Today an interview with Andrea Chirulescu, Spotter for our Oslo cityblog. We had a great meeting with her in Oslo last year.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I can, I’m just not sure which bit to tell. I was born in Romania, in the city of Bucharest and got to live there during the age of Communism where I experienced things that today make very good and shocking movies for the modern world. I studied in Romania, got my degree in Psychology-Sociology and then worked in the IT industry. Which offered me enough experience to be able to find a job in a more relaxed and functional country, more specifically Norway.
Where I am learning to enjoy all sort of new things and keep meeting new and wonderful people. Here, besides having a great work environment, I love to go to concerts (and sometimes take photos there, write review, make interviews with the artists), to travel, to solve jigsaw puzzles, play drums, discover the city.
How do yo like being a Spotter?
From the very first time I saw the ‘request’ of spotters in Oslo I knew it would totally be something that I can do and enjoy doing. Simply because I like remembering places I’ve been to and go back in time at the memories or impressions I had a while ago. I did it anyway at a smaller scale, in mails or some posts to my friends. And being able to share such information with people who might even benefit from it adds extra excitement to the writing process.
It’s quiet. It’s relaxed. You hardly see people running after a tram or bus or looking as if their head is about to explode due stress. You hardly hear a car horn. Traffic rules tend to be respected. It is surrounded by forest. It has forests, parks, lakes and rivers in the city something that hardly any capital I’ve seen has at such a scale). People love nature and have a cult for outdoor activities.
People of all ages tend to look healthy (which is one detail I first noticed in Netherlands where people of all ages go on bike. And I thought it’s really impressive. Probably it needs a visit to Bucharest and few hours in trams, buses or subway or just in traffic to understand what I mean). Also it is very international. In some areas it’s even hard to spot a Norwegian, but it’s still fascinating to look at all the clothing or behavior habits from various regions of the world.
What is a must do when in Oslo?
A must do…jump in one of the subways that take you to the outskirts of Oslo (Sognsvann, Holmenkollen) and enjoy wild nature. While you’re a stone throw away from the city. And after a walk in the lovely nature, take the train back to the center and go in the harbor and have a relaxing dinner. The feeling of visiting the ‘mountains’ and the sea in the same day, by subway is absolutely incredible.
A not do…Don’t try to calculate prices in your own currency. It’s gonna look even more expensive than it actually is. You probably knew before coming to Norway that it actually is expensive so don’t ruin your trip here by thinking how cheaper things are back home. Better stay there and enjoy the cheapness instead.
What do you know about Oslo what no tourist will know?
I might not know such a thing, just yet :)
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Oslo at this moment?
Popularity is chosen by interest. If you have a family with kids, you move a bit away from the center. If you’re older and maybe close to retirement, you probably can afford a nice house in a poshier and quiet area or you simply move to a suburb or nearby city. I personally prefer Grønland at the moment, due its wide variety of shops and proximity to all the points of interest (mainly music venues for me) and possibility to travel home by foot at any time of the day or night. And I’m hoping to move further into the nature at some point in the future. I guess if you enjoy going out a lot, Grünerløkka is the place for you or Majorstuen area since there are more clubs and more places to spend time with your group of friends.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
I described it earlier – train(subway) to the forest/mountain – train back to the harbor. Especially in the summer when you can have dinner on one of the boats in the center. This trip would include both Holmenkollen , City hall and Aker Brygge. With a sight of Akershus festning.
Is there something else you want to share?
Oslo is best enjoyed for what it has to offer. And a trip here it’s easily ruined by always comparing prices and complaining you can’t find this or that in the shops. It’s easier to make the best of it by trying the local offer.
Check out all Andrea Chirulescu’s articles and the other interviews with our Spotters.