Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Shaking Ane´s hand, it suddenly dawned on Bjorn that he had no idea why he was in this woman´s office apart from telling her that she has to make sure no one escapes from the colony. And such a message could clearly be given to her by telephone or e-mail. Bjorn looked over at Geir who, to Bjorn´s great relief, was looking around with his usual self important posturing, seemingly unimpressed by the woman´s guns or her cold no nonsense expression.

After making a few remarks on the factory being impressive and well staffed, which made Ane come out from behind her desk to stand in front of the glass panels overlooking the factory floor together with the two men, Geir turned the conversation towards the rules and regulations that he and Bjorn were obliged to enforce.

"Have you printed out and read the rules regulating border activities, as instructed by the foreign ministry?" Geir asked, looking down at the relatively petite woman.
"Yes, of course!" Ane replied without batting an eye.
"May we see it?
"You mean to tell me you are not familiar with it?"
"No, we need to see that you have actually printed it out."
"So you think I´m lying?"
"These are the procedures. We are just following procedures."
"Okay," Ane turned to her assistant, switching to English and asking her to get the file on government rules and regulations.

The little Asian woman got up from her desk, and quickly retrieved a thick folder from a shelf next to Ane´s desk, which she opened and handed over to Ane. Ane, in turn, found the document in question, a ten page pamphlet by the look of it, asking Geir if he needed to read it.

"No thanks, we only need to see that you have it," Geir replied. "And you have read it?"
"Of course!"
"So you are familiar with the rules?"
"Of course I am. Very important stuff. Very insightful," Ane replied, clearly ironic, but with the irony just as clearly not registering with Geir.

Bjorn smiled at the woman´s last remarks, but Ane was as stone faced and cold as ever. Bjorn was starting to realize that the pamphlet Ane had received from the department of foreign affairs, was either the exact same, or a very similar document to the one he had received from his superior before leaving for Lundby. It was basically a ten page document saying that asylum seekers without a valid residence permit for Norway have to stay in the colony, and he for one had only leafed through it briefly without bothering to read it in any detail. He seriously doubted Ane had bothered to read it either, and to hear her praising the document as being somehow important would have been funny if it was not for the fact that his and Geir´s presence clearly represented a threat to her business. A threat with a magnitude she could not possibly be exactly sure of.

"As you will see, if you care," Ane continued, "we have marked the quay with the prescribed lines and no go zones."

Ane looked over at Bjorn as she said this, and his smirk vanished immediately. Ane had indeed taken the document seriously, and Bjorn felt again a fool for underestimating this woman. Bjorn had no idea what the lines and no go zones referred to, but here he was, supposedly having to verify that all of this was done correctly. Bjorn looked over at Geir, half expecting him to be as clueless as himself, but Geir was clearly still in control of the situation, or at least doing a fantastic job of appearing to know exactly what Ane was talking about.

"Yes, we would very much like to see that everything is in order," Geir replied. "Will you be so good as to give us a tour of the premises?"

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