Maybe it’s time to move somewhere where you’re not mugged every other day. Maybe you should try New York, o Washington D.C. or Los Angeles. Good grief, I thought Norway was this utopia. Yer killing my fantasy.
You should never make the mistake of equating Oslo with Norway, like this: Oslo = Norway. It’s a mathematical error. There are 4.5 million people in Norway and only about .5 of them live in Oslo. The rest of Norway really is utopia. If you like the great outdoors, moose and the absence of Other People. As for Oslo, it has a pretty glum image in terms of violent crime and poverty. Come to Oslo Airport any day, and arriving at the central station the first thing you’ll see of one of the richest countries in the world (per capita) are homeless, beggars and junkies.
How did that happen — mugged AGAIN???
Well, allow me to answer that for you Mike.
If you consider the satellite image above (click for Google map), the big sort of white-dotted building is the Munch museum carrying the finest painted art in and from Norway. Across the road on the right hand side you can see a stretch of grey stone going upwards from the crossway, which is the cobblestone sidewalk abruptly ending in what is the Munch museum bus stop if you’re going west on route 20. It’s very hard to see but it’s there underneath the red dot.
That’s where I was standing waiting for the 20:15 bus westwards on the eve of August 28th. I was heading west for food and female company, I was pretty hungry and in my hand was my entrusted & beloved Nokia N95. I was playing Snakes, or whatever the name is. Normally I wouldn’t but that day I was. Anyway. Three guys, let’s call them Huey, Dewey and Louie, came up to the bus stop. Consider this illustration:
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: «Holy shit, Sigg3! You should just give up the blogging business and start making cartoons about these duck-like characters instead! You could build an evil cartoon empire and be a millionaire!» All true, except that I didn’t draw the illustration. It’s an already established comic, albeit underground and infamous. I just added a talking bubble to it and some text. Poorly, at that. And for those of us who know the comic, we can tell you that Huey, Dewey and Louie wouldn’t say anything like that. They’d be more like: «Let’s gut the bastard and piss on his corpse!»
But I digress.
Huey, Dewey and Louie approached the bus stop, passed me and looked at the timetable just to my right. Then Huey and Dewey seemingly continued into the park, but really just circled the bush behind the stop (Huey = 2 and Dewey = all black):
Then Louie (obj 1 fig 3) asked me whether I knew what time it was. What a hassle, almost reaching my all-time high score in snakes! I sighed.
"Yeah," I said, but at the instant I looked up he’d already snatched the phone from my hands and was running around the corner! (see black arrows)
It took me two moments to realize what had just happened. ‘Seriously? What the fudge happened just now?’ Because a gentleman such as myself would never lose temper and let his tongue spill vile words from hell. Fuck no. Then I headed after him. After all, it was sunny and bright, there were people in the park, so what’s the worse that could happen? There are no rules for situations like these.
I caught Louie sitting in the bushes just around the corner, and after a bit I talked him out of the bush. His eyes were twitching. Fear? Tension? Speed? Hard to tell really. He wasn’t making any sense, saying that it wasn’t him that had taken the phone having just run away from me; but he emptied his pockets right there to show me that he didn’t have it. At the same time one of his cohorts, number 2 in the diagram, was standing eerily close on my left side. This is known as the threatening pose, to impose either peace and quiet to the scene or an extra hand if I would turn violent. Because of this I didn’t. I leaped back to the bus stop to see the lookout, Dewey, pass the road. Naturally it was he who had the phone now, and was furthest away from the scene of the crime. Huey and Louie hurried across the road.
"You CHEEKY BASTARDS!" I yelled, not knowing the post-mugged ethiquette per se.
Instinctively, Louie turned around and shouted something about the thieves running in the opposite direction. Right. At this point though, the bus was arriving, and since there weren’t any other people on the front side of the Munch museum the battle was lost. Believe me, you don’t want to follow a gang of hustlers down there without a considerable crowd of civilians backing you up at least as witnesses. And that’s the last I’ve seen of them. You may only wonder what they’re up to next.
Or maybe I’m being too harsh.. what they knew perfectly well was that I wasn’t going to go up against them in the rather secluded area in front of the museum. And they probably knew that I was insured, exhausted, and that I’ve got have plenty of backups of whatever’s on the phone. And they probably knew that it was worth losing rather than getting beat up to the death. And there’s no end to what these guys knew. What they didn’t know was that I carried 45,000 NOK worth of laptop equipment in the backpack…
Still I’m baffled thinking about it, how cheeky some people are. Are there no honor amongst thieves any longer? For christ’s sake, I was at the bonus level!
I received gratification from the insurance company and I am now legally entitled to obtain a new N95 at the net sum of 300 NOK (versus 5K for a new one). Now I just have to get my ass down to the teleshop. In the meanwhile I am using my weary Siemens MC60, which I think is the first ever artificial intelligence with brain tumor and split personalities. I also received a hefty telephone bill with 4 calls done by the boys to Pakistan, Gambia and Denmark. Lol.