Sunday, April 6, 2014

England VS. Norway - Face-off

I have lived away from Norway for 5 years and a couple of months, so expect this post to come across as a bit biased, but I've never actually got down to an actual comparison of both Norway and England. So, here we go!

Food -- England or Norway?

Contrary to "popular belief" that I and food don't get on so well, I freaking love that the food here in England is so cheap. You can actually live healthy too without spending ridiculous amounts of money. In the past I always used to wonder why healthy food was so expensive in comparison to junk food, but my wondering came to an abrupt end when I realised just how cheap everything really is. Believe it or not, £1 goes a long way over here. There's a variety of restaurants here as well (in terms of cultural/ethnic food), without having to look so very hard. £4 minimum for Korean food at Totoro restaurant, or £4 pounds for a KINGSIZED chicken kebab that takes forever to finish at Parmir's? Wow, just wow! Besides, I can't remember where I last saw pineapples for 0.76p each in Norway.  Argue all you want that it's because of the wages in Norway, but the winner of this food face-off is England, hands-down. 

Housing -- England or Norway?

Having been a student for almost all of those 5 years I've lived in England, I must admit that I've only lived in good houses at least three times out of six, one where the ceiling in the kitchen caved in - luckily, with nobody beneath it. Don't get me wrong - there are a lot of good houses out there but, in my experience, it seems they are very few - here in Bournemouth at least. I'm privileged to be living in a decent apartment now, but maybe that's because I'm no longer a student? However, if you spend time looking, you are bound to find something amazing in England - especially closer to Bournemouth beach.

I like the flats in Norway, they are renovated quite well and have great durability. My family home over there has been lived in for 25 years and is still standing - even after several renovations. I don't believe the case would be the same for some of the English houses I've lived in. But, again, perhaps that's because I've only lived in student accommodations. I have seen some very beautiful British houses.
Another thing I like about my neighbourhood in Norway is that it's child friendly - absolutely no traffic.
And the winner is: Norway.

Social Activities -- England or Norway?

I'm sorry, but this one is already obvious. Of course the only places I can compare with each other are London and Bournemouth vs. Oslo and Bergen, but, from what I've experienced, there isn't even a question about the winner of this one.  There are so many things to do in England, it's almost ridiculous. Plays aren't super expensive either - there are some very affordable prices. So many restaurants to choose from, clubs, skating rinks, bowling alleys, you name it. All with reasonable prices. Winner, you ask? Come on Now! England of course. 

Books --  England or Norway?

Most people know me as a book lover, and the variety of books, as well as the prices of them, are both very important to me. The books here are super cheap, and the great thing is that if you can't afford to buy books at a brand bookstore, you can always purchase books at a charity store. I once had a book project to write at University and couldn't be bothered to buy books I knew I might only read once - for the purpose of my project - so I got two books for £2 each at a local charity shop. Their normal price was £8 at the bookstore.  Bargain!!! I feel the bookstores here in general are super huge in comparison to Norway - I like a good browse around bookstores like Waterstone's and WHsmith. I love the variety - cook books, manga, fiction, travel guide books, and the list goes on.  The winning prize goes to: England.

Clothes -- England or Norway?

Now, I'm no lover of fashion exactly, but I do like mixing and matching ideas for outfits to wear. Is that fashion too by any change? *Shrugs* Anyway, I find that there are so many stores to choose between here in England, a great variety in clothing, and the prices are, once again, reasonable in most stores. Why do some Norwegians fly over to England for a one day/one week shopping trip? Mostly because of that. Because of the wages in Norway, one almost feels like royalty splashing money in England.  The winner is: England.

Wages/Earnings -- England or Norway?
The winner is: Norway. The minimum wage in Norway is much higher in comparison to England, which probably would explain the ridiculously high prices, but I still think prices are exaggerated over there.

Job opportunities-- England or Norway?

I like the fact that there are so many different recruitment agencies in England. You simply build a CV with all your previous experiences, put it up on the different online recruitment websites, and BAM! You've got people phoning you up with jobs matching your skills/qualifications. The government works hard to ensure that there is a low unemployment rate - therefore, if you are capable of working, they will do their best to make sure you get to work. There are also tons of graduate jobs and internships over here, and some jobs pay really well to begin with. In addition, there are tons of job opportunities, especially within my field (media) in London. Winner is: England.

With 5/7 - England is the overall winner of this face-off.