OSLO – a clean, quiet capital surrounded by nature. OR? Truth is, it is also a capital that has a high number of heavy drug users. One of Europe’s highest in fact. And that is something that I am having difficulties adjusting to.
I grew up in Oslo – then I lived abroad for a number of years. These days I spend my summers there, as a tourist, and every single summer I end up frustrated about how in-your-face the drug abuse is. And if I experience it like this, surely it must shock other tourists who are expecting anything but to feel like they’re at the film set for Requiem for a Dream.
Being a rather small capital (500.000 inhabitants only), the city center is condensed. You can easily walk from one end of the city to the other in fourty minutes. In other words – the dodgy areas rub shoulders with the rest of the city – and I would go as far as to say that you’re never far from somebody shooting up heroin. Consequently you’ll find USED syringes left behind on lawns, in gutters and in the elevators at the tube stations. It really is ugly. And it’s completely true. I have seen it myself, and I have felt repulsed by my own government who allow this to happen.
I have never been to any other place where heavy duty drug abuse is so visible. All these pictures were taken right behind the Oslo Stock Exchange, which in turn is a stone’s throw away from the central train station, some of Oslo’s biggest shopping centers and the city’s main pedestrian avenue ‘Karl Johan Street’.
Is this what tourists expect when they come to Oslo? Am I being a prude? Or do you people out there agree that this is shocking?