Tuesday, February 4, 2014


The fishing boat that Bjorn had seen heading for Lundby was already unloading fish when Geir parked the car by the village square, and it was still busy doing so when the two men approached the fish processing plant. A tall fence with barbed wire on top separated the fish processing plant from the rest of the quay. A sign with "Private property, no guns allowed" written in large letters, and with a round sign of a gun with a line through it displayed next to the text, was clearly visible next to the gate. And the gate itself had another sign placed squarely at eye level with the message "Private property, trespassers will be shot," all in English rather than Norwegian.

"Private property, eh?" Bjorn said with a smile, as Geir pressed the button for the bell.
Geir responded with a solemn nod. "Privately run concentration camps. What will they think of next?"

A small Asian woman appeared in the doorway of the processing plant´s main building. Seeing the men standing by the gate, she quickly ran over to them to let them in.

"You must be from the check point?" she said in slightly broken English as she let the two in.
"Yes we are," Geir replied straightening himself up as to make himself even taller relative to her.
"No guns allowed! Put your guns over here pleace," the woman explained, pointing to a shed, next to the fence.
"We have no guns," Geir replied with a confident smile. "We are only here to inspect the premises and talk to the manager."
"Yes, I know. She told me to bring you straight to her office."

The woman was shivering in the cold and eager to show the men into the processing plant, walking quickly in front of them back to the door where she first appeared. However, the temperature was hardly any better inside the large building. It was built entirely out of corrugated iron plates, and two gates on the long wall facing the fishing boat were wide open to let a large number of people, mainly women, get the fish into the plant. If it had not been for curtains of heavy plastic strips hanging in front of the open gates, there would have been absolutely nothing separating the inside of the plant from the elements. The building was nothing but a huge shed with no internal walls, except for a small office with large windows, placed on a platform up against the long wall away from the quay.

The Asian woman showed the men the way across the factory floor and up the metal staircase to the office. Knocking politely at the door before entering, she introduced the two men to her boss, a woman sitting in a chair behind a large desk. The outside wall behind her was covered by dark brown panelling, flimsily built and with insulation material sticking out and clearly visible at the edges. Warm air hit the men as they entered, but the sight of the woman surprised Bjorn so much that he hardly noticed. In front of him sat the young woman he had seen on the ferry, and she was looking at him and Geir with the same cold glance that she had used to keep him from engaging in any small talk back then.

An AK-47 assault rifle was hanging on display on the panelled wall behind her, as to make it absolutely clear that she would not tolerate any kind of dissent among her employees, and when she rose from her office chair to give the two men a handshake, a large heavy revolver could be seen hanging in a western-style gun belt, strapped around her waist, and tied against her thigh.

"You must be Bjorn and Geir," she said as she leaned forward, across the desk, to shake the men´s hands. "I´m Ane. I run this place."

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