Travel advice for Oslo

Not very much news on Israel this weekend so can feed you a little gossip on what goes on in our own little pond… The US embassy has issued the following warning to US travelers heading for Oslo:


ABC Nyheter 2012 01 18, NTB

On Tuesday, the US embassy issued a warning to US citizens resident in Oslo to be cautious about their personal security while in town.

The Embassy refers to the knifings at Solli plass in Oslo on January the 8th[1]; and several assaults taking place in the parks of the city recently.

“Be alert concerning your surroundings at present, Observe potential threats before they materialize”, the Embassy writes in a letter sent to US citizens in Oslo.

Americans are recommended to follow these five precautionary rules to experience a safe everyday life in the capital.

  1. If possible, do not walk alone in evenings. If you are outside in evenings, walk with others or travel by bus, subway or taxi.
  2. Stay in well-lit areas, where others are present..
  3. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, See potential threats before they become genuine threats.
  4. Trust your instincts. If something appear to be wrong, get out of the way
  5. Bring your cell phone along, to call if you are in need.

NRK  has not succeeded in receiving comments by the US embassy in the context of this issue.

The original letter, issued by the US Embassy, beneath:


January 17, 2012

Norwegian media have reported a number of violent assaults in the Oslo area over the past several months.  These include a daytime knife attack on a tram near Solli plass on January 5th and two stabbings near Oslo Central Station on January 10th.  Parks can be especially dangerous, even Slottsparken (The Palace Park) across from the U.S. Embassy, which has been the site of multiple assaults.

The U.S. Embassy wants to remind all U.S. citizens to exercise basic safety precautions, even in a generally safe country like Norway, as you would in other locations:

1.    If possible, do not walk alone at night.  If you are out late, arrange

to walk with others or consider another form of transportation.

2.    Remain in well-lighted areas with heavy traffic.

3.    Be aware of your surroundings at all times; see potential threats

before they become actual threats.

4.    Trust your instincts.  If something seems wrong, get yourself out of

that area.

5.    Keep your cell phone with you and charged to call for help if

necessary.  The police emergency number is 112, which you can dial from any land line or cell phone.

Translators note: In today’s Oslo these are actually good advice for any person venturing in the city off-working hours.

This travel warning may also be sound advice for Pakistanis who wake up to Norwegians swarming in their neighborhoods; this week saw a major scandal whereby the leader of the Security Police Service, Janne Kristiansen, had let the cat out of the bag when she in a parliamentary hearing accidentally revealed that Norway has secret military agents placed in Pakistan. She has now been charged with breaking confidentiality rules. The Pakistanis are livid at yet another infringement of their sovereignty. I just wonder why Norwegians aren’t equally livid for being kept in the dark about what jobs our political leadership puts our armed forces in, only to throw them like rag dolls under the bus every time they have been found out?

At the same time as this farce is played out to the tune of gnashing teeth and wringing hands, our own little wannabe terrorist, Arfan Batti, the man who fired shots at the Synagogue in Oslo and walked away scot free, has now demonstrated (lets put inverted commas around the word demonstrated, he only managed to gather 35 mentally disturbed persons for his Muslims against the occupation demo), and told Siv Jensen of the Progressive party, after she challenged his deranged rhetoric and reminded him that if he is unhappy to live in Norway, he can go to live in a predominantly Muslim country, that it could be a good idea that he and his fellow space cadets stay in Norway and convert it into a Muslim country with Sharia Law, and that in stead Jensen should find a new country to live in

To end on a positive note… the Christian daily Dagen informs us that a delegation of Sami representatives are going to travel to Israel to study the impressive success Israel has had with bringing the Hebrew language back as a living and vibrant language.

It should be remembered that Norway for a very long time denied the Sami their right to their own language and culture and despite recent years efforts to correct the horrible wrongs Norway committed against its Sami minority, many communities still do not have a coherent strategy for reintroducing the Sami language to the Sami people.

It is therefore promising to read about cultural exchanges between two minorities who have suffered persecution and that Israel’s success in bringing Hebrew back as a living language inspires not only the Sami, but also the Welsh and other ethnic minorities who has had their language, the mainstay of cultural identity, stolen from them.

It will be interesting to see Sami flip you off Israeli style, but it will be truly mind-blowing if as a result of this, the Sami joik now will be new smash hit at coffee shops and night clubs in Tel Aviv…