Saturday, October 19, 2013

Norwegian hypocritical rule

It's 4:31 in the morning. I'm in the bus off to Bærum. Been in Oslo bus terminal from past 3:30 a.m. I witnessed a scenario that created questions regarding my point of view towards beggars, homeless, and drunk passengers.

The guy in the photo above was obviously dressed well. Judging from the material his trench coat is made of and a nice wool scarf, he's a normal drunk guy unable to resist sleep while waiting for his bus. Having palms clasped together, he cradled his head over them, eyes closed, comfortably—and probably–waiting for his bus.

I was sitting in front of him, sipping an overpriced little cup of coffee and munching an 18 kroners ultimately dry, hard raisin bread from Que Presso. A security guard tried to wake up this sleeping, bald guy. He talked in Norwegian which I presumed was something about sleeping is not allowed inside the bus terminal.

Therefore, if any parts of your body is in horizontal position, it is prohibited. You may close your eyes and sleep just like this lady in the photo below, but you can never comfortably take a nap horizontally. This lady is lucky to have a huge back which she can lean on and  sleep or nap. Too bad, the guy had a small back pack that can never be leaned on, vertically.

Bald guy sat up. Undeniably sleepy. A couple of minutes later, his eyes closed and dropped his torso again in the seat like a child sleeping. It took only a few minutes, the security guard woke him up again. The latter seemed serious that the guy had to push himself up, eyes half closed and walked along the corridors. I perfectly understood what he was doing. He had to walk to shoo away his lethargy.

My morals were shaken.

I was shattered with what I saw. Firstly, there were vacant seats, literally and figuratively. Why can't anyone take a nap with his torso flat in the seat? It's a waiting area: which means a place where people wait for their bus, irrespective of the habits of waiting: with eyes wide open, napping, talking, or staring at nothing. Simply, Oslo bussterminalen can put a sign that goes: "No one is allowed to wait for his bus in horizontal position."

Secondly, in the southern Philippines, you can rent a small bed and sleep while waiting for your bus, inside the bus terminal. Inside—to keep people warm.

If, unfortunately, you were in this guy's shoes, would you want someone shaking your body and stop you from lying down?

Finally, the scene didn't end with the sleepy dude. When he's gone, the security shook off this young guy, legally (?) napping in upright position. The former spoke in Norwegian which I assumed accused the latter to be sleeping for hours already inside the terminal. This guy looked decent and finely dressed. He left the terminal. It was freezing cold outside.

I asked myself, if one day, I missed my bus or lose my bus ticket, I have to freeze to death outside since I can not stay long inside this boring, no-style-at-all terminal.

Teaching discipline sometimes go hand in hand with selfishness. Not giving anyone the liberty to overstay avoids the tendency of homeless people turning a certain place into a warm, temporary shelter. It may teach a bit of lesson. Do not be homeless in Oslo. Work hard. Earn money. And again, do not be homeless.

Homelessness happens in various reasons. One can be just annoyingly lazy. This bitch might be an addict. That dude might be a wayfarer. They might be victims of human smuggling. Despite the validity of these causes, I see no point in ignoring the people outside the terminal, freezing. It was zero degrees centigrade.

Hypocrisy lies beneath a nation's sugar-coated facade. A classic disease contemporarily confused as maturity of societal rule.

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