Monday, August 9, 2010


In Norwegian, the word Salg means Sale. Tildbud, as I have similarly discovered, means Offer. At the moment, Oslo is brimming with signs promising Salg 50% and Tilbud this, and Tilbud that. In the world of grocery shopping, I've already capitalized on these Tilbuder particularly when I dare venture to buy products outside the "Firstprice" or "Euroshopper" range (ie. Savings/No Frills brand).

Today, armed with yet more free time, I decided to pay a visit to Rikshospitalet and its medical library. It never ceases to amaze me how comforting I find it to be surrounded by medicine. Maybe I'm a geek. But quite simply, while the past week has been immensely exciting, it's also been a week of feeling foreign; of being on the outside, not understanding announcements at train stations, constantly reaching for my pocket dictionary when passing a sign, scribbling down a reminder to look up a word later.

Step into Rikshospitalet medical library and suddenly I feel like I've flown 10,000 miles back home. ECG made easy, Oxford Clinical Handbook of Medicine, Kumar and Clarke, Moore's Clinical Anatomy...even good old Souhami was there. And that's the thing that's so special about medicine. Medicine is universal. It doesn't matter where we are in the world - we belong to a global fraternity. And if the Brownless library is Megan Fox (basically looks like a brothel - all bright lights, very little content), then Rikshospitalet library is a Natalie Portmann. A spectacle from afar, full of content, and definitely able to pull off the I'm-a-chick-and-I'm-bald look. I then ventured to the main campus library, and this would be the equivalent of Liv Tyler (Elf-lady from Lord of the Rings). Classy and effervescently beautiful. I'm very impressed, Universitetet i Oslo.

Anyway, to the part about the Salg (Sale). Here's the thing. I've always had this misconception that Norwegian clothes would be very expensive. Hence I bought all these clothes with me, along with new shoes, new jeans etc. Now I wish I'd waited until I got here! All throughout the centre of Oslo, there are sommersalgs (summer sales). Words cannot describe the rush of excitement I felt when I saw all these items (clothing, accessories, shoes) on offer, all for a reasonable price. Quality European clothing for prices within my budget. Considering that I've been packing my lunch everyday for the past week, and still yet to eat out (same dinner 3 nights in a row), I think I'm entitled to splurge myself. I didn't buy anything today, but it seriously required all my willpower NOT to buy the pair of shoes on sale for $40AUD (usual price $140), as well as the tops, the pants, the shirts...the list continues. There's absolutely no excuse for a Norwegian/European to be badly dressed - amazing clothing is in abundance here.

So here's the plan. I'm going to find myself a tin, and everyday, in this tin I will put as many Kroner as I save during that day. At the end of the week, I will take these kroner and buy myself aforementioned things. I mean, I'm not starving myself here for nothing...Imagine all the nice clothes I'll come back with!

I have a feeling I'm going to end up with scurvy...but at least I'll have good pants.

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