Today was a good day! I got extra hours at work and tomorrow we're having a little celebration there, seeing as the kindergarden will be closed on the 17th of May, Norway's national day :)
Norwegian people love their flag and its always on show at every possible opportunity. On birthdays or other special days its totally normal to see the flag up outside somebody's house. We have the flag up outside the kindergarden if any of the kids or staff have a birthday and schools and supermarkets etc often have the flag on display. There is also something called a 'vimpel' (not sure of the English word!) which looks like this: http://www.drange-produkter.no/minsket-norsk%20vimpel-4.jpg
Its not a proper flag but it has the Norwegian colours and can be up constantly in your garden or whatever, since these rules regarding the flag don't apply:
The flag must be taken down before it gets dark.
The flag must never touch the ground.
The flag must never be pointing downwards.
You must have a Norwegian passport to buy a Norwegian flag. (okay, this last one isn't true at all but my boyfriend tricked me with it when I first came to Norway, can't believe I believed it! :P)
All of this flag business came as quite a surprise to me becuase in Ireland we don't have our flag on display at all really and it would be unusual to have an Irish flag in your home in the first place, never mind displayed in your front garden!
However, this isn't the madness I'm referring to.. Anybody that's lived in Norway in the last few months will have probably heard about the 'butter crisis'. Yes, the butter crisis. This is when a huge amount of people in Norway went on a low-carbohydrate diet and the butter suppliers couldn't keep up leading to a shortage of butter. It was right around Christmas time too! There was even butter for sale on Finn.no, a Norwegian market place type website, for 300kr per half kilo (40 euro)!!! Eventually we got butter from Belgium, Denmark and even Ireland! :) It was great to buy Irish butter in Rema 1000!
The butter crisis is over now, but! A new and perhaps even worse crisis has struck Norway today... The Bread Crisis!!! Today after work me and Lars Erik went to buy bread in our local supermarket, but... there wasn't any!! Everybody was looking around totally confused as to where the bread had gone. Then Lars Erik said 'Its the farmers...' 'The farmers?!' Yes indeed, it is the farmers! Norwegian farmers have gone on strike and today decided to buy all the bread that was in the supermerkets to really get their point across.. There have been articles about it on the Dagbladet news website and even recipes and advice on making your own bread! Actually, some of the recipes sound kind of good so I might try at the weekend! If it turns out good I'll let you know and post the recipe here :)
We'll have to ration it :P
Luckily, there are other alternatives available so we'll be eating this for lunch for the next few days:
Yes, knekkebrød! I guess it would translate as 'crack/break bread' or 'crisp bread' or something. Its hard, thin, crispy bread which is really yummy and a common lunch time staple in Norway.
Yes, its the knekkebrød we'll be having while the bread is in short supply! And if my own bread is really good I may start making it all the time, it would even save us money! The average Norwegian loaf is about 25kr or 3.25 euro. The bread here is fantastic though, the best bread I've ever eaten actaually! Not a sliced white loaf in sight! That's something else interesting, the bread here isn't sliced! But that's another post all in itself really :) I think I'll leave it here for tonight. Time for a cup of tea and then bed :)
Happy Tuesday all! :)