Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Streets of Sweden

First final exam: completed! It went pretty smoothly. As predicted, I struggled through the graphs, but I'm hoping that my in-depth analysis of Kuznet's Curve, which has been covered in every single environmental studies course I'm taking thus far, made up for my haphazard scribbling of "total revenue curves" and "fishing effort" and "marginal costs." Absolute gibberish.

Anyways, a few weeks ago, the State Department issued a notice to Americans in Europe about an elevated security threat, and advised that we "stay aware of their surroundings and remain cognizant of any possible risks." I laughed and shook it off because Scandinavia is probably the most benign place on Earth. Or at least I thought.

On Saturday, Gothenburg police worked to uncover and investigate to bomb threat to the Nordstan area in central Gothenburg, right next to city hall and the main tram hub. The threat was confirmed by Säpo, the country's security service, but the threat level remains "elevated." Although it's a three hour drive south of Gburg, the city Malmö is currently seeking the man responsible for a series of 20 shootings that target immigrants. Also, although it has nothing to do with national security or race relations or whatever and everything to do with people being wasted, someone was stabbed in our tram car last week.

Thomas, Katrijn, and I were taking the tram through the center of tram to the bars last Saturday night, and we noticed a few wasted dudes fighting and pushing and whatever. At first it was mildly entertaining, but the confrontation between the men quickly escalated. Dude In Red Jacket (DIRJ) was being shoved against the side of the tram, and he was so drunk that he was barely responding. All of a sudden, runs (stumbles) to the back of our tram car, where he's followed by one of the others. We turn around to see that DIRJ is WIELDING A KNIFE. Never have I ever thought so strongly that it was time to dip from a situation. I was too focused on getting the hell out of that tram, as DIRJ was an easy 6-10 feet from us and obviously on a cocktail of substances, so I didn't get a chance to look at the ground, but Katrijn and Thomas report that someone was lying on the ground, and there was blood everywhere. Awesome. Apparently the men who were stabbed were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, and the DIRJ was charged with attempted murder. Dear god, two years on DC and New York public transportation, and the most violence I've experienced is a WMATA worker bitching at me for not having exit fare. 

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