Hunger strike

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Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen
June 28th 2008
Published: September 30th 2017
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Norwegians use a ton of these one-time grills. They buy these for a few Euros and have a lot of BBQs in the parks. Definitely a lot cheapier than eating in a restaurant, but definitely not very environmentally friendly.
Geo: 60.3881, 5.33185

It has been confirmed that Norway is insanely expensive - a Swiss couple (Barbara from Berne and Rafael from Lucerne) told me that everything here is 30% more than back home! If the Swiss find it expensive, it must be off the charts!

I woke up late today and lay in bed for a while, waiting for the bathroom. Stupid Aussie girl took forever - I prefer to have hostel bathrooms down the hall because then you usually don't run into a problem waiting.

Picked up some OK but expensive mango yogurt and ate it in the shadow of the TI, avoiding the rain. I didn't bother with my umbrella at first, but luckily I decided to go back for it. The yogurt had these yummy rice puffs you could mix in separately ... they better be good, because they probably cost $1 each!

I'm considering selling a kidney in order to afford the high food prices here, but now realize that it would be silly to do that - why not just eat the kidney, and avoid the middleman? I tried booking my Stockholm-Helsinki ferry online, but couldn't figure out how to take care of my railpass discount so

Mmm ... yogurt ... mmm ... expensive yogurt ...
need to find a way to call directly, or use a travel agent.

Found a nice walking area along Standgaten, but it was quiet at this time of morning. Then it started to pour - even with an umbrella, the lower third of my body was COMPLETELY soaked. I've also got some pretty bad shoes for wet weather - they don't really repel water.

Noticed that a scoop of gelato is 3 Euros - insane! I wandered over to the fish market for lunch - some amazing grilled salmon that was perfectly underdone, retaining its juiciness and sweetness. It was served with some grilled onions, tomatoes, and store-bought potato salad. Some dude from Mexico city was the chef - I wondered if he was scamming a little bit of money, because after every customer he would discreetly pull out a piece of paper and write down some numbers. He tossed me a yummy free shrimp, so I didn't complain.

It was a great chance to practice my Spanish - he told me that he'd only been here a month, and that here you need to speak Norwegian, Spanish, and Italian, but only basic English. There is tons of short term work

I banged my hand on a stone ledge and cursed my bad luck. But then I had an idea ... what cheaper way to eat than to munch on my own flesh? It's got a lot of protein and it regenerates itself, giving me an unlimited source of food! Food criss solved!
here and with the strength of the Norwegian Kroner, it's worth a lot almost anywhere you take the money home to. There are also many Spanish workers at the various fish stalls.

I guess I all the Spanish tourists go crazy for the salmon here, because they can't get any back home. If only Spanish women were so crazy about Chinese-Canadian men with bad Spanish accents ...

Did a tour of the Bergen and Hanseatic museums - the tour included admission to both museums and surprisingly, it was the same price as going to both museums on your own. The tour also described some parts of the city. A hell of a deal in this expensive country! We lucked out because there were no more scheduled English tours for the day, but because no Norwegian speakers showed up, they did it in English instead.

The guide described how the Hanseatic league treated apprentices - apparently they had "games" in which the apprentices invariably ended up naked. They would be tossed into the ocean, or hung above a fire and beat. Sounds like a German fetish film ...

The only other people on the tour were a family from Washington DC. The guy

Wow! Even in a grocery store a SINGLE Corona is almost $6 CAD!
is a soon-to-be-retired member of the Coast Guard. Our guide, Benedicta, had a pretty hot Norwegian accent ... surprising, considering it sounds like a pretty unsexy language.

After the tour, I returned to the Bergen museum to see some of the exhibits we had skipped. One special exhibit talked of modern witch hunts - it ended with a short movie on McCarthyism, and its witch hunt for Communist in the USA. It asked if we would look back on today's war on terror the same way, 50 years from now?

New bunkmates - Stuart, a Civil Engineer from the UK, doing a motorbike tour. And in walked a young couple - I asked where they were from and the girl looked at me, smiled, and said "Spahn-eesh" ... ooh ... spahn-eesh ... so sexy ...

Eduoard is from Madrid and Astrid (very unique name for a Spanish girl, actually a Scandinavian name, she told me) is from the Canaries. I asked them why so many Spaniards come here and they told me "To escape the heat!!!" Don't Spanish women know that Canada is a very cool country? They should come here! And my house has A/C, so it's VERY cool in the

Bottled water is VERY pricey, as well. Almost $3.50 CAD for 1.5 litres. Contrast this with Spain, where you pay $0.30-0.40 CAD, or even in London where you pay $1-1.20 CAD. I think I have to start drinking toilet water here, it's much more affordable. And there might be some food in it, too!
summer. I could probably take in several dozen Spanish women and give them refuge! I'm such a humanitarian when it comes to Spanish women ...

So funny that I'm getting so much more Spanish practice in Norway than I ever get in Spain! It's much easier to strike up conversations with other tourists, than with the locals. Anyway, I took a nap and then went in search of dinner. I ended up at Cafe Lido, more like a cafeteria than a real restaurant.

Had a quiet night - just a quick stroll around town. The Edvard Grieg festival is on right now, but I wasn't in the mood for a classic concert. The price was 20-25 €, so it wasn't excessively priced. Back to the hostel for a little bit of journal writing, where I got to talking to a nice Taiwanese couple living in San Jose. James and Phoebe - they actually offered to let me visit them in their Lake Tahoe home within minutes of meeting me! Of course, they seem to do the vacation home exchange thing, so maybe that's more what they meant. Either way, it'd still be a good deal.

It was a nice chat with nice

How true, how true ...
people; they aren't very experienced with hostels and only stayed at one here because of the disgusting prices of everything. It's only a pedestrian hostel, but they were quite impressed with it - however, there definitely are some much worse ones that this!

Getting ready for bed, I realized a terrible truth - things are so expensive here that I need to go on a hunger strike! Unfortunately, it's not really a protest because it's involuntary - how they heck do you afford to eat in this place??!!??

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 26



Neat, but dead, little pedestrian street.

I never thought I'd eat a scumball, but Norway's outrageous food prices might drive me to that.

Hmmm ... that cruise line has a Spanish name! Maybe that explains all the Spanish sightings around town ... I think I need to get a job on one of those ships ... I could offer a new type of turn-down service - instead of a chocolate on your pillow at night, you get me! This service would only be available to the women, however ...

Who knew that they had a Man U fan club here in Norway?

Creepy-looking statue with the theatre in the background. They're playing my favourite musical, Les Miserables! I could get a ticket, but that probably means I won't be able to eat for the next 10 days.

Beautiful sculpture in a beautiful park.

This figure seems deep in his thoughts. I wonder what he could be pondering - love? The secret of life? Or maybe he's just wondering where his fig leaf went ...

Does this air freshener smell like a soccer players sweaty cleats?

Entrada is Spanish for entrance. I hoped there would be Spanish senoritas shopping there, but no luck :(

Gelato, tiramisu, and ... sushi??!!? Doesn't seem to go together ...

You can still get a take out sandwich for $6-9 CAD, so I probably won't starve while here.

The 7-11's in town all have pretty fancy delis. You'd never think of eating anything like this at a convenience store back home, but I guess there's a huge demand for cheap (relatively) food here.

Handing out free bags of snacks - you can't turn that down in this expensive country!

Whenever I need an extra t-shirt while traveling in Europe, I pop into Jack Jones because they ALWAYS have cheap shirts on sale for $10-20 CAD. But not here in Norway!

The famous fish market.

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