French people are confusing. They drink wine at lunch and don’t think they are alcoholics. They each lots of fat cheese and stay slim. And their political life is full of mistresses and other surprises. One of the things foreign journalists do not seem to understand about French politics is that nobody can predict what is going to happen. Remember the French presidential election … Continue reading Is France’s Next President a female Trump after all?
The first time I saw Sunita she was begging on the street below my office. Like many others she had a little paper cup and a picture of a baby, waiting for a few kroners to fall in. But unlike those I see around my office in central Oslo, she was young. She had beautiful green eyes and long black hair, and a straight forward look. It was … Continue reading What to do with Roma People in the Winter?
One’s first first reaction in these circumstances is to make sure one’s family members and friends are fine. The 7 areas of Paris where the attacks occurred started turning around in my head: is any of my friends likely to have attended the rock concert at The Bataclan last night? Could any of my family members have been in the Cambodgian restaurant where people got shot … Continue reading 2015. The Year that Traumatised France
Do you remember Dominique Strauss Kahn? Or DSK like we call him in France? He was a high profile French politician, once the Head of the International Monetary Fund, French Ministry of Finance, and one press release away from becoming a serious candidate to become France’s President in 2012. He was basically one of the most powerful men in the world, until this day of May … Continue reading Morals in Politics: What if French DSK had been Norwegian?
I am standing in the street, looking at it: at the people, the cars. I know something is different. But what? This is just another street in Oslo, like those I’ve been looking at for the past 5 years I’ve been living here. But I look closer, forgetting about my list of things to buy on my first day in my new flat in Bøler: … Continue reading Rich and Poor: Oslo is a divided city.
1. Accept things and people as they are Accept that this is another country with its own culture. Sure, half of what Norwegians do is new and strange to you, but for them that is the norm. It is the same all over the world: people do things in a certain way and they are sure this is the only and best way to do … Continue reading How to be a Happy Immigrant in Norway?
On the 7th of January four famous French cartoonists were assassinated during a redaction meeting of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, along with 8 other persons including their colleagues and police officers who tried to defend them. More are wounded and some are still between life and death. Anyone out of France’s borders can feel attacked by this assassination, because this is not just a … Continue reading The world screams #JesuisCharlie. But what is next for France?
Two days ago an article was published in Aftenposten listing all the criteria on which a refugee application is refused to become a refugee in Norway. The list is the following: – physical handicap – cancer – several types of blood diseases – heart problems – epilepsi – hearing and speech problems – psychiatric disorders – back problems – eye injuries – war injuries and … Continue reading A Good Refugee is a Refugee who Never Comes to Norway
“I will tell your story if you die. I will tell your story, and keep you alive… I’ve always had the feeling we would die young” sings a soulful thin woman before me. At the first lyrics many people in the crowd, including myself, can feel tears in their eyes, remembering that on 22nd of July 2011, too many people died young. This song is … Continue reading Remembering Utøya’s First Anniversary
Trying to integrate in Norwegian society? Don’t bother dyeing your hair blond and buying a Marius sweatshirt to look like those guys on the picture. Rather follow these ground rules to make it in the land of the North: 1. Pay your tax,. Don’t complain about it or tell stories on how you screwed the tax over (those stories will make you a hero in … Continue reading How to Integrate in Norway?