Cats: The most low-status pet. Shelters are crowded by them – and foster homes and volunteers are swamped at all times, due to the constant, non-stop flow of homeless floofs. But as I find it boring to write ideological posts (I prefer to stick to the less serious), here are some reasons why cats are just as amazing pets as dogs. In other words, if you’re a dog person without a dog – because dawgs require a lot of work – I hereby challenge myself to make you consider a less work demanding, but equally amazing companion.

Sure, I am definitely a cat person, but in general, I love all animals – dogs too. My lazy nature however goes better with the one of felines, but otherwise, I would be super happy with a pup too and love the crap out of it.

There, now you know I can be trusted. Just hear me out.

Yes, there will be photos of my cats in this post. Duh

Selectiveness is awesome when you are the one selected. It may take a while, all depending on the individual, but your cat will choose you. He might be an easy-going cat who doggily greets everyone else too, but if not – who does not love being the only one approved by that cranky individual who hates the whole world?

Dogs are extroverted, while cats are introverted. Just like a human extrovert will greet you with a hug, all eager to catch up, an introvert human might just say hello and be a little shy before (s)he remembers that you’re great friends. That does not mean they love you any less.

Cats are anarchists. In my experience, most animals have certain individual personality traits, some of which can be altered by humans to a certain degree. That said, cats do not follow your rules. They’re not your baby, they’re your roommate. And sure, at times that fluffy, innocent-looking roommate will steal your food and shed on your sheets, but most of the time it’s just really cool to be living your life next to someone else living theirs while pretending not to depend on you. But you know they do, and sometimes they forget to pretend and turn into chonky love balls.

At times my cat really does act like my roomie

I divide dogs into two categories: 1) Proud 2) Sorry for existing. Cats however only come in the first, AKA Look at all the fucks I give! One of my everlasting life goals is learning to give even more of those. I admire them. Cats are ~never~ sorry for existing.

Cats are self-cleansing. Did you know that wool very rarely needs washing? Most of the time it’s enough to put it on a hanger and let it air out for a day or two. The same goes for cats (without the hanger part). They can easily go their whole life without a bath, and still be really fresh. They don’t even smell. It’s super practical.

They get really old. Absolutely something to bear in mind when getting one, but I would definitely call it an advantage that cats can live up to 20+ years if they’re lucky. Unfortunately, our doggy friends usually last much less.

Dogs are horizontal, cats are multi-angled – perhaps that is why they are the stars of YouTube. You never know how high (or low) you might find your long-tailed roomie, and sometimes they just disappear, before reappearing in the middle of the floor, as if gone to another dimension. It doesn’t matter how small your flat is. And it’s super fun.

Cats are liquid. How else do they manage to fit into places half their size? A cat’s fear of the vacuum cleaner makes claustrophobia unheard of, and never an issue.

Dogs bark, which is probably the only thing I dislike about them. Cats on the other hand are quiet animals, and the sounds they do make are like precious, therapeutic gifts. A meow here, a purr there. No neighbor complaints, no horrified mailmen.

Unlike myself, cats have the ability to look super cute even when fat. As much as I wish that were the case for my own appearance, I must sadly admit that I just cannot rock the chonk shape.

They make everything better. You turn on the fireplace, but not really getting in that snuggly mood? Put a cat. Have an ugly sofa that needs pimping up? Put a cat. Don’t feel like going to bed? Put a cat. Cold feet? Put a cat. Rainy day? Put a cat. Heartache? Put a damn cat. Dying? Cat. Not kidding.

Edit: I wrote this piece of text while taking a break from writing my Master thesis (yes, I actually take breaks from writing to…write). Now I am in a totally different state of mind, but it has become clear to me that the mental state of pre-finishing and post-finishing a degree are of two different worlds (Planets. Planes?). Now that I am all done, I see flowers and unicorns. This is what I saw in June before I knew I would start a new and adult life as a full-time employee at the Music Academy:

I recently discovered, while finishing my final Master thesis, that my level of efficiency is turned up about five hundred percent when the sun goes down. While I cannot seem to concentrate properly more than about five minutes during the day, my inner owl is an effective little bugger, who prefers working from eleven to five. Five AM, that is.

I am so very unable to eat healthy food on a regular basis or work out weekly. Yet I totally have the will power to lose ten kilos in a month, by starving myself. All or nothing, guys, no problemo. My deepest apologies, body. I guess you weren’t first in line when they handed out souls.

We have lots of visitors. That’s good because having visitors makes me do chores. And that’s about the only time I do them. People have no idea what a filthy life we would live if it weren’t for our guests. Apparently, I care way more about not being judged than having a house that would meet the health department’s minimal requirements.

Speaking Spanish
Some days my Spanish sounds like I am a stuttering Tourettes patient. On those days I sometimes have my regular seven glasses of wine, and it all works out. (OR DOES IT?)

Studying, again
I am not able to get a decent grade on assignments that are handed out a year before their deadline. I am, however, very able to get an actual good grade on exams that last five hours or a couple of days. Oh, beautiful pressure. Am I only functional when stressed the fuck out? (Edit 2: I mysteriously got a good grade on the thesis I was writing at this point.)

I don’t have super bad self-esteem when it comes to my looks, but for some reason, I look like I have a disease every time I am caught on camera. I have a theory about it; I am actually hideously ugly, but mysteriously, you can only spot it when you freeze time. You might be thinking, but that picture you have on your front page is really cool! Well, make no mistake, that picture is cool because I laid down on the couch to check something on my phone, my hat fell over my face and I clicked the camera button by mistake. This is when you applaud. Thank you.

Let’s say I get a salary of ten thousand NOK. Even knowing that bills of eleven thousand are waiting, I can still pass by that expensive shop and buy the hell out of it. In a not-too-unusual moment of irresponsible, immature stupidity. And yet I am to be put in the category of ~adult human~? Can I please be appointed a guardian?

I try to filter myself, but sometimes I totally forget who I am speaking to, and end up offending people. I am sure there are those out there who have mistaken me for both homophobic, racist and just a general asshole, while I was actually trying to make fun of those beliefs in my own ~I think I am super clever~-way. Is there some kind of turn off sarcasm-button on my body that I have still yet to find? Is there an app I can install? Can my future employer not read this?

I am good at a lot of things – non of which generate money. Music, writing, languages, you name it. It’s like my personality has thought to itself HAHAHA, let’s see how resourceful AND useless a person can be at the same time! Challenge accepted!

Studying – for the last time
Why is it so difficult to get down the right words for an assignment, and so damn easy to write about all my flaws? Guess what I was supposed to be doing when I wrote this? Why? Just why?

Having worked a great amount of time in cafés and retail, I feel like it’s about time to share some insight. Make no mistake, I always expect the best from my clerks and waiters, but most of the time, it is the customers that need education. Here are some useful tips.


Just be friendly. The person greeting you when you enter a shop is not a part of some evil plan to manipulate you into purchasing a quantity that will force you into prostitution. The fact is that most people who work in the service industry are friendly by nature – and if they are not, rest assured they will not last long.

Be efficient

Don’t get in line before you have made up your mind. The stress that goes with having to wait for someone go yeah but no but yeah but no with a million annoyed customers behind him or her, equals being chased by hungry velociraptors.

Don’t argue with me

If an item comes from a brand we don’t sell, nor have ever heard of, you can be reasonably sure we are not messing with you when we say you must have bought it somewhere else. Service workers don’t have a very high societal status, but most of them are neither evil nor stupid.

Don’t be an asshole

So you have a complaint? And you gotta work yourself up and prepare a little speech beforehand, making sure to intimidate your clerk into doing whatever you want him to? Bad move. We have rules to follow, and they might not always run in your favor, but we’re just so much more likely to bend those rules if you’re not being a dick about it.

What if I told you…

We don’t decide the prices! Breaking news, right? This is the moment where you stop complaining about them to us and send an email to management instead.


Don’t ask for them. Just don’t. Sure, I’d like to go buy a Porche at half price too, but living in the real world, I know it doesn’t work like that. This is a business, not a charity, and you don’t even look homeless.

Clean up your mess

Do not smear your overly tanned face all over our expensive silk blouses. This isn’t the shroud of Turin, and you’re not Jesus.

Don’t cut the line

No, you can’t just buy a coffee. And you can’t just pay very quickly cause you’re in a hurry – your business isn’t busier than others’. Who even raised you?

Don’t leave your dog outside the shop

Seriously, we want to snuggle. It’s the highlight of our day!

Just do this if it’s so problematic

I rest my case.

I was a very shy child. And teenager, horrified of awkward silences or saying something wrong. Until you’re an adult it is never cool to be the quiet one, and I was born an introvert, with all the traits that includes, but around age sixteen I decided that I was sick of it. I jumped out of my comfort zone and became more and more outgoing.

Now I think most people perceive me as exactly that, but the truth is that on the inside I am still very dominated by the typical introvert personality traits. I have taken several personality tests at work and during my studies, and I always come out from 49-51 percent on one side of the scale, depending on the day. I am a perfect hybrid of an introvert and an extrovert. I am an outgoing introvert.

If you wonder whether you or someone you know is also a (closet) introvert, here are some signs;

Eating out alone

If you find me having a coffee or dinner by myself in a public place, it does not mean that no one wanted to come with me. It means that I needed some self-maintenance or perhaps to get some work done, and make no mistake; I love it.

(Except the fact that I am actually not single, but I still do this)

We are never bored

I am not claiming that introverts have a richer inner life than others, but I do believe that we have yet to figure out how to turn our minds off. At least I can keep myself busy for hours with only my thoughts as entertainment; every time I see people getting stuck under buildings after an earthquake or after some mining accident, I always think about what an advantage that would be. That is also why I sometimes don’t sleep very well.

We usually express ourselves best in writing

Word always not come out way the right spoken when.

Traveling alone

I admit not having done this as many times as I wish, due to meeting my husband at the age of twenty, but otherwise, I would have loved to. In fact, when I travel with people, I tend to escape their company to enjoy my own. Sorry!

We don’t enjoy phone calls

I have worked oh so hard with myself to accept the fact that grown-ups sometimes have to talk to people through a device. Thanks to my stubbornness and will to overcome the things that make me uncomfortable, I have managed to become a decent phone talker. Just don’t expect me to call you just to chat. And don’t you dare face-time me.

We tend to like animals

Especially cats. They also enjoy being alone and asleep.

We sometimes overthink beyond what’s good for us

It can happen because I once cracked a joke someone did not laugh at. It can happen because I said something twenty years ago that may or may not have offended someone. And yeah, we know it’s irrational, but we do it anyway. It’s like an extra little person inside our heads doing his own thinking beside ours. We don’t like that guy.

We can be a bit nerdy

Since we don’t depend on the company of others, we tend to dig into hobbies or studies that one typically does alone, being collecting stamps, reading, writing, or playing a musical instrument. This is usually the time we feel most productive.

We don’t like conflict

That does not mean we will tolerate anything. It just means that when we do raise our voices, it’s damn serious.

Sometimes we are superstitious

Introverts like to look beyond the surface in search of a more profound meaning, which is why we tend to be a bit spiritual, superstitious, or even religious. Should we really walk underneath that ladder? Was that a premonition? Is that my floor cracking or… is it demons?

These are the things that are going on on our insides, although we love to be social and can be perceived as super outgoing. And we are. But we’re also that other stuff.

I took six weeks of vacation this year, mainly because I got a job (Like a real adult job!) and it will be my last chance in a while. When you are away for such a long time, it feels a bit like living there, and you stop doing touristy things and start lazying around like a super useless entity with absolutely no purpose. Oh, comfort.

Somebody would have probably done this to me if I had had a penis

Anyway, being in Spain for six weeks also makes time for some cool/funny/educative experiences. These are the ones I currently remember.

I’m really so grateful and blessed for having six different people visiting us during these six weeks, but being three people with three languages in common is confusing as hell. Man, have we said some weird stuff. My husband’s best quote still stands strong; Sí, but egentlig no. (Yes, but actually no. Four words, three languages, and it’s not clear which one the last word belonged to.)

I got the final confirmation that people always assume that a group of friends hanging out consists of people from the same country. Being in groups consisting of people from Norway, Spain, Venezuela, and Morocco makes people ask the question Where are you from? with a big parenthesis containing THE HELL between the two first words of the sentence.

I think this is more or less what we look like

A really inconvenient strike among Madrid taxi drivers hit the city in July. I was pretty pissed about having to walk for an hour at three in the morning after having consumed an amount of wine that will remain undefined, but on the bright side, I finally discovered the beauty of Über. The good people of Spain reacted as they always do: they laughed their asses off and made fun of the situation. This was the result:

(The refrain goes No hay taxis, meaning that there are no taxis)

Despite the fact that the summer has been colder than I have ever experienced in my eight years of going to Madrid, the papers have been bombarded with articles of a heatwave that we basically never felt. A few years ago we had forty degrees four weeks in a row and no one made a fuzz. I am still confused.

Leaving my cats with an over-enthusiastic cat sitter with an evil plan to spoil my cats so much that they don’t love me anymore when I get back. Didn’t see that coming.

Thank you, María

My ten-year-old nephew asked me if I wanted to hear his best insult (and of course I did), before proceeding to tell me that a good way to commit suicide would be to jump from my husband’s ego and down to my intelligence. Ouch!

Mentally preparing myself to change my sleeping habits, going to bed at eleven, and getting up at seven-thirty. My friends and family have no faith in me regarding this, but I will show them! Being a student has also taught me to hunt cheap shops for cool clothes, and I managed to make it fun by pretending to be on a treasure hunt. That does not mean I am sad about finally getting a salary.

