German Word of the Week: Backpfeifengesicht
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Norwegian 'Slow TV'

I visited Norway last summer and came back filled with envy. Here's the thing about Norway: It's a ludicrously beautiful country perched atop a massive underground ocean of oil. Plus, its sensible government doesn't blow the oil money on platinum-plated palaces. Instead, it first funds a lavish welfare state and then deposits the remaining surplus cash into Norway's $1 trillion government savings fund. Norwegians all looked absurdly healthy and happy, as if they didn't have a care in the world.

Abstractly, you might sometimes just want to punch them. But then you meet them, and in eerily flawless English, they bitch endearingly about all the problems their country faces, from right-wing extremists to the high cost of living to timid, ineffectual politicians. You know, typical Scandinavian problems. So then you begin to like the Norwegians.

And really, how can you stay mad at people who enthusiastically watch 6-day-long 'Slow TV' marathon shows featuring totally normal cruise ships voyages, train journeys, or knitting orgies?

Below, 236 minutes constituting part I of the Bergen-Oslo train journey, considered one of the world's most picturesque:


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