In june I got a invitation to visit the facilitys of the US-army in Heidelberg. Well, that was nice, so I got my car and drove to the Headquarter for the meeting. But is wasn’t that easy!
Allready 300 meters away of the buildings I got remerbered to times, when in Old Europe bordercontrolls were normal. So I drove to the building and got stopped by a soldier who checked my car and wantet to see my passport.
So far no problem.
But now I have been told by the soldier:
Sorry Sir, your passport is expired, I can’t let you in.
Wow, I really had forgotten about this! So I said to the Soldier: I’m sorry about this, but still the passport tells you who I am and where I’m living!!
Than I got the message I never will forget:
Sorry Sir, but for us Americans you are not even existing without a valid passport.
Yes, I am just 4 minutes cardrive away from my home and it is impossible to enter this place? Even worse, I’m not existing?
I asked the soldier, if it is possible to phone my host and tell him about my problems, but the answer was:
Sorry Sir, you are not existing, so you can’t make a phonecall.
By this time he was laughing like me about this situation, of course my car was packed with wine, I don’t look like a terrorist, but this are the rules.
Finally yesterday I managed another date, and everything worked nicely. My passport is valid for the next 10 years, further winetastings ore other meetings in little-USA shouldn’t be a problem any more.
It is fascinating, you enter this „border“ and you are right away in the USA!! Different people, different food, different restaurants, different prices (no VAT, but I’m not allowed to buy anything 🙁 ) and very nice people. It is really like visiting an other country.
This ist written in english, of course I promised the passport-checking-soldier to blog about this nice story.