A weekend in…

Proper eti­quette

- Lifestyle · Norway · Oslo

Tip­ping? The con­cept of tip­ping is prac­tised very loosely in Nor­way. Most Nor­we­gians never carry cash, and most restau­rants, bars, taxis and cafés use card ma­chines where you’re shown the full amount and get the chance to add how­ever much you want. Most Nor­we­gians round up the fi­nal price to the clos­est full num­ber, so if a drink costs 77 NOK, you round it up to 80 NOK. For huge meals with sev­eral cour­ses you may add a bit more, but food and drink are al­ready ex­pen­sive and wages are high, so tip­ping is just a way to show that you re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated the ser­vice and food. Some places in­clude a ser­vice charge on the bill, so no extras need to be added un­less you’ve ended up with lots of spare change that weighs you down. Tip­ping is a good way to get rid of coins, in a coun­try where fewer and fewer places ac­cept cash as pay­ment.

Be­ing loud? On the sur­face, Nor­we­gians are quiet and re­served peo­ple, and un­less al­co­hol is in­volved, peo­ple keep their voices re­spect­fully quiet. You won’t often hear shout­ing or loud peo­ple on the streets or in shops or restau­rants. How­ever, when al­co­hol is in­volved, Nor­we­gians tend to loosen up a bit and the vol­ume rises, as well. Most ar­eas, even in cen­tral Oslo, have res­i­den­tial spots, so be re­spect­ful when leav­ing bars or clubs as there will be peo­ple liv­ing nearby. The re­served­ness also in­cludes talk­ing to peo­ple you don’t know. Walk­ing up to strangers to chat is un­heard of, un­less you need to ask for di­rec­tions.

Be­ing late? Don’t. Be­ing late is seen as dis­re­spect­ful, and if asked, most Nor­we­gians will list peo­ple be­ing late as their num­ber-one pet peeve. If din­ner starts at 5pm, be there at 5pm, not at 5.30pm, or the food may well be gone. Of course, ac­ci­dents hap­pen and ev­ery now and then be­ing late can’t be helped, but if you know that you’re about to be late, let the rest of the group know. If no­tice is given, peo­ple are usu­ally very for­giv­ing. If you’re late to an ap­point­ment, call in ad­vance and let them know; often they can rear­range to ac­com­mo­date you. If no no­tice is given, there tends to be a ten-minute win­dow be­fore the ap­point­ment is can­celled, in which case you might still be charged.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK