Safety

Hey everyone. It’s been long enough since my last real post about what’s been going on here in Oslo, so I thought I would give you an update.

I haven’t traveled lately. I’ve enjoyed that. I’ve explored so much more of Norway and the city I’m in, it’s been well worth it to stay a while.

As for news here, most of you heard about the Swedish terror attacks that took place in the middle of Stockholm. The attack, as I’m sure you know, involved a stollen supply truck running into a department store, situated in a major walking street downtown. I’ve actually been to that area, the same street I’m pretty sure. It’s bustling there. Stockholm itself is an active metro. The attack sent some shock to those around the area. Scandinavia is seen as extremely safe, relative to the rest of the world. As I’m writing this, five people were killed in the attack. 3 were killed immediately, and two thereafter. The suspect, a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan has confessed to the act of terror.

Shortly after Oslo went through a much less significant (but still scary) bomb-like threat near the heavily diverse neighborhood of Grønland. The bomb threat ended up being taken care of before any damage was done. To be in this city though, and experiencing the relative tranquility of it the last 4 months, it was hard to hear that news.

News update over. The point I’m trying to make here is that the world is crazy, but at least in Norway, we’re well protected. The country mobilized quickly in the wake of the attack and enforced extra security around the city center and the airport. In Norway, police are not allowed to carry guns, a crazy concept in the US, but here it makes sense. After Stockholm, more police were armed and permanent security locations were set up. Even though there was more tension in the city, the safety measures went up to ensure the protection of the people. It was appropriate given the circumstances.

On social media, I’m seeing way too much “Trump the fortune-teller” bullshit to be satisfied. Trump made a (blatantly made-up festering pot of shit) remark about the “terror attacks in Sweden the previous night” in an address he gave in March. At the time, nothing had gone down in Sweden, and in the wake of this, I’ve heard his praises sung. Well to be fair, yeah some shit happened in Stockholm, but it wasn’t by a refugee, a legal asylum-seeker, a person from the middle east, or a person from a country Trump could spell correctly. The man was an Uzbekistan-born extremist sympathizer. He had no legal right to be in Sweden after his application for asylum was denied and was asked to leave the country. He was on a watch list before this.

I still believe what Sweden is doing for the mass movement of people in the middle east is commendable, and necessary. So many of these displaced people are flailing in the wind. They need help, help that Trump has taken a hard stance against of course. So to those who are watching this unfold from the US, or wherever, the situation in Scandinavia shouldn’t be something that fans the flames of whatever innate xenophobia you may possess, or an anti-refugee stance you may have taken. Refugees will still enter Sweden. Sweden is still doing its best to accommodate this, but of course it isn’t easy. There are no easy answers to this mass migration.

Personally, I still feel safe in Oslo. I still feel safe when I travel. It’s not a time to alter your life plans because of the unrest. To all my other friends studying around the globe, I hope you all still feel a sense of security. I hope further provisions are made that keep host-countries safe but can still help those in need. Like I said, no easy answers.

Side note: Go see the new X-men movie, Logan. It’s incredible.

That is all.

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