It's a bank holiday weekend and the weather is fabulous. However, there's a problem with long weekends here: the shops shut at 4 PM on Saturday not to re-open until Tuesday morning. This means planning food and drink shopping in advance; there's no such thing as a last-minute dash to a 24-hour Tesco for ketchup, chicken, milk or nappies. There's no nice convenience store open either; that would simply be too, well, convenient and 21st century.
So today we braved the supermarket to stock up on grill food and essentials. Supermarkets here are prohibited from selling wine and spirits, even to self-determined adults over 30, but they do sell over-priced beer to anyone over 18. I plucked a six-pack of Tuborg from the shelf, imagining myself a few hours later sipping it, or at least 1/6 th of it, on the terrace as the sun sank behind the trees.
I'm not on the terrace now obviously - the glare and my laptop don't complement each other -and I didn't get to buy any beer either. I was told at the checkout that beer sales finished at 3 PM so I couldn't have any at 3.21 PM. I've been in Norway long enough not to be surprised at this - I bit my tongue and resisted the urge to say what I was thinking - but REALLY what is the point of this? Am I not old enough to decide for myself if I am allowed to have a saturday afternoon beer, or not? Is there any logical or operational reason for forbidding a cashier to pass six beverage bottles through the checkout within an hour of shop closing time? It's just plain ridiculous and I defy anyone to convince me otherwise.