Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Bjorn was in the middle of a cup of coffee when he suddenly spotted several orcas over by a small island at the other side of the fjord. At first, he didn't quite see what it was, but through his binoculars he could see that the disturbances of the water in the distance were in deed caused by whales coming up for air. And by studying them further, Bjorn concluded that the whales must be orcas. Later on, when they swam closer to Lundby, there was no longer any doubt about the whales. Their characteristic white and black patterns could be clearly seen, and Bjorn could congratulate himself on having come to the right conclusion right from the start.

Just like the day before, a fishing boat headed for Lundby at the beginning of Bjorn's shift. And with a second fishing boat heading for Ane's processing plant towards the end of Bjorn's shift, Bjorn concluded that Ane's factory was doing quite well. This did not in any way surprise him, of course, considering how well organized the woman had appeared when he had the pleasure of meeting her.

However, what did surprise Bjorn quite a bit was the number of cars heading for the colony. Neiden was after all quite far away, almost two hours by car, so anyone bothering to take this journey would have to have a pretty good reason for doing so. And with Neiden housing less than three hundred people, five cars entering before noon was quite a lot.

One driver in particular had puzzled him. It was a woman with her daughter of five years or so insisting on entering the colony even without a passport. Bjorn pointed out that entering the colony without a passport may make it difficult to leave later on, but the woman brushed his explanation off as irrelevant.

"It is not like there's any doubt that I'm Norwegian, right?" the woman insisted, in a broad local accent.
"No," Bjorn had to admit. "But this is a restricted area. We have to check people for valid passports as they leave."
"And what if I´m not going to leave?" The woman asked.
"But you are, aren't you?" Bjorn asked, incredulous of her assertion.
"No. Not in many years, I´m not."
"And by then, I´ll have the papers sorted out for you. You can be sure of that."

Bjorn felt reluctant to go along with the woman's story. There was something manic about her intense insistence, and it made Bjorn uneasy. However, as far as he knew, his duty was limited to keeping people inside the colony. He had seen nothing about preventing people from entering, and the only reason he was asking people to show their passports was to prevent people from accidentally finding themselves trapped in the colony.

"Anyway," the woman insisted as if she had read his mind. "You have no right to keep me out."
"No... That's true..." Bjorn replied reluctantly. Then, he pushed the green button, thereby raising the barrier and letting her in.

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