A Bosnian-Serbian-American stops in Germany on a layover. Without a German visa, he is told he is unable to transfer and get his luggage. Special arrangements are made using an airport bus, but he is told, very seriously, that if he tries to touch the ground, they’re going to stop him.
Miroslav: I flew from the US to Germany, and I had my Bosnian passport and Serbian passport.
I get to Germany and it was, uhh… what city? Right, Dusseldorf! In order to get my bag off the plane from the US, they had to take us on a bus to a different terminal. But, I didn’t have a German visa, however, so they told me, “You can’t touch our floor. Literally.”
They wouldn’t let me get on the bus. Finally they said, “We don’t know what to do with you.” They kept me in this little room. “We’re either going to send you back to the United States, or we gotta figure out a way.”
So… long story short, they pull up a bus, literally right up on the door, with 2 guards, officers, whatever to make sure I just hopped over the ground onto on to the bus.
Later, it was same thing. We get to the next terminal, where I’m supposed to get off. Same thing, the officers are with me on the bus and wouldn’t let me just hop off. They’re literally holding me. “Hey, if try to touch the soil, we’re gonna lift you,” they said.
Me: Really?!? Does it matter?! It really matters if your foot touches the ground?
Miroslav: Literally, I mean. But, as soon as I got back to US, I got my US passport. Seriously, I’m not dealing with this shit anymore…
Me: Yeah, the US passport is… powerful.
Miroslav: Even now, traveling all these other countries in Eastern Europe, after the war, there’s still some … hostility. And with the US passport, if anyone gives me any shit I’m just like, “Call my embassy or take me to my embassy. I have nothing to talk to you about.”
Taxi drivers have been known to rip off tourists, but sometimes sexual harassment is included with the fare.