Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Police incident

They were locked in an embrace, at first I thought they were hugging, but as I cycled closer I saw the strain on their faces. A Burmese man was holding onto a tall Norwegian teenager and yelled at me (på norsk) to call the police. We were on the side of a busy road (Strandbygdvegen) but none of the cars stopped to help. In Norway there are three different numbers for emergencies- one for fire, one for police, and I don't know what the third one is for?? I dialed 112 and promptly forgot all my Norwegian. I was suprised how long the phone rang, but finally someone answered. I sputtered in Norglish that there seemed to be a dispute over a stolen bike and two people were fighting. The person on the other end of the phone told me to calm down (!!) and spoke no English ( I know, I know, I'm in Norway and they speak Norwegian here, but I also know all Norwegians under the age of 55 have many years of English in school). The police (politiet) were prompt in arriving and told me the young Norwegian man was under the influence of drugs. I thanked the female police officer for their prompt arrival, and she told me that I was lucky to get such a quick response. Norwegians are known for their understatement, but I wasn't sure if she was joking or just telling me the truth. I have heard from natives that there are not enough police in Norway, so maybe I (or the Burmese man) was lucky.


  1. Maybe the third number is flash instruction in Norsk, so that you can figure out which of the other two to dial...?

  2. I think it is for social services, but not sure...