I've noticed a lot of you thing I'm a bit of a weirdo taking on a 45minute walk each way to get to school... (Don't worry, you're right. I'm a weirdo! ;)) First of all.. There's no hiding the fact that I'm Norwegian after all. You're supposed to go walking, preferably for no reason at all other than to go out walking. Foreigners are usually very confused by this. Especially Sunday walks are important as some might not get to go walking too often during the week.
In Norway kids will be left alone outside a lot more than for instance in the US. It's a pretty safe country and the culture is different, too. Unless you live far from school you walk to school. Maybe the youngest might walk with their parents, or if you live by dangerous roads etcetera it might be different, but rain or shine you usually walk. I was pretty lucky and lived close to all my schools as a kid and had a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15minute walk to school.
At age 12 we went to Québec, Canada for a while and went to school there. There we rode the school bus...
It felt pretty silly, actually, to a Norwegian.. It was no more than a 15 minute walk, but instead we spent half an hour on a bus..!? Some days I would walk, though! :)
I like to walk.. They actually compare the Norwegian walking with Eastern meditation. It gives you time to think and relax and just let your mind wander.. I like that comparison. I can assure you not all Norwegians like to walk, and that most probably would head for the subway rather than walk the 45minutes.. I think I more than anything like the idea of getting a fair amount of excersise just out of getting to school. It's sort of like taking the "get of the bus a stop or two before where you live/work" idea a bit far. Getting to the subway is about 10-15minutes on foot from my house (there is a bus, but I'd never bother with that to save 5minutes or so) plus maybe 10minutes on the subway.. So the timedifference is more like 20minutes, probably less with delays.. And with busy, crowded subway cars during rush hour.. I think I'd rather walk!
A funny walking story.. This is Anna (that's Bajas' Auntie Anna) and me in Philadelphia last spring. We mainly stayed in New York and Toronto and went to several concerts. We were also going to two concerts in Philadelphia and planned to stay there one night and then take a bus back late at night after the second concert. We arrived in Philadelphia late afternoon with a minimum of clothes... and it rained. Oh my, it RAINED! We had one pair of shoes... We were in a hurry just having time to check into the hostel and head for our concert.. So what do we do? We take of all surplus clothing, shoes included! We stuffed our backpacs and headed out into the streets of Philly, barefeet in the rain.
The security guy at the bus station looked at me wide eyed and said "Your mama would be mad, you running without your shoes on!" We had such a laugh running through the streets, jumping in the puddles. Oh yes.. We did.. The people driving by s t a r e d ! Some people in a restaurant started pointing and running to the window! Did I mention we laughed? We arrived at the hostel laughing, water dripping but shoes and clothes DRY. And then we went to see Pretty Girls Make Graves and had a blast.
Here we are at the concert! The guy in the background on the left make this picture priceless.
By the way... One of the reasons I choose a pug as my first dog was that they don't need too much excercise. Not that I don't like walking.. But sometimes it just it is a bit hot.. or wet.. or cold.. Plus (mainly) I really find it important to choose a breed of dog that you can give MORE than the minumum, rather than the oposite.
So if it's really cold or rainy I have the choice of snuggling up with the pug an extra 20 minutes and take the subway instead. That's really good to know, but I hope I'll keep to the walking as much as possible! (With an hour walk with Bajas and walking at work I really think I'll be moving enough.)