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Norwegian 101, Lesson 6

Your daily dose of random Norwegian

6.hyggelig
Katie-ified: HIG-IL-LYG

Translation: pleasant

Relevance: When it comes to my views on the whole concept of camping, my mom’s recent e-mail discussing the idea (“Katie, why would I sleep on the ground when I could sleep in a bed?”) pretty obviously reveals our family’s lack of Norwegian blood.

But on Saturday night, in a moment of weakness and Scandinavian spirit, I traded my mattress and running water for a sleeping bag and a ferry ride to a homemade campsite on an island right off the city’s center. Trekking through the subway station with backpacks and tents and an acoustic guitar, my friends and I strangely didn’t stand out in the slightest. We also didn’t bother doing too much planning because, according to Norwegian law, you can pretty much camp anywhere. Except, apparently, the spot we picked, because when we stepped off the last ferry of the night and onto the island, we were greeted by a sign displaying three illustrations: a tent, a fire and a dog, all with big, red X’s through them. But we had our gear all ready to go, and there wasn’t a law-abiding citizen in sight, so we pulled the ignorant tourist card, pitched a tent, made a fire and enjoyed a peaceful evening of stars, s’mores and the company of a friendly fox who apparently didn’t see the no pets sign either. And as we sat stranded on a random Norwegian island roasting marshmallow after marshmallow and strumming on the guitar, our night, the skeptical camper in me will admit, turned out surprisingly hyggelig.

Katie most enjoys friends, non-fiction, and dessert. She graduated from University of Pennsylvania and is a contributing editor at Glamour magazine.
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