HI Norway is an organisation with a long and interesting history. From time to time, we go down into our cellars to explore our vast archives. This time we found a news article from 1955. It describes an early morning at our Oslo Haraldsheim Hostel, newly opened back then. It’s a cute and timeless story, showing that nothing’s really changed that much after all!
“A big Danish guy is shaving himself in one of the bathrooms at the youth hostel in Oslo, Haraldsheim. He is in a splendid humor, he is enjoying his holidays and even if the sun shining outside is an October sun, it still is the sun. He is humming a song and lets the water splash around him. One of the drops falls on the thin French guy who is standing next to him and who is not having such a nice morning humour as the Dane. The shaving knife of the French man is broken. And he’s visibly suffering.
Just a moment later, the two have become good friends, and the French guy’s beard has been removed with the shaving knife of the Dane. The Frenchman doesn’t speak Danish, and the Dane doesn’t speak French, but despite the obvious differences between the two languages, they are having a cheerful conversation.
An everyday scene at any youth hostel! In this case it was a baker, born in Paris, that started a friendship with a mechanic, born in Grenaa in Denmark. Ivan Schneider Rasmussen has been working in an atelier in Ålesund in Western Norway for half a year. He had been at home in Denmark for a while, and was on his way back to Ålesund. Alain Rochefort, the French guy, only recently arrived in Norway and was planning to look for a job. His wish was to stay in our country for a while, in order to get to know the Norwegians better…”
translation by: Robin Van de Walle