Several times I am asked by the police/military to move somewhere else. After this repeated ordeal I came to the conclusion that a buffer zone was put in place by the UN to keep the children from fighting. It is not some holy ground as the Greeks like to think. I should have full legal right to park as close to this zone as I want. Do they think I will secretly dash across the border in the dark? After all, there are houses lined up next to this zone all along the border. Why can’t I just park there?But the Greek Keystone Cops simply can not understand this. They keep badgering and asking me to park elsewhere, coming in different groups. Sometimes a lone military policeman, sometimes two, sometimes four police and one army dude… It is never ending, a little tiring, but always ridiculous enough to make me laugh.
For example, when I explain my internet situation and why I need to park next to the border, one guy actually squawks, “You are catching your internet ACROSS the border??? Are you collaborating with the Turks???”
I explain to them that the internet allows me to collaborate with whomever I choose no matter what internet service provider I have. It’s like trying to explain the theory of relativity to a dog. They simply can not comprehend anything. At one point they call in a ‘computer expert’, a woman cop who shows up to fiddle with my computer mouse, evidently having very little clue about computers at all. She eventually shrugs her shoulders and admits she didn’t know what is on my computer.
Another time when I move the truck, I am quietly working in the back when five cops show up, banging forcefully with their fists on my walls. They are apparently convinced I am a spy and demand that I surrender all my electronics — external harddrive, digital camera, four long non-operational laptops — you name it, so that they can analyze everything. As I collect these for them, one even points and says with a frown: “Why do you have all those SIM cards!”
Another time I strayed unknowingly into a military zone, my friend taking pictures of worn down, bullet holed farm homes, before we were promptly escorted off the zone by six snickering militia.
It is interesting to peruse this divided capital as a tourist, but is certainly comical as well. Growing tired of the stupid mentality, I even venture to boldly take pictures of this sacred divide as I hug the border during my Sunday strolls, just waiting to rage at the border guards if they make a comment.
While the five cops are analyzing all my electronics over a four hour period, I complete a translation in an internet café and am soon on my way off that island. It has been a nice two years, but I am growing tired of the mentality. From both sides in fact, because many Turks like to show themselves as rather macho, with their heavy cigarette consumption and protruding bellies.