Here we go again. We’re off to Copenhagen. Off to the COP15. The plan is to travel by train from Istanbul to Bucharest. From there to Budapest and then to Vienna and then to hitch hike to Copenhagen.
When I’m writing this we’re already on the night train to Budapest and it’s past midnight. We actually survived the 22 hour train ride from Istanbul to Bucharest and those hideous passport controls. Having a Belgian Passport indeed has its benefits. No visa trouble at all. The obnoxious border patrols asking over and over for my supposedly Turkish Passport witch according to them I should have when they see my name are just a minor trouble. More mental than actually physical.
For Esra, whom I’m traveling to Copenhagen with this is the first time she has actually left Turkey. Since she has a green passport it makes things with visa’s easier. She only had to apply for a transit visa for Bulgaria. But still.
We could see the suspicion in the eyes of those border guards. Why was this Turkish Girl traveling with this supposedly Belgian boy.
Additional questions were almost always asked. Like it was actually any of their business. But we complied. We wanted to get through in the end.
We wanted to reach Copenhagen before we got anything close to getting arrested or send back.
This of course doesn’t make this damned fortress Europe any better. Nor anything else that deprives us from the freedom of movement.
But these borders and visa shit make it nearly impossible to go to a climate conference in Copenhagen from Istanbul. Many other activists are taking the plane as they would loose too much time and money visiting consulates and begging for transit visa’s. You can say that it is not green or even mind-bobbling to fly to such an event, but as a privileged Westerner with a EU passport I really do not feel just to cast judgement upon that. Not everything is that black or white.
Of course I was kinda freaked out when a journalist from the Turkish newspaper Radikal called and told that we were most probably the only ones going by train from Turkey. You simply never would like to be one of the only ones doing something that crazy. But his first question after that was rather interesting. He asked why we wanted to go by train. As he really did not understand the reason behind it. But why not go by train? Isn’t it the most environmental manner to travel? Next to Hitch hiking?
To some it seems nearly an injustice not to use our advanced technology when traveling. They would nearly take it as an insult to travel by transport that is time consuming. But we’d rather do that then as it is less energy consuming and certainly less damaging to our climate.