Most travellers to Europe ( Schengen countries to be precise ) have often contrasted the tedious inter-state cross-border traffic in India , with the zero-checkpoint transition from one member state to another in the Schengen zone. Of course some EU member states have so far not embraced the United Europe phenomenon in terms of their Visa regimes & Currencies , but they are in a minority within the EU.
Picked up an interesting story on the internet recently about how united Europe really is : reminiscent of a short story I once read about a house in Ireland where the Dining room , the porch , & the Wash Rooms were in Northern Ireland , whereas the Sitting Room , Kitchen , & Bed-rooms were in the Irish Republic , or a configuration similarly ridiculous : imagine the supper travelling across the border from the Kitchen to be served in the Dining room , or a quick hop across the border in the stillness of night, to take a leak ( in the Wash Room : where else !! )
However, I digress , being a slave to old habits which proverbially die hard . Returning to what I picked up on the internet , & I quote :
” A metal strip on the floor of Eurode Business Center marks the border between Germany and the Netherlands. On one side of the building, there’s a German mailbox and a German policeman. On the other side, a Dutch mailbox and a Dutch policeman ———– The border is open enough that a single building can span it. No border guards, no checkpoints. But a letter sent from the German side of the building takes a week to get to the Dutch side. —— a computer security company —- has offices on both sides of the building. On one side, employees call German customers on German phones. On the other side, it’s all Dutch. —-the company’s CEO, has two offices, one on either side of the border. He carries his laptop back and forth all day long.
——– ( true story of ) a Belgian carpenter who spent his days doing carpentry in Germany, then drove home to spend the night in Belgium. The German company he worked for paid for the car. Belgium wanted to tax the car because it spent the night in a Belgian driveway. Germany wanted to tax the car because it spent the day on German roads. The fight was such a big deal to both countries that they went to court to figure out who got to tax the car. (Germany won.)
This is how a united Europe is being created. Slowly, case by case, one Belgian carpenter at a time. ”
I have regrettably not made a note of the writer this story belonged to but acknowledge a cut & paste job done above to make a point : what point ? one might ask ! To be brutally honest , I haven’t the foggiest except that it makes an interesting READ .
Cheers for now & atb
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