by Annette Schwindt
Are you listed in the terrorist-files, too? Well, our family surely is. So I am terrorist in second generation! And I don’t restrict myself to activities in Germany, nah. You know that modern terrorism is global. That’s why I added a friend in Norway to our network. He is struggling with customs and the ministry of health now. But that’s not my fault, it runs in the family!
It all started in the seventies. My parents moved from one village, let’s call it A, to the neighbour village B. All well-ordered with notification of change of address in town administration and car-papers. But then the observation started… First in form of the landlady who used to inspect the apartment when we were not at home. When my parents came to know that the next moving followed. Back to village A, where they had already lived before. With all that trouble my father forgot to change the address in his car-papers again.
So far so good. Some weeks later, my father got a call from the police station in village B: Please come here personally…
When he arrived there a policeman showed him a huge pack of documents: „This is your terrorist-file!“ he declared laughing. My father couldn’t believe it. It turned out that my father had been stopped for driving too fast during the short time we had lived in village B. When the police wanted to send him the bill we had already moved back to village A. Therefore the address in the car-papers wasn’t correct anymore. For obscure reasons nobody had asked the landlady or the resident’s registration office for the new address. And as the second moving had taken place within such a short time (current domicile unknown!) my father definitely had to be up to something. The file surely still exists somewhere in the archives of the police station in B (if it hasn’t been digitalized already and now is part of the files of the ministry of internal affairs).
All that had been long forgotten. But then my mother wanted to come for a visit by train (on September 11th!). Some friends of ours who own a company for olive oil had given her a five-liters-can of olive oil that she was supposed to bring us. It’s a normal metal can that can be used for gas or any other liquid just the same. But what is inside cannot be seen. (Very suspicious!) Afraid of being suspected to be a terrorist if she wants to take the can with her in the train, my mother cautiously left the olive oil at home. (She brought me a bottle of raspberry Schnaps in her suitcase though! Ha!)
Meanwhile my husband and I have enlarged the familiar terror network to Scandinavia. A friend in Oslo had his birthday this weekend (just before September 11th!). So we wanted to do him good and sent him a bottle of Riesling, a German white wine, promising him (unsuspectingly) something „for his health“.
This morning I got an e-mail from said friend. He had got a letter of four pages from the Norwegian ministry of health including a form of three pages „for the private import of alcohol“ from the customs. (He lives near the ocean where in former times the smugglers had landed!). On demand he was told that he could authorize the Norwegian post to get things on their way. Therefore he had to fax them:
1. A signed document that authorizes the Norwegian post to do the customs.
2. A signed document that authorizes the Norwegian post to get a permission from the Norwegian ministry of health to import, on his behalf, ONE bottle of wine.
3. A signed form to apply for 2. In this form he had to note (among other things) if the content of the bottle contains „up to 4,7%“ or „up to 22%“ of alcohol and what content it actually has.
After giving him with „Kaseler Nieschen, German white wine, 12 Vol% und 750ml“ all relevant information on the phone we now wait to see if the bottle will ever (and without having been opened) arrive at his place. And all that after we already had to pay almost 40 Euros for sending it!
But hey, it’s terrorist-wine! That’s something special! 😉
Happy belated birthday