So I get this question a lot from people that are knew to Norway. I meet these people in Fridays of course and its hard for them to know.  The questions I get are: “Is the tips included?” and “How much is it common to give in tips?”

This is my way of trying to answer this. And I answer this based on my own experiences from working in the restaurant business.

In Norway compared to a lot of other countries, we have quite a high hourly rate. As we speak I make 140 NOK an hour on a weekday. I get extra when its weekends,evenings, nights and red days. At this point in time this equals: Euro 18,50  USDollar 23,20  British Pound: 14,80.
So based on that, if I work full time, which is about 150 hours a month, I get at least (not couinting extras!) 21000 NOK. Lets convert that again shall we, E:2774  D:3481  P:2223.
So this is what a Norwegain would make without any tips, every month (if they work full time that is, and if you dont count the taxes!).

If we do included taxes in this.  We do have high taxes in Norway. With this kind of income I would say I would have to give roughly 25% to the state in taxes. That leaves me with 15750 NOK left (E:2080 D:2611 P:1667) This of course depends on a lot of stuff and is only meant as an example.

Norway is expensieve to live in. This is another factor. Everything here cost more. But Im not saying everything costs that much more than what we are making compared to other countries. Lets take an example. From one hour i can probably get 2 beers in Oslo. I could get half a pizza in a reastaurant. I could buy a latte 3-4 coffe lattes. I could go to the movies, once or I could fill 9 liters of gaz in my car. Its not much, but you do get something.

So, what does this mean? Well it means we actually get paid pretty well for our work. We are hired to work, give you service, which includes: smiling, helping, answer your questions, make things go smooth.. etc. We are suppose to make you feel welcome, seen and heard. We are suppose to give you a smile and be nice and wish you a good evening when you leave. So this should come naturally, shouldnt it? Usually this is where the tips comes in.

You give tips if you are very satisfied. It is not something you have to do. It is not something everyone does. But you do have the posibility to give something extra to your waitor. But as the last paragraph said, we are paid to give you sercive and you shouldnt have to pay us extra because we took your order and gave you the correct food. This we should be able to manage anyway. So what I would say, give tips if you are very satisfied, with very being in bold letters.

From my expreience, I can see the difference in my tips from my mood. If I had a very good day, the guests were nice, nothing bad or unexpected happened and If i felt that I got time for my guests, I usually see it in my tips at the end of the night. If I had a bad day, I was stressed, Things didnt work out, I forgot something, I just didnt do my best, uasually the guests noticed and I see it in my tips.

So basically, its not expected of you like it is in many countries. There is no 10 % minimum tip. I will not be sad or dissapointed if you had your burger and your beer and you paid me the exact amount and left. I will not ask you why you didnt tip me. I will appreciate the tips if you do give it, I will say thank you very much and tell you how kind you are. I will feel like I did a great job. But this is only natural, wouldnt anyone be a little happier everytime they make a little more money? ^^

I hope this answered some of your questions. And please comment or ask me questions about this if you want me to elaborate on anything!

I thought this might be useful if any of you where traveling to Norway and wanted to drink and go out!

Vorspiel is a very useful thing we do in Norway, it is German and pretty much means the party before the party (any Germans out there who have the correct translation?)  Anyway, we do this mainly because it is to expensive to drink all your drinks out on a club or a bar, so you buysome before you go out and drink it with your friends.

Then the places of alcohol-buying in Norway. The general Grocery Stores in Norway only sell beer, cider, rusbrus(ready mixed drinkes in bottles). And the volume of alcohol is no higher than 4-5 %. If you want wine, licure, spirits, and that’s sort of stuff, you have to go to Vinmonopolet, they are pretty much located some places close to you (but not as close as the grocery store.

The time of buying. You have to time your buying, all alcohol-sale ends at general stores ends at 8 PM, Monday-Fridays, and at 6 on Saturdays. All sales at Vinmonopolet ends at 6 PM Monday-Fridays and 3 PM on saturdays. All alcohol buying is closed on Sundays, even if you find an open store!

The Age-limit. You have to be 18 or older to buy drinks with an alcohold % over 22%. This includes all drinks a general stores, most wines and some mixed drinks at Vinmonopolet.  The age-limit for alcohol above 22 %, you have to be 20 years old. You have to show ID at Vinmonopolet without being asked for it if you are under the age of 25 (they actually gave you a lollypop for a while if you remembered to show it before they had to ask you^^).

Tip! If you are a little late (like most norwegians when the sale is about to end) there is going to be a line of people wanting to buy some beers at the last minut, the only thing is, it doesnt matter if you where in the store, or grabbed the beer before 6 PM, you have to have them registered before that time or it will not registrer and you will not get to buy any beer. This is an automatic thing and you can not argue.

Hope this wass helpful 😉

I know many of you have asked for places to eat, drink coffee, go to that I prefer. I have never really though of that as information you would like to have, but I am clearly wrong and I will with this inform you of some of my favorite places to go to drink coffee and stuff like that. First of all, I live close to Nydalen/Bjølsen and some of these places are near there. I will also inform you of how to get there by public transportation! This is just the first list, of hopefully many, when I actually think of palces I like to go, but this is a start.

