Life in Norway

As many of you know, I arrived in Norway on October 3rd this year, almost 2 months ago. Since then, I haven’t found much time to update this blog with new content. However, I always try to post at least one post per month, so here I am, on November 30th at 23:10 UTC writing this month’s entry. With just under an hour to go, I’m rushing to get this done.

Anyway, the last two months have been exciting. Working for Opera has been really fun and I’m starting to adjust to my new life in Norway reasonably well. Although I can’t yet tell you everything, I’m working in the Core QA department, finding and analysing bugs and working on some other really cool projects.

I have, of course, continued my involvement with the W3C HTML, Web API and WAF working groups. The HTML WG recently published the first public working draft of the HTML Design Principles. This is actually a really important document, since it outlines the core principles and design aims behind HTML5. Unfortunately, we are yet to formally publish a first public working draft of the spec itself (the editors draft is always available), we are really hoping we can resolve the remaining issues sooner rather than later.

I’m currently living in an apartment, sharing with three other Opera employees. Some photos of this place have been published on my flickr account. My bedroom is a little bit small (it’s only 1.7m × 4.7m), but somehow I’ve managed to fit everything in.

One thing I’ve noticed here, which has required a fair bit of adjusment, is that almost everything is backwards here! Seriously! Here’s just a few things to which I’ve had to adjust:

  • They drive on the right instead of the left. This is a problem because I instinctively look the wrong direction before crossing the road and it’s not easy to break the habbit.
  • People generally walk on the right as well, so I have to try to remember to move right instead of left to avoid running in to people.
  • Escalators in shopping centres are ridden on the right as well.
  • While traffic lights are red, they briefly flash orange before changing to green. For those who don’t know, in Australia, the orange is only used while changing from green to red.
  • They have zebra crossings here, some with pedestrian lights! In Australia, zebra crossings mean that the cars must give way to pedestrians. Here, at the zebra crossings without lights, cars don’t always seem to stop when they see someone about to cross, only when the pedestrian is actually on the crossing. (Maybe they’re just bad drivers, I’m not sure of the rules)
  • Pedestrian lights flash green before turning red. In Australia, it’s the red that flashes before turning on fully.
  • They have both Norwegian and English TV shows here. They put Norwegian subtitles on the English shows and no subtitles on the Norwegian shows.

There’s probably more, but I can’t remember them all.

It started snowing here a few days ago, though it’s still a little warm and it melts away during the afternoon. I’m looking forward to the ski season starting sometime in the next few weeks. Although I wear warm clothes while walking to work, I generally walk around the office during the day wearing shorts and t-shirt. The office is just too warm to be wearing long pants or a jumper, yet some people are still surprised to see me like that.

As those of you who’ve been following my twitter posts would know, I recently bought myself a 17" MacBook Pro. I absolutely love it and I’m finding myself using it more and more instead of my PC. OS X Leopard rules! Windows Vista sucks. Seriously, I’ve never seen an OS so bad and unusable. It’s unbelievable how annoyed I got with it after only 5 minutes of use on a friends laptop.

Anyway, my time is almost up to get this published before the end of the day, so that’s it for now.

4 thoughts on “Life in Norway

  1. Regarding Vista:

    This past week, I had to take my wife’s PC to my favorite independent computer shop for repairs. My wife is still using Windows98SE. I have WindowsXP SP2 on mine.

    I asked whether WindowsXP could still be installed on a new PC if my wife’s PC could not be repaired. I was told that the shop never installs Vista unless a customer demands it. The requests they get to remove Vista are an order of magnitude greater than requests to install it.

    You will notice that my wife has “second edition” and that I have “service pack 2”. As a retired software test engineer (doing approximately what you are now doing), I learned NEVER to take the initial version of an operating system.

  2. About the trafic lights;
    Look closer… Yellow and red…

  3. Hei Lachy, With the difference in the folk and the high prices in the shops not to mention the extortionate cost of alcohol how do you like living in Norway???
    I speak as someone who spent a year in Norway (Brevik and Stavanger) many years ago (1986/7 in a different lifetime) ! I would advise you to watch out for the female version of humans in that part of the World and I also speak of that subject from experience – I lost my 1st husband (after 20 years of marriage to one of these very predatory females)… Mind you I got over it and actually while I was there had a whale of a time after I got over the initial shock ! and made several friends with whom I kept up a bond of friendship for years. It’s a beautiful place to live though and the Norwegians have a lot to be thankful for – although there is a high cost of living, the standard of life there is high too – or has it changed ? I’m afraid I have in the last few years kind of lost track of my friends, however I would probably be able to pick up the strands again with a bit of detective work …. Hope you enjoy life there as much as I did, Blimey ! I’m so envious…….. Cheers from Scotland – Bye!.

  4. Cars ARE supposed to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the road at a zebra crossing. It’s a known issue that few do.

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