Background: Showaround Local Maarten is a 23-year-old Social Science student at the University of Oslo. He is of Dutch descent but has been living in Oslo for some years now. Maarten is a junior rowing coach and has an immense passion for coffee and beer. With jam-packed work and university schedules, Maarten highly values quality time with his closest ones.
Showaround: Why did you decide to become one of Showaround locals?
Maarten: Well, why not? I have an international mindset, and therefore, for the last three years, my house has been almost like a hostel for friends coming to visit me from all over the world. I am a highly curious human being; I always like to find out about unusual places in the city where I live. I use my spare time between studies and work to read about brand-new bars, cafés and look for new routes to travel in Norway and Oslo in particular.
So, why not to share all the cool things that I have found out about Oslo with travellers? Oslo is a wonderful city, but it’s quite difficult to get under the skin of it. At first, it might look cold and unwelcoming. But this is not the real Oslo, at least not the one that I know.
So, why not to share all the cool things that I have found out about Oslo with travellers? Oslo is a wonderful city, but it’s quite difficult to get under the skin of it.
However, it takes some time to see that, to find the cool places and really feel the vibe of Oslo. I understand that not everybody has as much time as I did, so that’s why I’d like to show travellers the gems of my beloved city.
Showaround: What’s your favourite coffee spot in Oslo?
Maarten: This is a difficult question to answer. Coffee is one of my biggest passions, and I think I know all coffee and tea spots in town. It also depends on what kind of vibe I want when I go for a coffee. For example, Fuglen is a fantastic vintage 1950-1970’s Nordic cocktail bar and a coffee house. It’s a great place to relax on a comfy sofa together with your friends and have a chat over a cup of coffee. Steam at Østbanehallen is a nice one as well, just next to the Central Station. Let’s not forget the world's famous Tim Wendelboe at Grünerløkka. Honestly, I can talk about this for hours, so people just have to stop me at some point.
Showaround: How would your friends describe you?
Marten: They say that people tell the truth about you when they’re drunk. So if that is the case, then I am “a good man with a good heart”. I have heard that several times. I like to see things in a positive light and enjoy the good things in life.
Showaround: How do you spend your free time?
Marten: Next to my passion for coffee, I have a great passion for rowing too. Life is busy, so I do not always have the time to go out on the fjord even for a little. Then the tours through the forest are a good alternative as I do not live too far from the forests close to Oslo. I also have a little project going on with some friends, which is very social, saves us money and in general, it’s an interesting activity. Yes, it's beer brewing.
Showaround: How would you describe the local people of Oslo?
Maarten: People of Oslo are very good people, very helpful, nice, but fairly “closed”, especially when you first meet them. If you meet them drunk on a Friday night, then it’s a completely different story. And that’s why you have to be patient because it takes some time to get to know them. But when you give them that time and let them open up to you, you will find yourself having some of the best and most loyal friends. Patience is key if you want to immerse yourself in the Norwegian lifestyle.
Showaround: Thank you, Maarten, for your answers!