Sunday, May 29, 2011

What I will miss from Norway: #1

Having been to Brazil for a week and back I can clearly see that life will be different once we move there. And this has brought a sense of early nostalgia about Norway already. Despite difficulties making friends and getting used to the cold, this is a great place to live. In terms of quality of life, I am yet to find a comparable country. But what will I miss the most?

Public transport! Oslo has an informal "20 minute rule" saying that you can get from anywhere to anywhere else in at most 20 minutes. Trains, trams, subways, buses and even public bicycles make this possible. You buy a monthly pass and it allows you to use any of these as much as you like. Of course there are some far away neighborhoods that bend this rule, but overall it is true. And not only is the public transport available, but it actually works well! Norwegians seem to like to complain about it, but, to be honest, where else in the world can you complain that your train was 4 minutes late? In Brazil you don't even have a certain time for buses... you just go to the stop and wait until yours comes by... sometimes in 5 and others in 45 minutes. And here in Oslo delays regarding urban transport are counted in single digits, with public outcries when something goes beyond that. In line with this is the fact that there were only 2 disruptions in service in the entire time I was here, and one of them was diverting urban trains to pick up tourists from the 2011 Nordic World Ski Championship.

Definitely something to miss in  Brasil...

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