This blog is highly personal, makes no attempt at being politically correct, will occasionaly offend your sensibility, and certainly does not represent the opinions of the people I work with or for.
Schengen Agreement
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I am currently in the train between Amsterdam and Paris (where I am due to spend the week end with a friend), browsing the web using the wifi network that the Thalys first class have access to. I was surprised that nobody seems to care about checking my passport but I realised that today is the very first time that I travel cross countries in Europe by train (usually I take the plane). So then this is what they actually mean by the Schengen Agreement.

Thinking of it, I now understand why they check it when I travel by plane, that's because Airport's boarding areas are international territories (technically outside the EU). Interesting....

Incidentally people do check my passport when I enter into the UK (either by plane or using the Eurostar) but during my recent commutes between Amsterdam and London, I noticed that my passport is not checked when I leave the UK. I eventually became so surprised by this, above all after the recent problem at Schiphol airport (after which I thought security measures would be tightened), that few days ago, when I was travelling from London to Amsterdam, I actually came to a security officer at Gatwick airport and asked her why wasn't my passport checked, as if (as I pointed out) the UK border agency doesn't actually care who leaves the country. She said that they were in charge of Security (like checking my bag for illegal items) but not passport control.

More on security, nobody checked my bag or luggage for illegal items of even explosives when I took the train today (they perform this checking when you take the Eurostar between Paris and London). I had not really realised before how easy it is then to carry lots sort of funky things within the EU :-)

So I guess that the slogan "Libre circulation des biens, des personnes, des capitaux et des services" actually means something, but I am still looking for a freaking way to move money between my bank accounts; a way which doesn't require me carrying bags full of cash.

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