Norway Boleh

Jiann Chyuan discovered how Norwegians showcase their’ boleh’ side despite the fact that they do not shout out the phrase loud like every Malaysian does.

A recently visit to Ormen Lange, literally translated as ‘ long snake’, a gas production project in Nyhamna and its service plant in Kristiansund, has opened my eyes to what Norway, a tiny population country is capable in doing.

Undoubtedly, this mega project, which supplies about 20% of the total gas consumption of United Kingdom via subsea pipeline from Norway, is a project one would feel absolutely horrible to miss.

I have zero intention in telling all the details about this project. Therefore, feel comfortable to google the project in another window (or tab). What really interests me is despite the fact that Norway has only 4 millions of population, it is capable in inventing not one, but numerous first-of-its-kind super high-end and advanced technology.

Needless to say, the Ormen Lange project which I’m mentioning here is one of those firsts. But there were actually quite an awesome amount of surprises during my two-day excursion.

One worth-mentioned project that sprouted out without careful planning in this excursion was the encounter of the first floating bridge in the world. It is just a bridge, that floats, you may say. But it is a vivid demonstration to how Norwegian is able in utilising theoretical knowledge to realistic implementation.

In fact, the project is such unique that engineers from some of the advanced countries, for instance, Germany and Japan, were coming to learn from the Norwegians.

Besides, there were also these eight different bridges, with shapes and curves absolutely out-of-the-box that link the Atlantic coast of Norway, that kept all the passengers in my bus fascinated and exhaled with deep impressiveness.

Okay, I’ve been talking a lot about bridges. But surely, the advancement among Norwegians is not restrained to bridge construction solely. There are just a lot of tiny little thoughtful projects that truly put Norwegians into a position where the world can look up to.

Gosh! I’m not worshipping Norway. It is just that the longer I live in this country, which means the more I have got to know about this north part of the world, the more resemblances that I found to my beloved home country, which are, however, directing me to think differently about Malaysia.

Generating tones of wealth with the immense amount of oil and gas blessing from God waiting for the hungry explorer for extraction is surely the biggest resemblance between Malaysia and Norway. But sadly, while Norway is propelling its intelligence powered propeller in many different arenas to drive its country forward, Malaysia opts for a different approach by buying technologies abroad in most of the fields.

What is the reason for 4 millions people to be able to do it while 23 millions fail?

The questions worth ponders are: How far does my own country wants to move forward? By what means we would utilise our brain resources for the future development of our country? What would the encouragement for having more kids mean if we are not developing the minds of our next generation?

And lastly, how long do we still want to shout out ‘Malaysia Boleh’ loudly without feeling embarrassing whilst we are constantly looking upon technology from overseas?

P.S.: The question regarding stupidity lingers around me lately. Am I stupid or am I not having enough input from previous study?

Above: Floating bridge.
Top left: Full capacity test in Nyhamna. The flame was about 60m high.
Top right: A random snapshot in Kristiansund.
Bottom: We need some mistakes to balance our imbalance soul, don't we?


This was no Bavaria, this was no Munich, this was, of course, no German. But here was where one of the most celebrated event in the Bavarian state held. Join Jiann Chyuan to discover Octoberfest in Trondheim, Norway.

UKA is a huge deal for Trondheim, and of course, for students from NTNU. It is a fort-yearly event which students organise various events throughout a week, and those events are in mega size.

UKA has been so successfully held and well exploited by various industries, it has now become a very commercial event which purchase of tickets are required for nearly every single event.

This year, the biggest UKA week ever, which apparently stretched for three-week long, has absolutely more than one climax to expect. The first of all was the Octoberfest.

You’ve got me right! It was the Octoberfest from Bavaria State in Germany. It is no wonder that Norwegians are eagerly enthusiastic to bring this huge deal from Germany to Norway since the drinking culture among Norwegians is enormously famous and common.

When it comes to beer, Norwegians just forget there is this ‘no’ in the dictionary. Welcome to Norway.

I don’t think I have the opportunity to experience the real Octoberfest in Munich for the coming few years. Therefore I bought the ticket for this ‘fake’ Octoberfest. 70Nok wasn’t that much for the ticket. But 150Nok for a litre of beer is really shocking. I mean RM90 for a litre of beer? Okay, it was time for me to say no more after a litre. Not that I cannot drink more, it is just that do I really need to poke a hole in my pocket?

I don’t think ordering several litres of beer in Munich during Octoberfest are a life-threatening decision, because it is comparatively cheap in Munich. Have you ever heard of the chain of alcohol in Scandinavia?

It says that alcohol is relatively cheaper in one country than the other, and therefore Norwegian goes to Sweden to buy alcohol; Swedish crosses to Finland to rob alcohol; Finnish steps into Denmark and get sloshed, while Danish happily travels to Germany for a taste of yeast.

This is no joke. Travel across border for nothing more than alcohol is common among Scandinavians.

