Monday, December 10, 2012

Getting acclimatized

We had quite a bit of snow last night and continuing on through today. Although we had a couple of days of snow at the end of October, last month was fantastically warm and we are quite happy the snow has held off this long.

Even tonight it feels warm... but oddly enough the mercury reads -13°C right now (9°F). How is it that this doesn't feel very cold? I'm afraid I know the answer, and it's related to this:

Last week I was ordering something online from the U.S. It cost $51. I wasn't sure what the current conversion rate was so I lazily typed into Google "51 usd to nok". Out came the answer: 286 nok. I looked at that number. It couldn't be right. $51 is a lot of money, but 286 nok is kind of like what you might give your kid if they're going to the movies and might want to buy a drink and a popcorn. $51 is serious money, 286 nok is not very much.

Could I have misplaced a decimal point? No, 2860 kroner was way too much money. After a moment it dawned on me. The number was right, my perception of normal prices in Norwegian kroner did not match with my perception of normal prices in US dollars. After all these years fretting about how much things cost in Norway, my mind has finally made the leap. I no longer think in terms of what something costs when I convert to dollars, I compare the cost to what other things cost in kroner.

So, I've made the money leap and the coldness leap as well.

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