My husband finally got over being burnt by a jellyfish in the forehead three years ago and started swimming again. It was actually kind of dangerous, but I laughed so much when he arrived with a huge, swollen, red circle on his face. So did the Red Cross woman.

Discovering the amazing comics by Francisco Ibáñez; Mortadelo and Filemon. I started reading it as a way to learn new vocabulary, but I ended up laughing way more than I should have.

Seeing my cousin after eleven years. It felt so good to see the one person that connects me to my aunt who passed away in 2007. She also took very good care of my cats for a few days, which always means plus points in my book. Last week I received my favorite perfume, sent all the way from Elba in Italy, – the only place they sell it. Thank you so much! (If I put emojis in my posts I would have put a cat with heart eyes here.)

I went through all of fucking Benidorm to get a long wanted yogurt ice cream and ended up getting food poisoned(?), throwing the whole thing back up with the force of a machine gun. I didn’t eat ice cream for two weeks. In July. But it passed!

#30 (~chuckling~)
Turning thirty! And nothing really changes! Life is still great!

Learning a second (or in this case third) language when not a child can be a challenge. When I started learning Spanish, I somewhat subconsciously decided to stop being afraid of making mistakes, and just speak as much as I could. I never had the balls to do that during my years as a French learning (and very awkward) teenager, and now my broken and limited French only pops up in absolute emergencies. (Which is another story.)

This decision is what I believe to be the very reason why my Spanish worked out ok pretty fast. It did however come with the risk of making an absolute fool of myself (which I already have a decent talent for), which is what I will be so generous to share with you in this post.


I once walked into a fancy store and asked for Barajas (the Madrid airport) instead of rebajas (sales). The clerk pointed politely in one direction, but I’m still not sure towards which of the two.


After making plans to fly from Quito to Cuenca (Ecuador), they canceled my flight, and I told a whole bunch of Ecuadorians at my Spanish school that my flight was cansado (tired) instead of cancelado (canceled). Some saint had mercy on me and corrected my mistake, and I will never mix up the two again.

I googled ‘tired plane’ and I was not disappointed


For a while, I sometimes greeted people with chao (goodbye) instead of hola (hello), because I thought Spanish was like Italian, where ciao means both hello and goodbye. I cannot have seemed like a friendly person.


I once told my Spanish teacher that I was fácil (slutty) when trying to explain I am not a drama queen. This word usually means easy, but apparently not when you say it about yourself. She chuckled before telling me never to repeat that sentence.


Being the only foreigner among a group of locals in Madrid, I once somehow communicated that my husband wakes up horny every morning. I was trying to say that he is happy and full of energy, but the sound level of the crowd’s laugh had me understanding pretty quickly that I had said something cringe-worthy. To this day I have no idea what exactly was my mistake. Still makes me cringe though.


One of my favorite Spanish 80s hits (yes, it is a thing) has a line going (…) y cuentos chinos (Chinese tales). Just recently I realized that for years I have been singing (and I have been singing it A LOT) cuento chinos; I am counting Chinese people. I always thought that part of the lyrics was a bit weird, but then again, there are a whole lot of Chinese people in Madrid.

25. Twenty-five Chinese people.


In the very early stages of my Spanish, I was walking around the capital of Ecuador looking for an ATM. Not having any idea how to say that (and this was before smartphones), I took a chance and asked a random guy for a mini banco. I now know oh too well that a mini banco simply sounds like a very tiny bank. He did however understand what I was searching for and pointed me in the right direction, but not before having pronounced cajero (the actual word for ATM) extremely clearly articulated and making me repeat it three times. I will forever remember you, my educating friend.

Having recently realized that I spent a total of three months in Spain during 2017, it is perhaps not such a mystery that I never cease to discover new cultural differences that make me chuckle. As I may or may not have made it clear in my previous post on this topic, I usually feel more identified with these Southern beings than with my own country mates, and most of the traits I find are those of a good-hearted and easy-going people. Here are my recent ones;

Qué tal tu madre?

I recently sat in a bar with my usual glass of ribera del duero, waiting for my husband buying three tons of food for one dinner (how are these people not obese like hell?). As I am enjoying wine and solitude (I have no shame), enter two young, tattooed, cool-looking Spanish dudes, as taken straight out of an American high school movie. They order a caña each and hang out beside me by the bar counter, and although I was trying to write, I obviously ended up eavesdropping instead. So, before having said anything else to each other, one of them says; How is your mother?

Norway: Unless you know someone’s mother on a personal level, asking this question is socially awkward between men. I am not claiming that Norwegians love their parents less than the Spanish, but they are certainly not as proud of it. Asking too much about your friend’s mother might only result in said friend thinking that you consider his mother a MILF.

Spain: The Iberians are adorably family-oriented, and no matter your degree of toughness, there is simply never a wrong time to ask how someone’s mother is doing. You don’t even need to have met the woman, this question will always be asked with sincere compassion and interest, and answered accordingly. Is Virgin Mary to blame? I mean thank?

Bar culture

I once read that there are more bars in Spain than in the rest of the European Union altogether. Even during the economic crisis, Madrid bars remained crowded, and in our neighborhood, none of our regular spots had to close down (Gracias a Dios!). Quoting a random guy I just passed while walking through a backstreet on my way home; Esta tiene que ser la única calle de Madrid que no tiene un puto bar. (This has to be the only street in Madrid that doesn’t have a fucking bar.) I peeked cautiously from side to side, and yes, he was (probably) right.

Norway: Our equivalent to bars is coffee shops, but a lot of that coffee is bought to go. Norwegians like to drink coffee while they do other things, and only actually sit down to enjoy it if they are meeting a friend or family member. This is also why people sometimes think I am a lonely person with no friends, after finding me enjoying a cup of joe in my very own company.

Spain: Bars are the Starbucks of Spain. Spaniards don’t really drink coffee to go, and prefer going to their regular neighborhood spots, where they can – quoting my husband; «talk to the bartender or complain about politics.» Truth is that lots of Madrid neighborhoods are like small villages, where the residents know a) the workers in bars and shops, b) each other, and c) each other’s dogs. It was actually a bartender that put my mother in law in contact with the previous owners of her current pup.

Bar hygiene

I hate to out the amazing bar culture of Spain, but the fact is that they tend to hang sausages and hams on their walls instead of, I don’t know, art? Customers spend their evenings throwing stuff on the floor, giving absolutely zero fucks. Los camareros clean it all up after closing, without further complaints.

Norway: This is not even possible, as the controllers from The Government Food Safety Authority would come and close down your bar at once if you even thought about storing food anywhere else than in ~the restricted food area~. As well, get ready to be crucified by a mob of fierce waiters if you intentionally drop your dirty napkin. Norwegians are kind of obsessed with hygiene and are generally not into let’s say, eating from the same plate (unless it’s with their partner). It does not take a lot for a Norwegian to say Æsj (Yuck), and in comparison, the Spanish language actually lacks an equivalent to this word.

Spain: If you’re really considerate, you might actually aim for the garbage can, but if you miss, you probably won’t even be able to distinguish your own filth from the other stuff that has already been thrown on the floor. This is not considered rude, but it does have the tendency to frighten foreign (especially Norwegian) customers from even entering. Food being used as decoration does not ever exclude said food from being eaten later on.


Catholic, conservative Spain, right? WRONG! At least regarding the following.

Norway: Holidays are exactly that; holy days, and it is forbidden by law for others than kiosks (defined by a certain maximum size) to be open on days like Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas day, and so on. On the other hand, the majority really doesn’t care about the religiousness of these days, but they do care deeply about not having to work. Taking a look at what people wear on Norwegian beaches (that one week when it is actually enjoyable to visit them, best case scenario), does however make it seem like we are the conservative ones, with our big bikini bottoms and without a single topless girl in sight. Is it because we are so shy? So decent? So… pale?

Spain: Yes, lots of shops are closed on holidays (which are fewer than in Norway in the first place), but they close because the owners choose to. The government does not interfere with what you do with your business, so if you want to work your ass off all year round, you are welcome to do so (The Chinese community of Madrid is a good (and very convenient) example of this). Also, the huge mall chain El Corte Ingles is seriously never closed, not even on holidays that fall on a Sunday. Secondly, if you have ever been to a Spanish beach (or even a pool inside the city), you have for sure seen both tits and string “covered” butts. Not few of them either. Oh, such conservatives!


Madileños love dogs and I don’t think I have ever seen such a dog-friendly city. They even used to have small plastic bag dispensers installed on the public garbage cans.

Norway: Being an animal lover, I tend to put on a goofy smile every time I pass by a dog, cat, snake or you name it, and sometimes I try to say hi. Norwegians however do not like to be approached by strangers for any reason, and their dogs are usually quickly pulled away. If you want to see a real Norwegian poker face, trying to make contact with someone’s dog will show you the perfect example.

Spain: Dog owners tend to stop and chat among each other while their pets do the same, and when you walk your dog, you are likely to be approached by strangers wanting to give your four-legged friend a pat on the head.

