Monday, 17 August 2009

Crossing Borders

It’s probably an island thing but crossing borders always seemed like such a big deal. Before we moved to Mostar you only ever showed your passport when boarding a plane, catching a ferry, or, against your better judgement, taking the tunnel! Now a border crossing is a short drive down the road. Today’s little taxi run to Dubrovnik involved six border controls.

Each and every crossing is an interesting experience. Who knows if you’ll get discreetly waved through or will get another precious stamp in your passport. You might almost get a smile, but you could get a grilling.

But today we had a particularly funny one. I handed over three UK and one Croatian passport. The border guard asked a question. He probably said, “do you know everyone in the kombi?” but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to answer ‘yes’ if the question was actually “are you carrying anything illegal?” I said nothing. He asked for the papers for the kombi. I handed them over. I was then told to park up while he wandered off with our passports and papers.

After a few minutes he reappeared, handing all our documents back through the window with the words “good luck!” After a discreet pause, while he walked away, we had to laugh. There was a probable, and quite prosaic, explanation* for his choice of words but I preferred to see it as an ominous warning or some kind of challenge in an enjoy-your-next border kind of way. It's much more exciting that way. The next border was, of course, no problem at all.

*Anyone fancy guessing the prosaic explanation?
(The photo is another awesome sunset over the Adriatic - yes, I'm a big fan!)

1 comment:

David said...

Just wanted to note that Tim Clancy of Green Visions (which you mentioned once in regard to mountain biking) is featured in a television program I'm watching right now. It's a travel program about the Balkans. The host has just begun showing us Mostar! Unfortunately, he spent way too much time talking about jumping from the bridge and too little time showing the city.