I would have to say that Bavarian should feel extremely proud of the influence of their drinking culture. Imitation is definitely the best form of compliment. Inside the hall of Octoberfest, there was obviously a huge German flag right in the middle to honour the origin of this festival, which hardly remains unnoticeable.

Other interesting activities include performaces which were strangely in Norwegian, mega concert by the Norwegian to the Norwegian, which means everyone singing along with music.

I just didn’t have that much of desire to stay inside the tent for such a long time. It was such cold weather, and the beer was really tooooooo much to be served within such a short time, I just need to pee. Time to go out the tent and pee in public!

P.S.: Attending Muse’s concert tonight. Yup, one of the highlights in UKA weeks.

(Above) Typical view in the Octoberfest
(Below) Ops, so peaking when I'm peeing outside. So cold! My penis is frozen!

Norwegian Cabin Trip

The desire to experience at least once a very typical Norwegian cabin trip, despite being loaded with inches of notes for midterm test, Jiann Chyuan embarked an unforgettable experience and learnt that this might be the last cabin trip he ever has.

It was planned for a long while and my email inbox had been inundated by tonnes of discussion emails. Struggled whether to since there was a midterm test which required tonnes of reading and endless amount of brain-cell killing due to memory occupation. Pondered for a few days, I finally made up my mind and joined my first, and might be my last, typical Norwegian cabin trip to Vinjøra.

I was hugged with courage and excitement when the day came. Friday afternoon, boarded on the two-hour journey bus and kicked start this once in a life time experience.

Two hours later, reached our first pit stop safe and sound. All of us taking photos happily without noticing the approach of dangerous evil grinning ahead of us.

Destined not to waste our time waiting for the remaining pack of the gang that couldn't it to our bus, we decided to give the 11km extremely long stretch of walking a damn try, while enjoying the loads on our back. It was that bad I have to say. However, it would definitely be a lot better if we are filled with impressive scenery as to fulfill the investment return need for this long walk.

After about two-hour of walking, with of course maybe two pauses in between, we finally met with the rest of the gang, joining us in a comfy minibus that we hired. Everyone (the walking group of course) bumped into the minibus without wasting any second to only realise that we were only 3 minutes of ride to our next pit stop - the base of our cabin.

Didn't matter the premature death of enjoyment sitting in the minibus, we left the minibus with the highest spirit of the day, thinking that just another kilometre of small hike will lead us to our final destination - our cabin located in nowhere of the mountain.

It was 6.30pm when we begun our hike to the cabin. For this time in the autumn in Norway, it was only 15 minutes before darkness came.

However, we have faith that we could make it since it was only a kilometre.

We walked. We stopped for direction. We walked again. And then we stopped again for direction.

However, darkness wasn't patient and chose to present before we made it to the cabin.
The good friend of darkness, the wind, fiercely cold and strong, blowing furiously across the rather bald mountain, leaving everyone of us shivering in the wind while struggling to find out path.

Wait, did we have a path? Good question. We have no sense where we were heading. The supposed 15-minute walk has turned out to be an hour and a half.

Anxiety started to strike in. Hunger was ringing its bell mercilessly in the stomach. Our cabin, still hiding quietly in the darkness, overlooking the whole bunch of us soaking our feet in the deadly cold swamp and mud.

The feeling of the loads behind our backs started to increase. The numbness of toes soaking in freezingly cold swamp has ruined our souls. Hunger still ruling, but the only thing in our minds at that particular moment was our cabin was just right ahead.

We continued walking in the darkness, directionless, despaired.

Another hour passed. Seriously thinking that we couldn't find our cabin, we walked downhill and reached a small farm. Eagerly requesting a stay in the farm for a night had led us to rejection and a lend of two torch lights, and also a verbal direction.

Despair over controlled all our senses. Were we going up once again?

Left with no choice, we soaked our feet into the swamp again. We were told that the cabin was just 15-minute walk from the farm and there was a track which we can follow. What a wonderful suggestion when someone told you to find a path in complete darkness with flash light.

15-minute passed, we didn't reach our cabin, as expected. But we made it to a small house, nope, building, nope, store. Honestly, I was thinking to just stay in the store for the night while some of us went to search for the damn lovely cabin. Inside the cabin, raw (uncooked) meatball packet was unpacked to fill the stomach of hungry souls.

Good news after about an hour! We found the cabin! It was about 300m from the small store.
The rest of the story? Of course it was walking to the cabin and staying happily in the cabin for one night, after being lost in a mountain, under complete darkness and insane coldness, for four and a half hours.

Absolutely unforgettable, my first cabin trip to a Norwegian mountain.

Civilisation on Road

You are guaranteed absolute safety in Norway when you perform scary stun that would definitely drive you to six feet under. Jiann Chyuan discovers.

Not too long ago I mentioned on the punctuality of bus system in Trondheim. I think it is only appropriate if I post a timely update about how Norwegians behave on road. Again, what I’m going to tell is at least applicable in Trondheim.

The introduction, Norwegians are extremely courteous on the road. Take an instance.

