Whenever I am passing through German airports a “light motive” keeps reoccurring (it happened in the UK and in the Netherlands as well btw). My Romanian passport seems to be the only one being double scanned, looked at, then some typing occurs, then some phone call happens and I can finally cross the border.
Today, while coming back from the Netherlands, I took the bus from Maastricht (NL) to Aachen (DE) in order to get my train connection to Hamburg. I was pleasantly surprised to meet my Belarusian friend (Yury) on the bus, who in the meantime got an internship at Brussels… So after a good chat and one hour spent on the bus we arrive to Aachen. Around 25 people get off the bus at the Central Station, but 3 police officers decide to do a random ID check on the two English speaking eastern looking ones; basically, Yury and yours truly. So this is how the conversation went:
– Your passports please – says the not so friendly looking one in the middle. Meanwhile in accordance with Dutch and German weather habits it starts raining. Yury gets his passport and I get my ID card (EU or call it however you want it).
– Ahaaa… Rooomania – continues the one in the middle with a teasing voice after taking my ID.
– Yeah…Romanian – says yours truly.
– Sooo…What is the purpose of your visit to the Netherlands and Germany? – asks the not so friendly one while letting the rain soak Yury’s passport and my ID.
– I was visiting my girlfriend in the Netherlands. Plus I study in both the Netherlands and Germany. – so I get my German and Dutch student cards and show them to him. He takes them and casually lets them soak in the rain together with the ID and the passport. Then he takes out his walky talky and calls up someone from the headquarters and continues on in German…
– Mjeah…We have a Romanian young man here. Could you run a background check on him? (In German ofc)
– “Hmm…background check you stupid jerk…” – I say to myself. “Who am I? Osama bin Gashi or something? And could you please just not soak those freaking IDs in the rain!!!!” – meanwhile I keep my patience and smile…
While he’s waiting for the answer from his colleague on the other side of the line, he continues:
– So you boys don’t happen to have any illegal narcotics?
– “First of all, ‘boy’ is your grandpa…I have more education than all three of you combined.” – I continue in myself. – You mean drugs? – I ask the officer.
– Yes. Narcotics, drugs.
– Well officer, as you can see on my stuuudent cards (I make this small comment with a slight pinch of irony and sarcasm) I study law. So I perfectly know the consequence of such an action, so no, I don’t have any narcotics on me.
The officer looks at me with the same indifference and doesn’t wait for the results of the background search. – Okei. Here you go. – and gives us back our IDs.
So we continue to the Hauptbahnhof with Yury.
– What was that all about – Yury asks me
– I donno mate. Maybe you should ask these guys what they have against Eastern Europeans.
You see. You can enact as many laws as possible against discrimination and you can talk to me about how we are all a big, happy, fu..ing European family, but the truth is different. And there is no law to stop these kinds of incidents. Because what are they? Is it police harassment, is it discrimination? No, it isn’t. But it’s the way they look at you, the way they talk to you. And against this you cannot have any law.
Maastricht, Aachen 30th Nov.2010