Friday, September 21, 2012

Pag-uusap sa dalawang pulis sa estasyon ng tren sa Leer

Photo source: The Hindu
The Leer train station is a border station between the Netherlands and Germany. I took a train from Groningen to Leer in order to transfer to a train to Bremen. Immediately after getting off at Leer two German policemen walked towards me. One policeman asked for my passport while the other policeman approached a black guy who also boarded off from the same train. After giving him my Dutch residence permit, I asked him if he was checking everyone.

Policeman 1: No.
Me: Why are checking me?
Policeman 1: It's in the law.

He asked for my passport because, according to him, my residence permit was not complete. I don't know what else he wanted to know about me. I gave him my Philippine passport.

Me: So it's in the law that you check me but not everyone else?
Policeman 1: Because you don't look German.
Me: That is discrimination. How does a German citizen look anyway?
Policeman 1: (Maybe a bit annoyed already) You can look it up under Schengen Law Article 20.
Me: I think that law is discriminatory.
Policeman 1: You can write the authorities if you want.

I was a bit taken aback by his next question after he looked at my passport.

Policeman 1: Are you a seaman?

Me: No, I'm not a seaman although there are many Filipinos who are because big shipping companies can exploit them for cheaper labor. I am studying in the Netherlands.
Policeman 1: What are you studying?
Me: Is it also in the law?
Policeman 1: No, I'm just curious.
Me: I usually want to discuss about my studies, but I am not in the mood to do so. Sorry.

He dialed a number in his cellphone and mentioned my name to the other person on the phone aside from talking about other stuff which I didn't get. The second policeman joined in. Smiling, he asked me something in German. He asked me if I speak German.

Me: Nee. (I don't know why, but my brain suddenly switched to Dutch.)
Policeman 2: Only English?
Me: Not just English. I also speak Filipino and Cebuano, which is my mother tongue. There are more than 80 languages in our country.

Policeman 1 returned my documents and I proceeded to the train. What a wonderful way of saying "Welcome to Germany!"


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