Friday, April 4, 2014


Geir paid for the petrol with Ante's debit card. The man operating the pump, typed in the price to be paid on a small handheld device, and all Geir had to do before leaving the petrol station was to type in the pin code to execute the transaction.

"It's not really Ante's debit card, is it?" Bjorn asked as Geir drove back into the street. "It's more like a common card for all of us at the check point, for groceries and petrol and stuff, isn't it?"
"Yeah, I guess I shouldn't call it Ante's card when it really is our card. But Ante is the one administrating our food budget, and he's the one who got hold of it. He's responsible for it. But, you're right. It isn't Ante's personal account we're dipping into when we're using it."

Bjorn caught sight of the captain from the fishing boat, heading for the tiny market in the middle of the square, together with some of his crew members, just as Geir pressed the accelerator, heading back in the direction of the check point. "What a strange place this is," Bjorn thought to himself. "Terrible wage conditions, civilians carrying guns, a casino, no taxes on food, wine, or petrol. And people not even using real money, but casino tokens instead."

"So, what's with the wine?" Bjorn asked, taking another quick look at the receipt from Pingo which he had been absentmindedly fingering since he sat down in the car. "It's kind of un-Norwegian to drink wine at a military base, isn't it?"
"It sure is," Geir replied. "It's not even legal."
"That's what I thought too. So why isn't Frank putting his foot down?"
"Because he likes it... He's a bit of an alcoholic."
"He and Ante," Geir continued. "Ever since Ante started buying food from Pingo, wine has been constantly available at the base."
"And you're not tempted to report this?" Bjorn asked.
"I am, but it wouldn't be very popular."

Bjorn nodded in agreement. He liked Ante and his wine, and would not be very happy himself if Geir was to spoil the little pleasures provided by Ante.

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