An Enemy of the People in Oslo

by Rimini Protokoll



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Name: Marit Hoel
Age: 80
District: Grünerløkka
Nationality: Norwegian
I have lived alone since 1964 because of divorce. I also take care of my friend Torkil’s dog.

I am a trained nanny, and I have gone to Wang school to learn office work. I have worked since I was 16 years old. I worked for many years at the engineer office Johansen, Kndusen et.Skram. There I among other things copied technical drawings, also of the F-16 hangars in the north of Norway. When the construction industry started having bad times, and more and more was done with machines, there was no use for me anymore. So at the age of 48 I was asked to leave. I called a friend, and said I needed a job, and she got me some work as a waitress. And here I have served all our three kings.

I belong to the ones who like to sew, the ones who still climb ladders to hang the curtains, the ones drinking a lot of water, the ones who like meatballs and other traditional food, the ones with determination, the single mothers, the ones who loved their father in law but not their mother in law, the ones who wants to die with their shoes on but I do not belong to the ones able to unscrew the bottle caps, the ones stepping on the ones already on the ground, the ones who like sushi, the ones who like garlic nor the political.

I lost my mother as a child, and my father when I was 19. I moved from the countryside to Oslo when I was 15 to live with my aunt. She lived in Heimdalsgata, and Grønland in those times was peaceful and a good place to live. I lived straight across from what we called “luse-anstalten” (the lice-institution) and Tøyenparken. Sometimes I have thought about moving, I still do. I think if you are born in the countryside then you want to return. I could have tried taking over the farm, but I did not dare since I was alone with three children. I hope I will have a sudden death, because I don’t want to end up for a long while in a nursing home – I see how the elderly are treated today. I don’t know what the soundtrack of Oslo would be, but I belong to the old women who like Bob Marley – it is something about the rhythm. I like rock-music too, but not black metal – I don’t understand it.

There is truth in the quote «the strongest man is the one standing alone.» I have courage, and I have to pull myself together. The times where I have stood alone, I have felt strong. I have had some relationships, but I think I have been to strong and independent, and that the men pulled away from this.

A turning point for me was to move away from my daughter, and to a different flat because I wanted to live my own life.

I would travel to the theatre by a cab that Torkil, my good friend drives, and whos dog I take care of.