You Had Me at Double-Wide Stroller
You never really know about a place until you get there and experience the ins and outs of daily life. For example, the winter wonderland photos of Noway, when viewed in the sticky-hot summer of our DC suburb seem fantastic. And then you get there and realize they don’t use chocolate chips. I repeat, Norwegians do not use chocolate chips.
I might have written Norway off for this fact, but the truth is, Oslo had me in the first two weeks. We were blissfully sans automobile at the beginning, flowing from downtown to the mountains and back again seamlessly on transit. Oslo really does have a knack for blending city and nature.
What really endeared me to Oslo though is that it understands people like me. You know, people who own double-wide strollers. Not many places appreciate us like Oslo does. Plaza America in Reston, VA almost does, but definitely not the double doors at Starbucks. And not those annoying mid-aisle pillars in Michael’s either. I would really love to spend some money over in the paint section, but I simply cannot squeeze by without wiping out the entire display of mini clothes pins.
You might say that Oslo is home of the double-wide stroller. The strollers here are like Cadillacs and I mean that in the best possible way. This makes perfect sense from a cultural perspective. Norwegians generally spend more time outdoors than Americans, so their babies have all the necessary gear to be outside for long periods. If you haven’t seen it make the rounds on Facebook, Norwegians are among the folks who have their babies sleep outside year round and [pssst] I think they’re onto something.
I wouldn’t trade my Thule Chariot for anything, but I do so love the standard European pram that everyone here uses. I’ve checked them out a number of times: memory foam mattress, thick layer of wool, down blanket, wind cover…I can think of no other place that I’d rather be sleeping myself. I mean, bundle ME up and roll ME outside to sleep on the patio!
Watching these folks has taught me a lot about how to keep my kids toasty now that the weather has turned cold. It’s allowed us to keep spending time outdoors when otherwise, we would be holed up with cabin fever all winter. I imagine that come February, we will be thankful for every moment of outdoor time we managed to garner back in November.
Oslo isn’t perfect. Sure, it’s expensive and cold and it’s not easy to track down chocolate chips in the grocery store. But I’ll have to say, I love you Oslo. Thank you for making room for my double-wide. Stroller.