6 Oct 2006

Border Crossing

Have you ever wondered why a certain line means the end of one country and the beginning of a new one? Growing up in Canada i lived near the US border. For the first part of my life I was completely unaware of this concept of 'other countries', in my teen years it became a novelty crossing the US border to go shopping. In college i had to get a 'student visa' to cross that border to study and after college the Americans didn't want to let me across that border because of what some other evil people did on expired student visas.

Then I move to Europe and the phenomenon continues, and deepens because i realize that the Polish borders have changed more than 5 times in history. And that most of these 'border changes' represent wars, or battles and blood shed- human life. Then there was the time that Poland didn't have any borders, it wasn't a country... but the people survived and kept their language and tradition and even got their land back so that today they have borders.

When I cross the Canadian/US border they give me the 3rd degree verbally about where i'm going and what i'm doing, the whole time with the kind of face that is accusing you of smuggling something illegal. In Europe, all i do is hand them my passport. They usually stamp it and I'm on my way. You can't grill people all that well when you speak different languages. In Europe i more get the feeling that "big brother is watching"...

I guess i got to thinking about all this because i just moved to Southern Poland, and last night I went to a LOST party in the Czech Republic... yet it was actually closer than most Polish cities to my apartment. And tomorrow i am going to Slovakia to check out the place we are going to have snowboard camp! Ah the adventure of living in Europe!