Saturday, 22 November 2014

A couple of emotions

This week, I had to visit the UK on very short notice. The reasons for the travel is not important to this story except that it put me in a couple of situations that evoked some strong emotions.

I was at Dusseldorf Airport, and was in the queue at the checkin desk. In front of me was a group of elderly Germans. They must be visiting the UK as a group. They were look quite happy and genuinely please to see each other. It looks they have seen each other for quite a long time. As I waited, another elderly couple joined them. They greeted with open arms and hugs, and immediately started to talk. I thought this is OK as they seem to be travelling in a group. However, when the last of the group has finished with the airline officer, the newly arrived couple walked the counter and proceed with the check in procedure. That action caused me to feel angry as I felt the order of things being upset. The fellow that is waiting behind me also voiced his opinion about the situation, which the elderly couple ignored. I can feel my emotion rising, and even proceed to give the elderly couple a nasty stare. None of their friends mentioned anything. These group of elderly Germans seem to have an air of superiority about them, a kind of "we have lived this life, and it is our turn to be respected and be privileged".  

After a few minutes, I calmed down after realising that there is nothing I can do to change the situation. In reality, the short delay will not make any difference in terms of the overall process of checking in and walking onto the airplane. In fact, they were held up in security check as I walked past them, and onto the nearest coffee house for some breakfast. Maybe karma got its back, in a small way.

The other emotion was when I returned from the UK. As I was waiting inline at the customs, waiting to be questioned by the customs officer. I noticed a couple on the booth on the right. They were going through their papers and pleading with the custom officer that they need a visa for 8 months for medical therapy. The customs officer said that with the evidence provided so far, they are only allow 3 months in Germany. For 8 months, the couple will need to provide further documentation. I didn't think too much about it, until the customs officer told them to proceed to an area where they can continue searching for the necessary documentation. As they turn around, I saw the lady carrying a child in her hands. The child looks to be sleeping, but I am unsure. It sounds like that the therapy could be for the child. The customs officer was kind enough to allow the couple as much time as they need to find the necessary paperwork. At this point, I feel quite upset. This family is so desperate to get help for their child that they are willing to come as far as the border of Germany without ensuring that the proper papers are at hand. They have travelled from Montenegro. I immediately thought about the boat people and asylum seekers that are such big news in Australia. It is so blatantly clear such enforcement at country's borders is so wrong. This situation could be decided if the child receive life saving medical care or be damaged for the rest of his life. For the sake of this family, lets just hope that my speculation is just that, speculation. 

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