“Stop Thief”

While preparing for Norway my dad told me how the only crime to be aware of while here would be pickpocketing.  I’ve been told that every time I have headed to a European country, that the only crime I would ever see would be pickpocketing.  I never thought it would be as common as people say and it never occurred to me that I would actually see it, until this week.

We were sitting in a hotel lobby, a very nice one might I add, waiting to do an interview when we heard a woman yell “stop thief” and saw a man running off with a backpack.  In that moment everyone stopped what they were doing and took off after him.  I sat their in shock, a little from seeing someone actually steal a backpack and a little from seeing that others actually went after him to stop him.

Growing up in New York I was always told that if someone wanted to steal from me, to just let them have it because you never know what weapons they could have on them.  In school we were even told not to help others out during robberies because of the danger you could put yourself in. 

This was not the case in Norway.  With such strict laws in Norway, no one was worried about being stabbed or shot over a bag.  There was a sense of helping someone else out.  Completely different than where I grew up. 

The thief was soon caught by an employee at the hotel and calmly walked with him to a couch to wait for the police.  Another thing I wouldn’t see too often back home, just casually waiting for the police to arrive and not trying to get away. 

This is just another example of how I have seen such a different way of life over here in Norway.  Some super small that probably aren’t noticeable to many, and some right in your face differences.  Neither place is right or wrong but it is crazy to see how two countries can be so different from one another.