Mutual Friends

ONE THING that I’ve come to realise after living in Norway for two years is that: mutual connections are everywhere. For example…

– I know a Master’s of Biology student studying at the University of Bergen. She is undertaking part of her thesis in a city called Arendal.

– One month ago I started a course called “Life-history strategies and climate effects” at the University of Oslo. On that morning, I met two PhD students. Both of them knew this girl.

arendal– Two weeks ago I was drinking beers during a happy hour event at the University. I met the two students from Arendal again and discovered that we shared a mutual friend: a PhD student whom I got to know on the very day I had my interview for job at the University.

– I was first introduced to this PhD student a few months back when I was still living in Bergen. I was having dinner with some friends and a girl who works at the Norwegian Environmental Agency in Oslo.

– In January, I was at a conference for the Norwegian Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology. It was there I first met this girl from the Environmental Agency, and I introduced to her by one of my former lab mates.

– August last year I met my new housemate. He was from the same city as my lab mate (called Moss). It turns out that lab mate’s younger brother and my housemate used to play together as kids!


How many mutual friends do you think you really have?

I could keep going, but you get the point. Norway is such a small country (with a population of just over 5 million people now), that it’s nearly impossible to escape a mutual connection with somebody else. I actually quite like meeting new people and finding out if we both have a friend in common, but maybe that’s just me.

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