Bjølsen Bakeri
This is a fearly new place, and hasn’t been open for more than a couple of months. I went there only because it is the closest café to my apartment. But I am so happy I went there and the main reason I go is their Cinnamons Buns. OMG. You will not have had anything that delicous in your entire life! It costs about 20 NOK, maybe 25. Its not that many seats available, but its not that central so I had not yet had trouble getting a seat. Together with the amazing cinnamon bun they are very aware of coffee. I mean, they sell great coffee imported from special places and they know their stuff. A cup of regular black (but very good coffee) costs about the same as the cinnamon bun and you get a free refill (it’s not many places in Oslo that still does that!).
Directions: The Easiest way is to take the 54- or 37-buss from Jernbanetorget to Bjølsen (about 20 min). The café is just across the road (almost) from the busstop.
Website (in norwegian): http://bjolsenbakeri.no/

Bjølsen Sushi
Hah, another place at Bjølsen. But this Sushi is amazing. I have not had that much sushi, but I think this one if great. It’s also one of the cheapest I’ve found so far in Oslo. I usually eat Maki and they are from 45 NOK at 6 pieces. They are open until ten, and you can sit in the restaurant or take away, they make the food in 10 minutes or so. I love it.
Directions: same as above. Just behind the busstop.

This is a coffee-shop a friend of mine words at, and he is THE SHIT in coffee making if I might say so myself. This is a coffeeshop that sets coffee highest on the list, they train theirs baristas and make sure they serve the best coffee to their costumers. Very few seats, mostly a to-go place and not that much to eat, again its the coffee that counts, and if you want the best coffee you go here! (Or Tim Wendelboe, but that is a different story).
Directions: the 37-buss from Jernbanetorget to St. Hanshaugen. The shop is almost just at the busstop.


Two Australians

I love working at TGI. Friday’s. I meet so many people from all over the world and I get a change to actually talk to them, it’s wonderful. 

Tuesday evening I was working a pretty busy day for a Tuesday, we even had a waiting list for a while, and that has not happened while I have been working on a Tuesday before (Saturdays, yes! But Tuesdays? No!). Anyway, there were two Australians at one of my tables and they where here for a holiday (They had been traveling for 5 months and were headed for 5 more!). They told me that Australia was voted the 2nd best country to live in and they new that Norway was the best. They asked me if I thought so too. 

I found this very interesting. I can easily explain why my country is better than the worst on the list, or even the 10th, but seeing how it is better than the runner up, is kind of hard. So we had a little chat about it. I started explaining that I felt very safe, that if anything happened to me my country would take care of me, and if I had a baby Norway would give me money to stay home and take care of it. I said I really did miss all the wonderful beaches, and being able to surf like the Australians, but the guy (there was one guy and one girl) said he missed skiing, so we where kind of even there. But the girl told me that Australia could probably be better on taking care of stay-at-home mothers. So we found something ^^ but I am very sure that Australia probably has many positive sides that Norway could adopt as well. 

I just wanted to tell you this so maybe you could think of ways your country is wonderful, compared to that same thing in Norway or any other place. I know there is a lot of stuff I miss in Norway, and that I would want to live someplace else for a while. But I also know that Norway is my home, and I would never want to live anywhere else. 

Please help me

I keep getting these mails, saying people subscribes to this blog. I guess you are all hopeful I will post something of worth. But I am really really bad at updating this blog, and I think I have finally figured out why.


 I don’t know what you guys want to hear about. 


That’s it. Simply. I really can’t understand why you are interested in the little tiny country called Norway. Why you find my language and culture interesting. For me, it is simply the way of life. And I really don’t know what about my everyday -life that is interesting to you. And it would be greatly appreciated if you would inform me of this.


I have a few guidelines for you though. I don’t know anything about:

  • How to get you to Norway. 
  • How to get you a job or where to start.
  • Books, cd’s or dvd’s to teach you Norwegian. 
  • Anything VERY political. 
  • Or VERY economical. 


So that’s a start. I know mostly thing I have experienced ^^ haha. But really I don’t know what you don’t know… If you know what I mean? So give it a go in the comments and I will try once again to be more active with this blog, since you subscribers keep coming ^^



 ❤ Karin

A green Oslo

From this year Oslo has tried to make Oslo greener. It is a big project and soon all the houses are doing it.
It’s tricky in a big city with little space and many people to find a solution that works, but I think they did a great job.

What we do, all food and all plastic are being sorted in green and blue bags and put in the trash where you put your leftovers, and it all gets sorted at the trash-place!

You get the blue and green bags for free at your local grocery store and just throw your trash where you usually do. This way Oslo don’t have to put out tens of thousands of new trashcans and everyone is happy!

I have to let you know we already sort metal and glass, paper, cardboard and drinking cartons! This is just to add to that!


You might have heard that Norwegians get out and enjoys the sun the minute it appears. Early April when the snow is still on the ground and the sun comes out between the clouds, we get our scarfs and our hot coffee and we sit outside. Hopefully we avoid the wind with a wall or something and we enjoy the little sun-time we have.

Well, the summer isn’t much different. This year we had a great April (at least where I live) and a crappy may (with the exceptions of a few days, and 17th of may). And now, that June is here is has started of great and all I’m thinking is “I have to tan right now, cause july. Might be crappy!”.

I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I have to take every minute I have off from work when it’s sunny to tan, drink cold beverages and eat ice cream. Cause really you can not depend on the weather. You know what the first thought was when June started of as sunny, was? “Oh damn, is July going to be rainy now? What about my wedding?!”. So that’s how it goes, I sit outside eating my breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner and only go in when the sun is down and the mosquitos are out and worry about what day of the summer is going to be crappy and rainy because I can enjoy this day today.

And just for last, a happy, ice-eating picture of me and my husband-to-be!