Crossing Europe

In my previous post I described my friend Asif’s journey from Turkey to mainland Europe. Asif is not his real name, as he is afraid of supporters of Assad.

Asif took a bus to Thessaloniki, 200 km remained to get to the border and there were „humanitarians“ who offered refugees a car ride – 100,00€ each. He crossed the border at night. he tells me that Macedonia is terrible and he will never return again because citizens attacked many refugees for no reason (they didn’t rob them, just were angry at them for being foreigners in their country.)

After taking a range of transport available and walking when nothing was available, he reached Serbia. „There are no men left in Kosovo,“ he tells me. „All dead in the war.“ (My father spend time in Kosovo with the UN and he says that he never saw any women because they stay inside, remember this is a subjective story!) In Serbia police tried to rob him more than once. „They try to take everythin,“ says Asif. „Money, cellphone, everything. I ran away as fast as I could.“

Eventually he reached the Hungarian border and paid 1200,00€ to a guy „from the Mafia“ to bring him and a group of others over the border. The border was being patrolled by drones, apparently, and they had to be quiet and listen for them. If they heard a drone they were supposed to drop to the ground, preferably under a bush or tree and not move. They never heard one, though.

In Hungary Asif found another „Good Samaritan“ who put him and too many other refugees in his truck and drove them through Austria to germany. „There were so many,“ says Asif. We could not sit, we could not breathe. We gave the best space to the children.“ After a long, long torturous journey, made worse by any unexpected movement of the truck, they finally reached Germany and were released – on a small road in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. „We walked,“ says Asif. „And we walked. Finally we lie down in the field and sleep.“ They were so tired, that when a policeman woke him up, Asif was too tired to move and tried to refuse to go with him. They were taken by bus to the nearest town, where residents looked after them.

Finally, Asif had reached Germany. The journey is not yet over though!


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