On the evening of tuesday, 18th july, i got on the city nightline train at Amsterdam Central station on my way to Salzburg, Austria.
Having struggled to find the right couch and seat, putting my bags away in an overhead compartment was no problem at all.
After settling in for quite a while, a light skinned teen settled in the next to me. She was nice looking and smelling good too, I should say, i was tempted to know the secret of what makes her this good :) She must have noticed my prying eyes and felt kind of shy about it but i was quick to introduce myself and she introduced herself as babiana, "quite a rare name, i should
say" i remember telling her.
We had a smooth conversation afterwards and i learnt that she was from Dominican republic, South America. She had come to netherlands while a very little girl of 7 years and had stayed here for over 10 years already. she is studying law at one of the colleges in amsterdam and now was traveling to the US for a vacation with her family since they now lived there. I was fascinated too with the way she spoke on the phone, as her parents constantly phoned her to find out on how she was progressing with the journey. She spoke spanish, as she later confirmed to me. With the phone taking much of her concentration, i drew my eyes to the nice cities of we were going through.
From Amsterdam central station, we enjoyed the enviroms of utretch before stopping briefly for more passengers. We then went through other nice places across the border in germany, of which i recall: Bonn, Manheim, Koln, Stuggart, munchen (munich)
We got to Munich early wednesday morning 19th july, 7.16 am where i had to get a connecting train to salzburg. I had an hour and half before my train could start the Salzburg journey. After bidding goodbye to my train companion, babiana, i set around looking for the platform for my train.
Am suddenly approached by two non-uniformed guys. One holds up his ID and the only letters i can make out are ''POLIZEI"
"Bring your passport", the one who held up his ID commands. I stop for a while scanning the two medium built men for a couple of seconds, with a background fear of being robbed of my passport fasting building at the back of my mind.
"Hey, bring your passport", the second one commands and stands with legs apart just ready to grab me if am to start running. I timidly get it out and hand it over to the guy, who showed me his ID and wait for more questions.
"Do you speak german?" "Do you stay here in germany?" "What have you come to do here?" "Where are you going?" are a number of questions i was put to for a while while my passport was scanned and photographed with a digital camera.
After talking on the phone for a few minutes "this is a routine passport control" was what i finally got and my passport handed back to me. And this was not the last police check, another was soon to follow.
Feeling a little shaken by this incident and hungry, i moved to a nearby hamburger kiosk and bought myself something to eat. This incident completely cancelled out my earlier ideas of perhaps spending some time enjoy the city of Munich. Fearing further polizei checks, i headed for my train platform and instead read my wireless networking book.
An hour later, a black guy approaches me and introduces himself as doozey - from South Africa. He too was headed towards a town near salzburg in germany. He informs me he has stayed in munich for several years and now was fluent in german - i noted the way he talked on the phone and with other passengers too. I should say, he was quite a talkative guy. He was really the perfect company for the journey towards salzburg, as we chatted on different issues from staying in germany to east africa and the world cup as well. He lifted my spirits and put me in the mood of excitment again.
Just before we crossed into Salzburg, another two non-uniformed police guys came to our couch and "controlled" where i was seated togather with doozey. We were all asked for our passports. I was asked where i was coming from and proudly pronounced, amsterdam. They didnt ask anymore questions but kindly told me to pick up all my luggage and took me to an open platform on the train. "Do you smoke?" "Please get everything out of your pockets" "open all your bags" After checking and making sure that i had nothing of their interest, my passport was returned to me and they walked away. The explanation of the check was later give to me by doozey that i mentioned "amsterdam" since its the hub of all drugs (hemp, marijuana, heroine) and that recently the german police is having a lot of problems with everybody from there.
Doozey got off a few kilometres before we crossed the border to austria and bid me farewell.
Well, i was warmly welcomed to salzburg by my host, barbara herzog. I felt a sigh of relief getting off the train into the welcome hug of my host.
thats another post..