Emmie Makes A Living As A Dog Sled Guide: Rich Norwegians Like To Rummage Through Garbage To Save Hundreds Of Euros
Emmie moved to Norway. She will tell you why the locals like to rummage through the trash, which food they love the most, and what she herself spends the most money on.
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Emília Dudášová never traveled much, at most with her parents on vacation to Croatia. But she always dreamed of three specific things. "I wanted to see the northern lights, travel in caravan and visit the north of our globe. Besides, I love hiking and Norway is the most mountainous of all the Nordic countries. So the choice was clear," she describes her decision to move to the north.
Emmie, as her friends call her, she comes from Nitra, Slovakia and moved to Norway more than a year ago after she and her mother had to close the nail salon due to the coronavirus pandemic. A worse financial situation, stress and a difficult time helped her to think about what she could improve in order to live the life she wants.
She was not idle in Norway and thanks to her contacts she managed to find a job through Instagram. Within two weeks, she packed her bags and set off for a new life. She found work on a dog sled farm.
A dream country and an unusual job
The fact that she arrived with almost no money was not a problem for her. In her new job at the husky farm, they provided her with free accommodation and food. "I started on a small family farm. I had no experience, but what I did have was luck. They taught me how to work with dogsleds, how to take care of dogs and how to do it right. It requires a huge responsibility. We had 35 dogs on the farm, and I was alone," Emmie says about her beginnings.
She currently works as a dog sled guide in the north of Norway near the city of Tromsø, in the Tamok camp, where she also lives. They have up to 120 dogs there and a total of 12 people work with them.
In the summer, dogs have a "vacation", and when it gets cold outside and the temperature drops below 10 degrees, they start training. Dog sleds are said to be common in the Nordic countries, and he rejects accusations that they mistreat dogs. However, sometimes an unpleasant experience happens.
"Once we had an inconvenience in connection with our work. At nine o'clock in the evening, the police knocked on our door saying that they had received an anonymous report. They say we don't feed our dogs, they are emaciated and in bad condition. My eyes almost fell out of their sockets. First of all, I've seen the police here maybe twice since there is almost no crime here. And secondly, we take excellent care of our dogs. So we let the police evaluate the situation, let them in and finally left saying that they were sorry for the inconvenience," she describes her experience.
The polar night is actually colorful
According to Emmie, many people think that it is always dark during the polar night. However, this is not entirely true. According to her, the darkest day was December 21, when there was light during the day for approximately two hours. However, the sun did not rise above the horizon.
"The whole sky is colored pink, purple and orange during the polar night days. It's so intense and beautiful that I can't even describe it. There is white snow everywhere, which creates a wonderful contrast with the dark sky full of bright colors," says Emmie, who has a dream come true and regularly enjoys seeing the northern lights.
Norwegians do not lock their houses
It is said about Norway that the residents feel so safe in the country that they do not lock their houses, and when they need to go shopping, they leave the car running and unlocked. According to Emmie, we are not far from the truth, people here simply do not envy each other. "Everyone lives the same, and it would be hard for me to guess who has more and who has less money. People live in simple houses, but they have caravans, snowmobiles and boats around them. So they have a lot of assets, but so do their salaries and standard of living. However, they don't show it, they seem modest and live in harmony with nature," says the Slovak about the Norwegians.
Norwegians are said to be nice people and very helpful. "Maybe a little more if you speak Norwegian, but that's how it is everywhere in the world," she laughs.
Most people in the country speak English, even the older generation. In the north of Norway, however, according to her, people are colder. "They look out for their own, take care of themselves and their lives and don't unnecessarily try to connect with their surroundings. On the one hand, these qualities are great because people don't judge anyone here, but on the other hand, it can come across as too cold. In the south, on the contrary, there is a greater sense of closeness thanks to the cultural diversity," she adds.
