Khat is everywhere in Oslo

Here’s a photo I took this afternoon not a hundred yards from the Police HQ:

Khat in Oslo
Some of many Khat eating immigrants in Oslo

Yes, I could have done a close-up, but that would just be over the top. Now, I’m one for extended leniency in matters of immigration politics. We’ve got to understand the situation that many of them escaped from before arriving in our wealthy industrial society. Cultural awareness may sound like a buzzword, but having been to China and experienced a so-called cultural shock (which is very much like an anxiety attack) due to the huge leap in culture alone, I know what the word means. Many don’t.

But this here just pisses me off. According to Wikipedia Khat "contains the alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria" (ref). Khat is not a strong substance, but it does have a lot of consequences. I know and have known several people from East Africa where khat grows natively. They reveal a large social problem, especially family violence and unemployment, due to heads of families eating khat all day long. Having escaped from the traumas of your birthplace and managed to steal, lie and trick yourself into one of the wealthiest countries in the world (a very common strategy I’d probably follow in a similar situation); khat is what you want to waste it all on? Come on.

I don’t care for these poor saps in the picture, or the ones I’ve seen being arrested by the five-oh on the exact same spot. But they have families. Not to mention the conflict funding raised from the selling and distribution of it. Last of it all, it is the nerve. You have the whole world at your fingertips when you’ve first been accepted: a friendly government with lots of programs and work-introduction schemes, free education and no systemic force to put you down but whatever lack of spirit you act out yourself. Yes, there is corruption and racism in Norway as well. But it is illegal, and you have the freedom to try it in court or try somewhere else. It’s not impossible. Instead you choose to sit on your ass, chew khat and receive a monthly welfare check? What a waste. What idiocy and fatalism. And what a risk to take, concerning your family and future. Pisses me off!

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