… or at least that's the received wisdom around here. We Norwegians are – often affectionately – prejudiced towards our big brother to the east, and one of the main allegations against Swedes is that they're less intelligent than we are. But reading articles like this one, you gotta wonder who's the stupid one – the Swedish criminal or the Norwegian judge. >:-)
Brief recap of the article: the Swede tried to cross the Swedish-Norwegian border with 1600 kilos of meat in his car. He was tried for smuggling, but has now been acquitted. Why? Because he is illiterate (he claims; and witnesses have backed up this claim, enough of them to convince the court), and because of this, he – get this – didn't understand that he'd crossed the border.
Sure, I've just read a short newspaper article and of course there will be soo many details in this case that I'm not familiar with. But on the face of it, doesn't this just sound too weird?? I don't have a driver's license, but I do know that you have to pass a written test to get one. At least in Norway; I'm sure it's the same in Sweden. How did this guy pass that test? Did they read the questions to him and write down his replies? (Did he have a friend take it for him? This actually happens every so often in this country. Bad news if you're caught, though.) Even if he passed it that way, why on earth did they give him his license?? Don't you need to be able to read traffic signs in order to be a safe and responsible driver??
But OK, even if he really is illiterate, I'm guessing it's safe to assume that he isn't also blind. Apparently he crossed the border at Svinesund. A lot of you who read this won't ever have been there. But I promise you, you've got to be pretty visually challenged to not see that this isn't just a regular bridge. Did he not see the customs building on the Norwegian side? Did he not see the customs officers in their uniforms and yellow high visibility vests? Did he not see that all the traffic signs were suddenly very different? Did he not see that his own country's flags on the one side of the bridge were replaced with flags belonging to another nation??
And even if he is blind, here's another thing to make you wonder: guess where this guy lives. Guess which town is his hometown. Yeah – Strömstad. :-D Seriously: even if he is illiterate and blind, no way does he live in Strömstad and not know where the Norwegian border is. We're talking about a distance of a few kilometers. :-D A person in that situation I do not believe could ever understand how to operate a car.
And in any case, what was he doing driving around with 1600 kilos of meat in his car … ? That’s not what I would call a joyride …
2 weeks ago