Cross a road in Malaysia, regardless of its busy level, you will end up:
1) Horned until you turn deaf
2) Rolled under the tyre and deform to minced meat shape ready to be packed
3) Absorb full impact from the hit and experience flying without wings

Let’s switch the angle and do the same thing in Norway, you will see:
1) Driver slows down his vehicle from far and ready to let you cross the road
2) Driver jams on brake suddenly and let you cross the road when your movement is abrupt
3) Driver crashes himself to the road side if he was unable to put the motor to halt

It is not exaggerating. In fact, pedestrians are the most important characters on road. And of course, this also means that the highest power is in the hands of pedestrians. However, road courtesy and pleasantness are not always equivalent.

My very own personal experience, which nearly got me pressed into a thin sheet of plywood in a bus, was totally shocking. A pedestrian was crossing a road so suddenly that the bus I was in had no choice but to exert a one-ten-millionth second brake when it was speeding downhill.

The result? The pedestrian crossed the road safely without noticing what was happening to her left. Switch to another point of view, I was crashed to the windshield of the bus and was topped by at least ten standing passengers (whom apparently no longer standing on that particular instant). I swear, it was a life threatening incident!

Perfect score for civilisation on road!

This is just one extreme example actually. Norwegians, unlike the road users in Malaysia, are taught to be courteous on road. I heard that giving way to pedestrians is actually a statement in their regulations on road.

Other than respecting pedestrians, the infamous me-fist-la culture in Malaysia is also a scene impossible in Norway. Every morning, no matter how terrible a traffic jam is, (oh yea, Trondheim does suffer traffic jam in the morning) you will never see cars jump queue. They are always so nicely lined up in queue.

Besides, bus lane means bus lane, and only bus lane. No car will cross to bus lane and get an advantage of out of it. Maybe this is also one of the reasons why buses in Trondheim manage to maintain a high level of punctuality.

It has really a lot to say when it comes to road system in Norway, although this country has only limited length of highways (lesser by significant difference if compared with Malaysia). The conclusion is, coincides with the introduction is, Norwegians are courteous on roads. Should I put extremely?

Two random pictures showing the situation on the road in Trondheim.

Cultivation of 21st Century’s Newton

World renowned universities are the heaven to geniuses. But it is definitely the hell of average student, for example, Jiann Chyuan. In Norway, higher education institutions seem to be heaven to every Norwegian student. Why?

I always look forward to go to the city square on a Saturday’s morning, something is always happening there. For instance, the gay parade during early of September and the free live open air concert the weekend after that.

Last Saturday, determined not to trap myself in the wooden cage, and of course due to the literally perfect weather, I escaped myself from books to town centre for a few hours, just to check out what was the event for the weekend.

It surprised me when I saw two huge tents set up right in the middle of the square which apparently featuring my university, NTNU. Why? Because usually whenever there is any event, promotion within the campus compound is insanely immense. No, not always with a naked body. But not for this.

So I went into one of the tents eagerly and curiously. My eyes sparked instantly when I saw the exhibition inside. It was an implementation of technical knowledge exhibition targeting at children less than 10-year old.

Okay, I’ve to admit that I was equally attracted, if not more than those small kids, to every exhibition booth. They were so interactive. The idea for visitors to the exhibition was not to squeeze into different booths and to grab some freebies. Instead, they were invited to participate in numerous interactive experiments and demonstrations.

One particular demonstration that interested me greatly was the Ruben Tubes. I don’t really understand the physics theory behind the implementation (because I couldn’t study anything from the Norwegian banner), but I guess it has something to do with pressure.

So why was it interesting? Try to imagine the explanation of such invention was not by using lectures, but by karaoke. Sounds fun isn’t it? Children can actually participate in the exhibition by proofing to the world why World Idol was from Norway and not America, by showcasing their singing talent while observing the changes in flame along the Ruben Tubes.

The other exciting exhibition I found was the solar and heat generated Lego car. It was simple, by transforming energy from heat and solar power to mechanical energy that drove the car forward.

One other thing was of course, related to my major, coastal engineering. They had this micro-scale wave generator that explained the motion of water particle in a wave and also the response of vessels to this motion of water particle. It was a combination between live demonstration and one-to-one explanation via animated computer programmes.

Some other interesting exhibitions include, the primitive wood rotating fire making process, the computer programming cum chemistry like drink making exhibition, and also instant human model simulation via scanning.

So now you see the reason why Norwegians are strong in the mastery and implementation of technical knowledge. It is because the country cultivates their younger generation to become the next Newton or Laplace since small.

It is crucial to emphasise that the exhibition is not made to impress public, but to really deliver the knowledge by having immense amount of interaction between organiser and visitors. If Malaysia would like to achieve vision 2020, this might be something that our government, or at least our higher education institutions should learn from.

Caption (clockwise from top left):
Heat and solar power generated Lego car
Some wind power generation demonstration
Wood stick drilling for fire making, with "primitive" tribe assistant
Micro-scaled wave generator
Ruben Tubes with kid singing Linkin Park's song