Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"
Elise and I are in Thailand writing new books and observing Norwegians abroad
These Norwegians have been speaking to each other for more than 15 minutes now
One is standing about 3 meters from the couple who is sitting
It is the 3rd day in a row they talk like this
Other people at the resort started to wonder why these Scandinavians spoke so far away from each other
I tried to explain that the Norwegian does not want to come closer as he is afraid to show too much interest in getting to know the other Norwegians
I needed to explain a little more as people did not understand what I was talking about.
"Norwegians prefer to stay away from each other because they can more easily escape if it becomes awkward"
Norwegians are very scared that conversations become awkward with strangers
The standing Norwegian may come closer or even dare to sit next to the other Norwegians, but only on the last evening before he needs to catch his flight back
This is because then he knows that he will be leaving the next day and there will be no awkwardness!
If he were to come closer or sit when there are still many vacation days left, he would be nervous about what to do each time he would see the other Norwegians:
Talk for long?
Pass away without looking at them?
Read more about our amazing Norwegian friends in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway