guess not all Norwegians are cold.

The movie was the usual predicable hollywood style type of movie.  It costs 100 NOK to watch a movie here.  The cinema was quite spacious and could seat 500 people.  Almost all the ads were in Norwegian of course.  I counted 1 out of maybe 10 ads that was in English.  Would be nice if there were English subtitles for us uneducated ignorant foreigners. :P

Off to bed and to a tuberculosis test tomorrow!

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