So we trudged along Bogstadveien, all five of us, three of us at least very dejected about the loss/theft of my new shoes. That would be the three of us with double x-chromosomes. My head hung low at the loss. There was a line of people standing against a building, waiting for a tram. The thing about walking with your chin almost on your chest is that you see the ground, and things sitting on the ground. My eyes happened upon some white plastic and part of a familiar-looking shoe, sitting in a large slightly gaping ZARA bag at someone's feet. I still can't believe I did this but I acted on auto-pilot without even thinking. I grabbed the bag, pulled out the shoes, and shouted, 'You stole my shoes!'. As soon as I spotted the magazine we had dumped in the bag, I knew for sure that these really were my shoes. 'You took my shoes. Do you want to see the receipt?!' Boy, was I angry. The woman with the bag got angry too, making no attempt to stop me taking them, but saying she didn't know anything about them. She was a tough one. 'They're at your feet, of course you do. Do you want me to call the police?' She continued protesting very angrily, as if I was in the wrong, then she and her companion fled to the tram which had just arrived. A very nice Norwegian lady who had been in the line called back to us as she boarded the tram, that the woman had had the shoes and had taken them. There was nothing else in the ZARA bag other than my white plastic shoe bag so I wonder where she got the empty bag from or if indeed she stole someone else's shopping and had stuffed it into another bag she was carrying. Anyway, thanks to great timing and a complete lack of my normal inhibitions, I got my shoes back. Still, I can hardly believe my good fortune. But this is the second time this has happened within a year in Oslo and both times the thief was non-Norwegian and swore blindly that they didn't take the item they clearly had taken. Both times, I got angrier than I thought possible.
So shoppers in Norway beware - never let the sales assistant pop your receipt into your shopping bag as with no receipt at least thieves can't get your money back or exchange your purchase for something they might prefer. If you're lucky enough to find your stuff again, you'll have proof that it is in fact yours. And never, never take your eye off your shopping bags or handbag. You might think Norway is safer than most places but clearly it's not.