Blog Culturas

Blog Culturas

Solace on the bathroom floor

ArticlesPosted by blog Fri, October 16, 2015 11:55:40



"I keep having a vision of me standing in Frognerparken on the last day of summer. It’s night, and the sun has already gone down, but there are still many groups of young Norwegians grilling, playing games, and looking into the sky. The weather is warm with a perfect breeze flowing through the air. I look at Are with a smile and say, “Oslo is incredible! I never want summer to end.” Suddenly, I hear church bells chime in the distance. It’s official; Summer is over, and Fall has arrived. I look back to Are, but he and all of the other people in the park have disappeared, and I am left alone in the darkness. A crack of thunder smacks across the sky and rain begins to fall while the wind becomes harsh and cold. As I run back to my apartment, I notice that everyone is dressed in warm coats, gloves and scarfs while I am still only dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. I finally reach my apartment, strip off all of my wet clothing and lay motionless on the heated floor of my bathroom. It's then that the thought runs through my mind that I might never get up off the floor.

Okay, the transition into the Norwegian Fall was not that abrupt or dramatic, but the weather does change quickly. Over the course of a week, the temperature dropped to the point that wearing shorts is now impossible, but it is interesting to see everyone go through this sudden change from hot to cold. For those first few weeks of Fall, the usually stylish Norwegian is either unsure of how to dress for the season or has not yet pulled their winter wardrobe from storage. I have seen shorts matched with heavy winter coats and layers upon layers of whatever people can find to keep them warm. It now seems that everyone has adjusted and is dressed appropriately for the season except for me. I know that this may sound shocking, but a Texan, who has lived in Rio for the past four years, has somehow not accumulated many items suitable for fall and winter. In short, I look a hot mess.

Let it be known that anyone who intends to move to Norway should set aside money for the initial startup cost for a proper winter wardrobe. You will need coats, jackets, rain jackets, warm socks, wool soles, boots, rain boots, etc. I would compile a full list of essential items with a total estimated cost, but I do not have a job to go out and buy all of the essential items needed at the moment. When the time came to make a decision on what I truly needed to make it through the winter, I decided to put all of my money into warm boots, a rain jacket, and a warm yet stylish winter coat. My thinking was, as long as the clothing I wear on the outside is stylish that it will not matter if the sweater underneath is Old Navy circa 2004. However, through cost saving measures like not turning on the heat until November or buying boxed wine instead of bottles, I will be able to save enough money to attack the sales come February. The first lesson I learned when moving to Oslo is never to buy any clothing or furniture item at full price. Everything will go on sale, and the price difference is not only shocking but worth the wait. In the meantime, I will have to settle for looking like a college student who just rolled out of bed and was late for class. As long as the clothing keeps me warm it should not matter all too much. I suppose that if I ever feel down about my appearance or if can't stand the cold outside that I can always find solace on the heated floor of my bathroom."

Written by Nicholas Williams, blog columnist at Culturas. American citizen with a Master in International Marketing Management, Nicholas worked in Rio de Janeiro for four years and is currently living in Oslo.