During the traditional spring holidays, the locals go to nature or to their cabins, where they spend time together with their families. All shops and restaurants are closed and they are engaged in various activities during these days. Among the most popular are skiing or the traditional roasting of sausages.
"Norwegians are active people and spend a lot of time outdoors. That suits me very well, because I am the same. I spend my free time here hiking, climbing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding. When going down the hill, my dog always keeps me company, and we race to see who will be down first," she says.
North versus South
There are traditional jokes about how a centimeter of snow falls in Oslo and they have a calamity because of it, or about how northerners live outside civilization in knitted sweaters like Vikings in the forest. In addition to a sense of humor, Norwegians have another great quality - tolerance.
"People are much more open-minded. Wherever I have been, whether in the south or in the north, no one has ever taken care of others. There are people of different origins, with different skin colors, guys and girls usually hold hands here and don't have to worry about being beaten up for it. Same-sex marriages are legal here, and it's common for such couples to adopt children. Of course, there are also people who solve stupid things, but they are very few. The majority are the sensible ones, who are heard more," states the young Slovak.
Sweet with a surcharge
Emmie claims that the food in Norway has a completely different taste than the same in Slovakia. It is said that this is because the Norwegians specially check every imported, as well as domestic product, so that it reaches the chain in the best possible quality. The prices are similar, maybe a little higher, but you pay extra for sugar.
"The sugar tax is to blame. All sweets and other products that contain sugar are much more expensive here. That's why they have a lot of sugar-free foods and replace it with artificial sweeteners, such as stevia. In addition to sugar-free products, they also have many gluten-free and lacto-free foods, because many people here have various intolerances. They think of them, as evidenced by the full shelves of specialty products,” says Emmie.
Masters in dumpster diving
Containers are built behind the shops, where the shops throw away the food after the warranty. The so-called dumpster diving works here, which is literally translated as rummaging in garbage. Not only homeless people do it here, but also those who want to save money and consume good food all the time. They choose products that are still edible.
"I recently bought loaves of bread like this, put them in the freezer and I know they will serve me well. I also once found meat that was out of warranty that day, but since it was freezing outside, it was frozen. So it wasn't spoiled and I made a delicious meal out of it," she adds.
A delicacy in the form of a frozen pizza
In the country you will find many restaurants that offer fish and sushi. However, locals love Italian specialties such as pizza and pasta. And one specific thing that many students will appreciate.
"They love the Grandiosa frozen pizza the most. Freezer boxes in stores are literally bursting at the seams from overflowing with this delicacy. They also love when the store has a so-called Taco Friday or Saturday and there are Mexican gems on offer. These things are typical for them," says Emmie.
You can buy alcohol here only until eight in the evening
One Christmas, Emmie spent with a Norwegian family, where three glasses were placed in front of her before a generous dinner. In one there was beer, in the second wine and in the last something like a homemade brandy called akvavit. Norwegians drink these drinks all at once and like to warm up not only during Christmas. However, the difference is that they approach alcohol much more responsibly.
"Although alcohol is popular here, people know that they should behave responsibly. They would never allow themselves to get behind the wheel, for example. They follow the rules and follow what the law says. If the neighbors saw me drinking and getting behind the wheel, they would call the police. They don't care if I'm their friend or not. It's illegal, so they'll report it," Emmie explains, adding that responsibility comes first for them. Mostly he hears on the radio about how someone hit a moose on the road or skidded on an unpaved road and is blocking the road.
If Norwegians really want to drink, they go to a special store called Vinmonopolet, where they sell alcohol. There are not many of them and they are not everywhere. The nearest store from Emma is two hours away by car.
"They can't access alcohol so easily. In normal stores, you can only buy beer or drinks with a low percentage of alcohol, which are placed in a special refrigerator. From Monday to Friday they are available until eight o'clock in the evening, on Saturday until six o'clock and on Sunday at all. Refrigerators are locked outside of these hours and alcohol will not be sold to anyone," she adds in conclusion.
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