Being old

All countries have old people (right?), but this part of the population might live their lives differently from place to place.

Norway: Old people are pretty much prisoners of their own homes from late October to midst April, unless they are suicidal or devoured by dementia. The climate makes sure our pavements and roads are heavily covered in layers of ice, and I for one usually fall at least once every winter; lastly in February, landing on my butt in a very cartoon-like way. At least it doesn’t hurt where the flesh is thickest.

Spain: Old people are much more defined by other things than their age, perhaps because you actually see them all year round. Even raisin looking hunch backs on the peak of reaching three digits can be seen enjoying cañas y tapas on the street terraces or walking their equally soon-to-die doggos. It is all very charming, and I am convinced that Spain is a great place to grow old.


How people approach the use of medicines, is probably one of the biggest culture crashes there are between these two countries. However, when it comes to mental health, Norway has a much higher suicide rate than Spain, which perhaps tells us that they are doing something right? On the other hand, they will most likely be the first country to develop bacterias that are completely immune to antibiotics.

Norway: We do not ever give people medicine that they don’t absolutely need. If we have it, we like to put the patient (including ourselves) through significant discomfort before we even let them know that said medicine exists. Neither doctors nor patients have a problem with this, as there is a common understanding regarding the importance of not putting chemicals in the body if it can be avoided.

Spain: Most Spanish households have a drawer that I have chosen to call ~The great medicine drawer~. This drawer contains everything from throat fixers and sleeping pills, to antibiotics and everything else, – a lot of which you can use to kill yourself. Spaniards tend to see only the positive abilities of medicine and do not really see the point of healing naturally or endure physical or psychological pain if there is a chemical cure or pain killer.

Spanish people are also very open about let’s say, their mental issues or other health problems, like difficulties regarding fertility. I have had people telling me really intimate stuff after having known them for five minutes, – things that Norwegians don’t tell their friends after five years. Very few things are taboo in Spain, and regarding the mentioned topics, I applaud them for that!

For more stuff regarding Spain versus Norway, check this out.

I think it’s the same for everyone. Certain elements from childhood never quite leave us, – sometimes for reasons we don’t understand. They can be entertaining to look back at, but even decades later one (read: I) can still feel an inch of their original effect. These are some of my things.

Jomfruslukeren – The Virgin Eater

I first saw this painting in the national museum of Oslo at the fragile age of eight. It is painted by the Norwegian new romantic painter Theodor Kittelsen, and the title translates to “The Virgin Eater”. It shook me to the core, and, – being fully aware of what a virgin was, I knew I would be part of its diet, probably after being dragged into the black ocean by its teeth.

This is what nightmares are made of, guys

Rundhunden – The Round Dog

Someone read this book to me when I was about four or five. I still recall the innocent drawings (especially her red rubber boots) with a sort of ambivalent mix of joy and melancholy. I seem to remember it had an unhappy ending, and I was just not ok with that. Seeing the pictures still breaks my heart a little bit.

Sweet, sweet Round dog playing with leaves. Boots off!

Dynedyret – The Duvet Animal

My imagination has always been a tad overly developed, which tended to mess with me before I became a so-called adult, and mysteriously started liking horror movies. My fear of closets, monsters under the bed, and so on, kind of changed when my mother invented The Duvet Animal; every duvet is actually an animal whose life task is to protect whoever sleeps underneath it. I will confess I still think about it sometimes.

(I would put a picture here, but I have no idea what to put)

Lillsysterns undulat är död – Little sister’s canary is dead

At some point, my parents listened a lot to the Swedish singer Cornelis Vreeswijk. His songs are generally sad sounding, but this one basically had me sobbing hysterically, and was hence strictly forbidden to play in my presence. Its traumatizing sadness would enter me immediately and start the waterworks, and I would run away in tears. How could the canary just die like that, inflicting the little sister such profound sorrow, and more importantly; how could the world be so cruel?

Cornelis Vreeswijk


Lillsysterns undulat är död

Tordyveln flyger i skymningen – The beetle flies in the twilight

Having always been a bit strange, I preferred radio novels over TV-series as a child, and this novel by the Swedish writer Maria Gripe had me intrigued beyond what I can describe. Its mysterious atmosphere was created by elements such as ghosts, premonitions, dreams, secrets, and old letters. In fact, I think it was what planted the writer seed in me, and I still remember every detail of the story vividly and would love to read it again.

