Why I unsubscribed from /r/Norway and why I'm leaving Norway for good.

I grew up just over the border from east Texas, and spent lots of time in Dallas and Austin, where some of my cousins live.

There are some nice things about the US (and Norway), and there are some not so nice things about the US (and Norway).

I'm normally very private on the internet, but I'll tell you a little about my personal experience growing up in the US. In your rant about the arrogance and entitlement of Norwegians, you've sadly missed your own.

My elementary school was segregated. Not legally of course, but in grades where there were enough black students, they were all placed in one classroom. This was in the 90s. I saw burning crosses in front yards (and a giant one at the neighborhood elementary school) several times as a child, and there were race riots in a nearby neighborhood.

I'm a foreigner in Norway, and I feel safer here than any other country I've lived in.

I lived with my grandparents growing up, and they lived in what would probably be considered the ghetto. I was shot when I was 4, and chased by a guy with a knife in my own backyard when I was 6 (until my grandfather came out with his shotgun).

I wasn't allowed outside after that because there was too much gang activity. The local grocery store was robbed at gunpoint a couple of times when I was shopping with my family. My cousin was beaten and tied up at work (a pizza shop) during a robbery. The convenience store near my house was shut down after too many clerks were murdered. I was close enough to regularly hear the gunfire from my bed. I can't count the number of times men exposed themselves to me from their cars as a little girl.

I was taught to handle a gun when I was 5 or 6, and carried a knife and pepper spray as a teenager. I'm so glad I don't need those things in Norway.

And on the subject of cancer, my best friend's mother died as a direct result of the US health system. She couldn't take time off of work for treatment without losing her health insurance (or getting fired), and couldn't get the treatment without health insurance. So she just worked until she went into a coma one day, and died two weeks later. After retirement, my grandparents had to make the choice every month between necessary medical treatment and food. Maybe it will get better now, who knows?

So you're going off to have a nice education in the US, paid for by your parents and/or the Norwegian government. You may never experience these things. You grew up sheltered and because of your resources, maybe you'll get to live out your idealized US dream. The nice parts of Dallas and Austin are really fantastic.

I started out on the bottom rung in Norway. I moved here with a sleeping bag and a backpack, and literally lived in the woods. My first flat here was a collective with heroin addicts. I was better off with little money, no education, no contacts, and doing "dirty work" as you call it, than I was in the US working 2 full-time jobs. And despite living with junkies I felt safe, something I never felt in the US.

The shit you're going on about that's so terribly wrong in Norway exists in the US too. Norway is nowhere near perfect, but I would happily trade in some howdies and hypocritical politeness for the ability to walk down the street at night unafraid, and to keep my daughter from ever experiencing the things I experienced in the US.

/r/Norway Thread