Archive for September, 2007

Trondheim: Photo Quiz Answer & More Pics

Posted in Culture on September 29, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

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I took this photograph because it was the absolute best tasting tap water I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. The water was pure tasting and soft on the skin.

thirsty.JPGIronically, just a couple weeks prior to the Norway trip I’d taken a photograph of the $9.00 Voss bottled water in my hotel room at the W Hotel in San Diego. Presumably, the inflated price was due to it being imported from Norway.

Alas, all that shimmers is not drinkable in Norway. Click here to read about the affect of acid rain on Norway’s water supply.


Trondheim Photo Album

Dispatch #9: Trondheim, Norway

Posted in Dispatches on September 19, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

This evening I treated myself to a scrumptious dinner at a restaurant I discovered yesterday, and will surely return to before I depart Trondheim on Sunday. As I waited for my meal I browsed the newspaper stack in the foyer hoping to find an English language paper.

My eyes caught sight of a familiar name displayed in the bold font headline of one newspaper, the name,”Obiora”. I recognized this as being the name of Eugene Ejike Obiora, the Norwegian-Nigerian man who died last year from a controversial and evidentially lethal restraint maneuver used by Trondheim police.

trond_misc_5.JPGRegrettably I won’t have enough free time to try and find the African immigrant community if there is one during the remainder of my stay. However, I did have it on my agenda to follow up on the Obiora story during my visit. Interestingly, there was only one copy of this paper while there were multiple copies of two other newspapers. I felt it was meant for me to discover this paper with the express purpose of getting updated on the case.

Until recently the police officers involved in the incident have remained silent. The paper features extensive coverage of the police version of the incident. When I returned to the hotel I asked the reception desk staff to help me decipher the article.

The latest news is that the police were recently cleared of all and any wrongdoing including possible criminal charges. The photo spread in the paper shows the officers demonstrating the restraint tactics they used to subdue Obiora.

As I listened to the male hotel staff assisting me with the translation, I couldn’t help notice how visibly uncomfortable he appeared while explaining the controversy around the police brutality case. He was polite and facilitative but clearly unaccustomed to candid discussions about race matters.

I didn’t let on that I was familiar with the case because I didn’t want to put him on the defensive or have him quit translating the article. I attempted to remain dispassionate and genuinely inquisitive. As he translated the selected passages from the article he repeatedly interjected his own commentary in defense of the police.  trond_misc_6.JPG“They used proper procedure.”  “It really wasn’t their fault.”

I thanked the fellow and tried to communicate non-verbally that I wasn’t passing judgment on him or his countrymen. I wanted to lighten the mood by saying something like “I ain’t mad at you or your homies, Boo-Boo.’ Or something sly about Trondheim police taking a page from the LAPD/Rodney King and NYC/Amado Diallo playbook. I thought better of it and decided to leave it alone.

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My experience here in Trondheim particularly during my interactions with local white folks has been pleasantly engaging and instructive. Since day one, I haven’t encountered that vexing “scared of black folks” dynamic or TIRED patronizing culture vulture thing. I do get the sense that if I dig deeper I would discover some very messy race avoidance issues beneath the surface of this lovely village town.

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Rest in peace Eugene Ejike Obiora.
[sw 9.14.07]

Link: Death At The Social Office

Dispatch #8: Trondheim, Norway

Posted in Dispatches on September 18, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

Trondheim is a lovely 1,010 year old large village-small city with fjords, lakes and river flowing through town. This place gives new and positive meaning to the phrase “getting medieval”. The tallest building and centerpiece of the village is Nidaros Cathedral.

My first impressions are numerous and very favorable. Here are two snap shots I took between my hotel and meeting venue. Just imagine me taking this route everyday this week–it sure doesn’t feel like work.

Click to see full size
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News From Norway – Planes grounded in Scandinavia

An estimated 10,000 passengers had their flights disrupted on Wednesday 9/13 to allow inspection the SAS fleet of Dash-8 propeller planes. Fortunately, my flight to Norway took me through France and Holland, not Sweden or Denmark. And, I flew on Air France regional jets not propeller planes. Everything is in divine order.
[sw 9.12.07]

Photo Quiz

What is so special about a water foundation that it rates taking a souvenir photograph?

Click to see full size:
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Stay tuned for the answer.

Dispatch #7: Amsterdam

Posted in Dispatches on September 15, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

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Jet lagged but happy to head into Amsterdam city centre.

Regular travelogue readers know that Paris is my mistress and most favorite city to visit.  Amsterdam tops my list for the best transit airport and day trip.  In route to Trondheim, Norway I had to depart San Francisco, transfer in Paris, layover for 4 hours in Amsterdam before connecting with my Trondheim flight.  I imagine if I had to make this many connections in any other cities I would have been annoyed.  As it turned out Paris, Amsterdam and Trondheim was a perfect score.

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Express service every 15-20 minutes.

Amsterdam city centre is only a 15 minute express train ride from Schipol International airport. Travelers come from all over Europe just to shop at Schipol.  I have transited through this airport with shorter layovers and spent the time strolling its massive shopping centre. My 4-hour layover yesterday allowed ample time to visit the city centre, walk along the canal, and sightsee.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the city centre and look forward to visiting again.

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Train terminal located in airport.

Amsterdam Tourism|Schipol Airport

Photo Album

Sister Comrade

Posted in Culture on September 10, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

Click for full sized pdf file

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Edwidge Danticat

Posted in Events on September 7, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

Edwidge Danticat
In conversation

Monday, October 15, 2007  |  Herbst Theatre, 8pm  San Francisco

Edwidge Danticat is the author of Krik? Krak!, The Dew Breaker, the American Book Award-winning The Farming of the Bones, and Breath, Eyes, Memory,. Born in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Price, Danticat moved to Brooklyn when she was twelve years old. At the time, she spoke both Creole and French, but not English. Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, inspires Danticat’s fiction and informs her non-fiction. Her new memoir Brother, I’m Dying tells a deeply affecting story of Danticat’s father Mira and his older brother Joseph, who attempted to flee Haiti for Miami in 2004 and was detained by US Customs, held by the Department of Homeland Security, brutally imprisoned, and dead within days. Danticat served as editor for The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States. She lives in Miami and frequently visits Haiti.

Alice Walker

Posted in Events on September 7, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

Time: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 7:00 PM
Location: Books Inc. in Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness, SF, 415-776-1111

Meet Poet, Activist and Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, Alice Walker when she reads and discusses her new picture book for children of all ages Why War is Never a Good Idea, a poem about the power and wanton devastation of war. A portion of proceeds from this event will benefit San Francisco School Volunteers.