Originally made for the radio, but just as amazing in book format

Mitt eget land – My own country (This title suddenly sounded somewhat politically incorrect)

Time to thank the Swedes for their contribution to my emotional development. This song (by Olle Adolphson) was more or less the only adult song in my children’s songbook, and I loved it so much, although I did not really understand its very poetical (and again, Swedish) lyrics. It was indeed melancholic, but I think I at this point had figured out that sadness too can be enjoyable if approached correctly.

Olle Adolphson


Mitt eget land

Never Ending Story

I think most people know this cult classic (can I call it that?), that in my case left a profound impression. I used to watch the second movie over and over again at my grandparents’, and I was as in love with hybrid dog dragon Falkor as I was intrigued by the insidious snake neckless Auryn and dead scared of the insect-like giants and acid water that hero Bastian had to deal with. My grandfather gifted me with a similar snake necklace, and I was pretty much convinced it withheld the same powers as Auryn.

The first movie also had some seriously disturbing elements, like the Swamp of Sadness, where only those who kept hope alive would not sink, – and the gates where only the worthy could pass without being struck by lightning from the sphinx’ eyes. Even today I can’t help thinking; would I pass? (And more importantly, would my cats?)

The worst thing about this movie was the fact that I always watched it recorded on an old VHS, which ended before the last five minutes were shown. At twenty-five I purchased the DVD and FINALLY got to see it!

Falkor being snuggled by Atreyu
More nightmares!

~This is what happens when one becomes nostalgic. My apologies.~

Most of the non-Spanish people I encounter reveal a common prejudice; that Latin men are oppressive chauvinists, and that we, the wives of these men, suffer under their regime.

I don’t claim to know every single Spanish man, nor do I claim to know Latin Americans well enough to include them in this post. But I do know Spain, and Spain is the country I will be addressing here.

My general impression is that the machismo was stronger in Spain a couple of generations ago. I have traveled a lot to Italy in my life, and also a few times to France. There I have quite recently experienced catcalling in its ugliest form, a whole bunch of times. To compare, in 2017 I spent a total of three months in Spain, and I have been going there about four times a year since 2010, sometimes five weeks at a time. Every time I am there, I go walking by myself (because shopping happens). I have been catcalled once, by a guy I seriously think was mentally disabled.

The minimum sentence for rape in Norway is three years, after having recently been raised from two. Some argue that this change has resulted in fewer convictions, because judges are hesitant to give “such a long” sentence, and hence choose to let the accused go instead. In Spain, there has been at least one case of a catcaller being arrested for his actions. In Norway, the police cannot do anything as long as there has not been physical touching or verbal threats.

When it comes to the protection of women, I believe that Norway is actually behind Spain. Still we like to cling to the idea of the Macho Iberico, and that the Norwegian society is much safer for women regarding sexual violence.

Check this out

These are the degrees of sexual violence and how they are punished in Spain.

Sexual aggression

Basic sexual aggression: The attempt to commit any sexual act (not necessarily penetration) using physical or mental force. Punishable with prison from one to five years.

Aggravated sexual aggression (usually what we call rape): Committing a sexual act using physical or mental force, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Punishable with prison from six to twelve years.

Enhanced basic sexual aggression can be applied and punished with prison from five to ten years, under the following circumstances:

• When the violence or intimidation is especially humiliating or degrading for the victim

• When there are two or more perpetrators

• When the victim is especially vulnerable due to factors like age, disability or illness

• When the perpetrator is the parent, child or sibling of the victim

• When there is use of weapons or other dangerous items

Sexual abuse

Basic sexual abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact, but without the victim realizing. This would for instance include a situation where the perpetrator touches a sleeping or passed out victim in inappropriate places. Punishable with prison from one to three years. If the perpetrator is a parent of the victim, the punishment will always go to the maximum.

Aggravated sexual abuse: Same parameters, but including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Punishable with prison from four to ten years.

Sexual harassment

Basic sexual harassment: Suggesting sexual favors. The relationship between the perpetrator and the victim has to be either work-related, or such as the one of a teacher and his/her student. Punishable with prison from three to five months. If the victim is especially vulnerable, the crime is punishable with prison from five to seven months.

Aggravated sexual harassment: Same conditions as above, but the perpetrator has a superior position and is also threatening to punish the victim if she/he does not comply with her/his requests of sexual favors. Punishable with prison from five to seven months. If the victim is especially vulnerable, the crime is punishable with prison from six months to one year.


These punishments are applied when the victim is a minor or for some reason disabled.

Basic exhibitionism: Punishable with prison from six months to one year.

Distribution of pornographic material: Punishable with prison from six months to one year.


