Ullevaalsalléen 5, Oslo
December 21, 2016 3:27 PM   Subscribe

The Baby in the Plastic Bag. A non-fiction story in nine chapters, translated into English from Norwegian. Each chapter contains a brief autoplaying sound.
posted by zarq (12 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
*ugly crying* wow, this is a wonderful, horrible read
posted by Earthtopus at 3:57 PM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Dagbladet site and my crusty old mobile don't really get along well enough for me to poke around the site - is the original Norwegian up anywhere as well for those of us who speak Scandic?
posted by Dysk at 4:05 PM on December 21, 2016

Oh man, the bit that got me was, "“More than anything, I hope that Victor Olav will become a priest when he’s older. Or perhaps he’ll lead the country, like President Cory Aquino,” she adds, laughing."

To have gone from a woman like Corazon Aquino to the madman in charge there now ...
posted by Myca at 4:53 PM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

What a great story! The compassion shown the mother was really inspiring.
posted by TedW at 4:55 PM on December 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Dysk, I haven't found one. I'm sorry. :(
posted by zarq at 6:05 PM on December 21, 2016

Woof. I'm only a paragraph or so into the second chapter and I've got a lump the size of a crab apple in my throat. I really shouldn't have started this on my lunch break at work.
posted by trif at 4:22 AM on December 22, 2016

That's quite a story. Great to see how it ended. Thanks for posting.
posted by trif at 6:59 AM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thank you, gemmy!
posted by zarq at 7:00 AM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

This was a fantastic read. Thank you zarq and gemmy both.
posted by Dysk at 8:19 AM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think one of the most astounding things in this article is the provision in Norwegian law, even in 1991, for the effects of labor/delivery trauma or post-partum irrational behavior. From what I know of similar laws in the US, they're still pretty patchy.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:16 AM on December 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I am continuously amazed by metafilter! I grew up in Ullevålsaléen in the nineties and have walked through this graveyard several times, but I had never heard of this story before I saw this post. And what a story!

The building the mother was living in, Ullevålsaléen 5B, is an interesting place in itself. The area around it, especially Ullevål Hageby (Ullevål Garden City), has some of the highest property prices in all of Norway. As the local doctor in the article indirectly said, this is the place the cultural elite of Norway lives. These buildings in Lower Ullevål, on the other hand, were owned by the nearby hospital and rented out for cheap, causing them to be inhabited largely by lower income people working for the hospital or getting rent assistance from the government. Many were immigrants or people of color. They were the only people of color living anywhere near me when I was growing up, and I still remember the exotic candy we could buy in the shop one of them set up in the building.

However, in 2001 the city owned Ullevål Hospital sold the apartments to a property rental firm for what was widely considered to be below market rates, fearing that the state would not adequately compensate it when it would take over the hospital in 2002. The property firm promptly raised the rents drastically, making the inhabitants appeal for preemptive purchase rights for their own apartments at the price the property firm paid. The city originally said no, but after much criticism from journalists and columnists, many of whom lived close by, agreed. The property firm then sued to stop them, and after a more than ten year legal standoff the supreme court awarded them the right, but set the price at around $10 000 per square meter, or about $935 per square foot. This was about four times what the property firm paid, and way too expensive for most people living there.

The inhabitants were rejected at all levels of the Norwegian court system in their appeal for lower prices, and have since tried to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights. I haven't heard anything after that, and I can't find anything on the web, but I see that the property firm is now renting out apartments in the buildings for around $1200 per month, which is about the market rate. There are still immigrants living there, and the shop is still there, so at least some people were able to afford the price, or the fight goes on.

In other news, another property developer purchased a nearby shed from the hospital for almost nothing and built an award winning block of luxury apartments on the plot, which just finished building last year. The going price was about $1.2 million for 1000 square feet.
posted by Spiegel at 9:39 PM on December 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

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