Monday, October 19, 2009

Border control

There were only a dozen or so souls on the 3PM bus from Dubrovnik to Podgorice, the capital of Montenegro. I was getting off at Budva, the centre of the action on the Montenegrin coast in peak season. In October, though, stripped of its tourist gloss under gray skies, it is somewhat bleak (as noted in my previous entry).

At the Croatian-Montenegrin border, a policeman boards the bus and collects passports from each of the passengers. He takes them into the border control office to stamp them and then gives them back to the bus driver, who returns them to the owners, a bit of a random process of sometimes checking photos and other times actually passing off the responsibility of distribution to another passenger. The bus travels two minutes up the road, stops at another border check, and we do the same routine all over again. Why? Old bureaucratic communist habit? And what is in between these two stops? No man’s land?

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