All original content © 2011-2014. Photos and Text, unless otherwise stated, are by the author of Pork Bier Belly. If you want to use images or writing, please ask for permission prior to using.

Sunday, July 15

Dresden, comical run- ins

Speaking of Dresden, we went to the Bunte Republik Neustadt street festival before heading to the hauptbahnhof (main rail station) for home. We bought the Schönes Wochenende ticket in the morning to travel home as well as in the city. On the tram from the fest, two women dressed in indiscreet clothes checked for tickets. On our turn, he showed the first woman our Schönes Wochenede ticket. She refused it and said it cannot be used for intra-city travel. She asked for our Auslandspass (passports) which we didn’t have so we tried to haggle with her. And by we, I mean he. He asked her if we could negotiate or pay a small fine to resolve quickly. She wasn’t having any of this and sternly demanded for an ID. When he gave her his Führerschein (license), she passed it to the second woman and commanded her to give us a ticket. Looking at the information the second woman (much kinder and more understandable) explained, in German, intercity tickets aren’t permitted on local modes of transportation. She then proceeded and wrote a ticket, using information on his Führerschein. After handing us the ticket we had two options, pay her upfront or receive a ticket by mail and pay later. The ticket was 10 Euros; a no brainer we agreed to pay her upfront. Not one to dispute, we were surprised by the modest fine. Others sitting around us were also stunned it was only 10 Euros. (Looking back on it, we believe she only fined one of us instead of both of us. But this is speculation.)

In Bavaria (our state), tourists can use the Schönes Wochenende ticket for intra- and inter-city travel.

Minutes after we paid our fine, we ran into the station to catch our train. Our train was delayed by 10 minutes so we had a little time to catch our breath.

We boarded and settled into a 4-person booth to stretch our legs. As the train departed the station, a young college-aged woman took the seat next to me. She seemed nice enough so I made small talk with her, in English. “Are you heading to Nürnberg?” Yes, she replied. “Where are you from?” her response, Monte Negro. Before I could ask her anything else she said “I don’t understand English.” Assuming she understood German, I asked her if she was going home to Nürnberg. The puzzled look on her face explained she didn’t know any German. Then she said, “visiting my cousin in Nurnberg.” I concluded the conversation with a smile and a nod and settled into my book.

Couple hours into the train ride, 2 police men boarded our train car and scanned faces. Then they stopped at our booth and asked for all of our Auslandspass. Not having it we offered our Führerschein. One of them insisted we provide the Auslandspass, and I explained we didn’t have them. So he accepted our Führerscheine and the Monte Negro woman’s Auslandspass. They reached into their pocket for a cell phone and disappeared with our IDs. All three of us were disconcerted as were people sitting around us. The nervous Monte Negro woman called someone to explain the situation. Few minutes later, the police men returned and handed us our IDs. He explained they had to make sure we were here, legally. He noted it’s necessary to have our Auslandspass with us at all times. It makes everything easy for everyone. He joked, he’s letting us off easy but if another police man wanted to make things difficult, he could remove us off the train at the next stop and check for resident/visa permits, a process that can take 30- 60 minutes.

Lesson learned.

The husband jokes that we were stopped because I look Indian. Sure, being stared at everywhere I go, his theory isn't so improbable.

Multiple apprehensions with the authority in one afternoon. Lovely.

Comical now it was nerve wrecking at the time, naturally.

As we were walking to the Bunte Republik Neustadt, I captured this. The caption for this photo is, “if God descended upon Earth to look over the people this is how it would look. Tanning also, of course.”

No comments:

Post a Comment