Monday, March 9, 2015


Bjorn almost regretted making the calculations. Had he not worked out his change in salary in Grams, he could have fooled himself into thinking he was better off with his nominal change in wages. But now that he had worked out the numbers, it was clear that he was not all that much better off than the people in the village, and that his real income was actually going down, relative to the Gram.

"But the gold price is going down," Bjorn thought to himself. "So how can the Gram go up? It's just a casino token, redeemable in gold. Surely, it should follow the gold price."

Bjorn found a chart  on the web showing the change in the gold price over time, just to make sure he had his facts right. And sure enough, the gold price was showing a clear downward trend. So on the one hand, the gold price was going down, and on the other hand, the Gram was going up.

"This makes no sense at all," Bjorn thought. Then he convinced himself that things would have to balance up sooner or later, and that his salary would then return to its proper level. "It must be some sort of temporary imbalance," he concluded before closing the tabs with the two charts. And with that conclusion, he felt quite a lot better. "Things will return to normal," he thought. "It simply has to since nothing can remain out of balance for ever."

Having closed the tabs with the charts, Bjorn was again confronted with the Blacklist, and this made him think of the official blacklist at the department of justice. That, after all, was the blacklist with real legitimacy. Unlike the web page in front of him, which had no legal authority, and did not really represent anybody, the blacklist at the department of justice represented the law of the land and the will of the people.

Bjorn pulled the official blacklist up from his browser history, remembering that he had not actually looked up Gus and his helpers. And curious to see what the department of justice might have on them, he proceeded to type in their names. But it proved hopeless to find anything on them. With only their first names and their nationality to help him in his search, he either got nothing or too much, depending on what he was typing in.

Then he got an idea. Bjorn could look them up on the Blacklist used in Lundby, and find their full names there. That webpage had the advantage that it did not contain all that many names, and with it being possible to restrict the search to Lundby, the list of names would be very short. If they happened to have an account, or even just a mention, he was sure to find them.

And sure enough. After a bit of hunting around, he found the full names of all three. None of them were involved in any squabble, but had evidently taken the trouble to register themselves anyway. However, Bjorn wasted no time wondering why this was so. Instead, he pasted the men's full names into the database at the department of justice, one after another, to see if they had anything on them.

But nothing came up. The department had nothing on either of them. And Bjorn felt strangely disappointed at this discovery. He had nothing against the men, but a database that listed people like Cecilie, Einar and Katinka as criminals, should in Bjorn's mind at least post a warning about people so clearly involved in shady arms deals.

"It must be some sort of mistake," Bjorn thought. "An unfortunate omission." Then, for some reason, Bjorn proceeded to type in his own name. He hit return, and up came a list of people sharing his full name, all with a green all clear status, except for the one at the top which was marked in red. And to his great surprise, the thumbnail image was of him.

"That can't be right," Bjorn thought, feeling his veins slowly freeze in quiet anguish. He clicked on the link to read the details. "Warning:" it read. "Immediate arrest on charges of: Attempted tax evasion (1 count)." Bjorn stared in disbelief at the webpage in front of him. Then it slowly dawned on him what it was all about.

Immediately after getting his divorce from his ex, Bjorn had applied for a passport, thinking he could do with a break. A trip to a southern country for instance, to clear his mind and put things in perspective. However, he had been denied a passport on the grounds that he still had unsettled affairs in Norway. And thinking this had to do with his divorce proceedings which had not been fully completed, he had simply accepted this as just one more slap in the face from his ex. But now that he saw the text in front of him, he realized that the unsettled affairs might just as well have been a reference to his debt to the taxman.

But if Bjorn was on the blacklist for potential tax evasion, why was he allowed to work as a border guard? This made absolutely no sense. Were the people in Oslo really so incompetent that they would let a blacklisted person serve as a border guard, and now even as a customs officer?

Bjorn clicked on the warning in the hope that it might reveal some more information, but as he did this, the session terminated, and he was sent to the log in screen. "Oh no! Not now!" Bjorn though, his frustration and anguish rising quickly. Then he found the note with the log in and password details to log in again. But he was denied access. "No such user or password it said."

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