24 July 2011, Oslo – fascination combined with a nightmar
During my stay (Tuesday 19.07 till Friday 22.07) I met independent consultants and IT companies discussing cooperation model related to software development. I visited few Companies where I had a presentation about Norwegian culture and how it differs from other cultures, how to operate as a supplier to a Norwegian Company and in general challenges that we might have in such an cooperation as a Polish Software House Company. I found that time very interesting and productive. In between my appointments I travelled around Oslo trying to discover the beauty of the Oslo Fjord and the green hills of Oslomarka (while my stay I had a great weather). On Thursday afternoon I visited the new Holmenkollen jump tower. In addition to a great view over Oslo from the top of the Jump Tower, I also had a chance to visit the ski museum.
Friday few minutes before noon (22.07) I left my hotel room and I follow to the Central Station to catch my bus taking me to the Torp Sandefjord Airport. The nightmare just begun!
From the bus radio we heard shocking news that the bomb blast partly destroyed major parts of two large government buildings located on the Grubbegata street (it was around 400 meters from my hotel room, beside I walked passing through this street almost every day heading to my meetings in the center of Oslo). Seven people were reported killed, and 10 were taken to hospital.
Just after arriving at the airport we watched the TV news where a few hours later, reports started coming in of shooting at the annual Labour Party youth camp a few miles west of Oslo, at Utøya. First reports said at least ten people had been shot and killed by a man dressed in a police uniform, and a number of people had been seriously wounded and airlifted to hospitals in the Oslo area. By Saturday morning it became clear that at least 85 people had been killed in the shooting, and police feared that this number may rise, as some are still missing. (On Sunday one person seriously wounded in the shooting died in hospital, increasing the number to 86). The police also announced that they had charged the man with both the bombing of the government buildings in downtown Oslo, as well as the massacre several hours later. They said they could not exclude the possibility that other persons have been involved.
Fortunately after couple of hours delay of my flight back to Poland (Katowice Airport) I arrived safe home! I appreciated the time when I met my Wife and Son who carefully follow all news from the TV about the situation in Oslo after bomb blast and shooting on the boot camp.
Thursday evening (day before my trip back home ) I asked bartender, what in his opinion is the most positive attitude of being citizen of Norwegian country. He answered: “ I feel safe in Norway with my family and friends, I do not have to worry about myself…” While I was flying back to Poland I thought about his sentence. I could only imagine what Norwegian people could feel right know…
I am deeply saddened for our Norwegian friends and allies.