In Norwegian law, rape is defined as the following:

• Obtaining sexual contact through threatening or violent behavior

• Having sexual contact with someone unconscious or unable to resist the sexual act

• Forcing someone to commit sexual acts with others or themselves by threatening or violent behavior


• Rape under these definitions can be punished with prison up to ten years

• Rape without any enhancing circumstances are normally punished with four years of prison

• Rape with enhancing circumstances are normally punished with six years of prison

• Prison up to twenty-one years can be considered in circumstances where the victim is left injured for life or dies as a result of the rape

• The minimum punishment for the equal of Aggravated rape in Norway is three years of prison

Some statistics

The following shows the differences in percentage regarding partner violence. As one can read from the figures, the number is higher in Norway than in Spain. Regarding women’s own perception of societal safety, Spain is only one point below Norway, which can be considered marginal.

It is also worth mentioning that in 2011 the average sentence for rape in Norway was three years and four months of prison, although seventy percent are out after having served about two thirds of their time. It is easy to calculate that most of the sexual offenders sentenced to prison in Norway will serve about two years.

Also, check out this map regarding women’s physical safety, and compare Spain to Norway. Underneath you can see the five best countries in the world to be born female, regarding career and welfare. Spain is the only country of significant size on the list and is only marginally worse than the others.

The last table is based on numbers from Statistics Norway and Instituto Nacional de Estadística. The table shows how many years sexual offenders are sentenced to in percentage. As one can read, there is a much higher percentage of long jail time sentences in Spain than in Norway.


I will be the first to admit that I am no lawyer, but the information is out there and it is not difficult to read. I am writing this post because I am tired of people thinking that Spain is such a difficult country to be a woman. I am also confused by the fact that Spanish women tend to look towards Scandinavia when they describe how they would like Spain to be, when Spain actually protects its women to a higher degree than what we do in Norway. Women everywhere are fighting for an increased level of equality, but we should be aware of the numbers, – there is no reason for Spain to idealize us.

And by the way, my husband cooks me dinner every day!

Women Stats Project

It being spring and all, I thought it was time to leave all my everyday annoyances behind. No things truly disappear though, – one has to move them elsewhere. So this is me moving my negativities here, so I can hopefully go on with my life a little less passive-aggressively.

When I remove the things that really upset me (like racism, abuse, war and you name it), there are always things that make me cringe and imagine random stuff falling from the sky hitting certain people over the head, making them two-dimensional in a kind of cartoon-like way. Anyone remembers Ally McBeal? If you do, you know what I mean.

Sidewalk blockers

They walk slowly. They walk in the middle. And they just do not move. I sometimes deal with it by walking creepily close to them until they realize I’m trying to pass. It doesn’t really work, but it makes me feel better.

Queue skills

Or the general lack of them. In my many years of selling stuff, I found myself wishing we had a kind of military approach to organizing ourselves in lines. And that the individuals who fail would be forced to do a hundred push-ups on the spot. Do not make a group! You are not a shoal of herring!

Early birds

Certain people (especially the human I married) seem to put on their happy faces once they open their eyes in the morning. This premature good mood includes singing, putting on music, tickling, and general bullshitting. Why won’t you leave me alone with my misery?

(I am actually a night owl, I just think this one is really funny)
I am actually a night owl, I just find this one really funny

Certain parents

I fully understand that kids misbehave and that parents don’t always have the power to control them. And yes, it is easy to judge when one only has to take care of creatures that sleep up to twenty hours a day (meow). But, having experienced kids throwing three thousand NOK shoes around my shop, and kids putting their hands down their diapers and smearing poop on the windows, I claim the right to infuriate. Apologize and clean up your shit (literally)!


Splitting the bill according to exactly what everyone has eaten. Looking through every single pack of cheese to find where it is possible to save a minimal amount of money. Selling stuff to your friends for a symbolic sum. All while being amongst the richest people on earth. Have some class!

This is probably THE internet meme I identify the most with

Sports missionaries

Fine, you’re sporty, your problem. Don’t try to convince me I can be. You don’t live inside my body, you don’t know what working out feels like to me. If you did, you wouldn’t dare suggest I go to the gym. Seriously, it would be easier to make me convert to whichever actual religion. Scientology, Amish, Mormon, Flat Earth Society. You choose.

Spelling mistakes and bad grammar

I’m genuinely sorry, but I am and will forever be a grammar nazi (except if you’re not writing in your mother tongue or you are dyslectic). Know that every time you write a mediocre sentence, I will silently judge you. You are hereby judged.

Yes, I have learned to hold my tongue. But I do think it

I am thankful for ~The Great Internet~ providing me with a place to blow off steam and being a bad person. From this point on I am purified and ready to face the month of May.