Norwegians Weekend Hobby
Born and raised as a Kenyan, I never thought that one day I can wake up and decide to become a building contractor, dressed in an
overall, helmet and working shoes all ready for a some serious work. Surprisingly, I am told this is Norwegians favourite weekend hobby, remodelling and renovating their houses.
To remodel is to alter, make over, redo, refashion, remake, revamp, whatever you call it, it simply means to change the existing design. Two weeks back, one of my girlfriends asked me whether I could join her for remodelling session they had with her family. Having heard about it, I was definitely going to see how it works.
All living on their own, Solveign, her brother and her father are dressed up in some old clothes on this particular Saturday to continue remodelling their new apartment ready for a new tenant. “It is hard work, but we love to do it and it is very economical when you do it on your own. Hiring contractors in Norway is very expensive, you pay between 400 to 600 Noks an hour (about Kshs.6000), so if you have a whole day work you can calculate how expensive it can be.” she told me.
Great work indeed!
I take a tour around the three roomed house and of course I am impressed by the work being done here. The kitchen looks brand new, it is so hard to believe that they did this on their own. How perfect can they be? They have redone the painting and put new kitchen ware and it looks all spectacular.
“Norwegians love to remodel their houses and those who are obsessed about this, remodel their houses almost all the seasons all year round. We redo the kitchen, the living rooms, the bedrooms and even the wash rooms. We repaint and change the tiles. This is why it is refered by many as Norwegian´s favourite weekend hobby,” she said.
I haven´t done this before and because it is my first time, all I am doing is watching them work and helping around with easy errands. I am convinced this is really good work, but I am a bit concerned so I ask “How effiecient is your work. I know for sure you have no basic knowledge on doing such work, how can you rate your work at the end of the day?”
Her dad cares to explain to me how this is done. “The remodelling is something we do all the time, in our own houses and we also volunteer to help our friends. Practise makes perfect. So all the time you do it, you always get some new knowledge. The more you do it the easier it becomes. Also you need to note, in most cases it is a joint effort, so we learn from one another. We might not be 100% efficient, but we give it our best”.
With this kind of a job, it also means removing the old stuff and replacing it with the new ones. Two hours of working and the next place we are headed to, is to the recycling center. We have been collecting all the unwanted materials ready to have it trashed.
“Watch this out Patience, just to prove to you how we love to do this, at the recycling center, you can be assured we will find a queue, with people waiting access the various bins and we will definitely meet people we now and maybe some you know too.” Said my friend Solveign.
About 20 minutes we get to the recycling center and we start to offload our trailer. I can see for sure this is indeed a weekend job for the Norwegians. The place is flocked with people of all ages, children, youth and I am informed this is a couples thing as well, so I notice lovebirds, husbands and wives and of course grandparents too. Not so long, I see my one of my colleague driving in accompanied by his wife and not far from them, I see someone else from my neighbourhood. Indeed, I confirm what I was earlier told, that I will surely find people I know.
We head back and break for lunch and she explains this too. “When we have invited people for the remodelling , then in most times we will buy them lunch as an appreciation, otherwise you will buy your own lunch.”
After lunch, I am of course too tired to continue keeping in mind I have never done this before, so I thank my friends for introducing me into a new hobby and a another money-saving project. One promise I make to myself is “Those contractors in Kenya, sorry, it is over now, I will only hire your services if it is very crucial, when it comes to painting, fixing my kitchen, my bedroom and some simple jobs, I will do them on my own, it is a promise!!
Care to give it a trial??? Enjoy your remodelling sessions!