After reading the entry Cities, yourkitty wanted to know where we got alcohol where I live! Well… Oh boy. Norway is strange.
You can get some alcohol in our “city” (I strongly despise calling tiny Moelv a city…). All the normal grocery stores have got beer for sale, but not after 8PM on weekdays and 6PM on Saturdays. On Sundays you are not allowed to buy beer in the stores, and most stores are not allowed to be open anyway, because Sundays are kinda holy in this very unholy land. No big store is allowed to be open on Sundays, so the merchants have resorted to building small versions of their store which are only used on Sundays.
Selling alcohol other than beer (and some sissy drinks in bottles that also are available when and where you buy beer) is monopoly based in Norway. We have what we call “Vinmonopolet” which translates directly to “wine monopoly”. Of course it’s not only wine, but anything you would like. You can also order stuff online. The closest Vinmonopol where I live is in between where I live and the city closest(I’m not really into calling that place a city either, but it’s much bigger!), about 10km away from the city center. Now the other city (*urgh*) has gotten it’s own Vinmonopol, but we will not get one, no way. The one we have got is “too close”.
As you probably have imagined, the Vinmonopols are not open on Sundays, and close early all other days. They are also closed on election day, and no beer is allowed to be sold that day, because… eh… people of course drink all alcohol they get their hands on at once and no one can get drunk that day if it’s closed. Or something like that.
And yes. It’s VERY EXPENSIVE! That’s why Norwegian shop as maniacs in Sweden when they are over there (going to Sweden to shop even got it’s own name, “Harrytur”, don’t ask me to translate ;P) even though Sweden also have a monopoly on alcohol (things are just not taxed to death), and in Tax Free shops in airports and on boats.
Of course you can drink alcohol in bars and pubs and restaurants, but the rules are strict, and it’s not allowed to sell alcohol after a certain time at night. These limits are set by the local governments and differ for city to city, but around 2-3AM is the normal. That way every place with a serving permit close their doors at once, and everyone have to go home at once and stand in the same line to get a taxi.
You also have the option of making your own alcohol, which is illegal as long as it’s not wine or beer (that’s quite easy and safe to do), but is still done. Many Norwegian houses have been blown up because of an exploding distillery in the basement. And the end result usually taste horrible.