|Photo credits: Bethany Bell BBC Foreign correspondent |
Caught train coming back to Munich from Salzburg that had originated from Hungary. It was a quite different sight from the scenes in Hungary from the Guardian. A huge white Red Cross tent has been set up outside Salzburg station, with plenty of food and drink, given politely by volunteers not thrown. On the train, people looking out the window at green countryside with quiet trepidation; messages exchanged with phones. Arriving into Munich, groups of police made a barrier at the end of the platform. I was caught up in the flow until a police man waved me through, but stopped the group of young men behind me that I had been sitting opposite. The separation brought a strain of complicated emotions not easy to articulate. Being guided to safety, brought a sense of relief for people who had come from Hungary, but with so many police and people being separated into those that could go through the human barrier and those that had to be registered, brought up a sense of apprehension and perhaps fear. There wasn`t any clapping just a small gathering of silent people, some with cameras. A woman with her suitcases turned to me and said "Heftig oder" "Intense isn`t it"? she whispered. Once there were no more people left on the train the police broke the barrier and guided the group off the platform.
Passing groups of Oktoberfest clad young people, popping freshly bought beer bottles, brought a sense of uneasiness at the weeks ahead. Munich turns into a place that is seemingly quite the opposite of its usual orderly and in control daily life. When too much alcohol comes into the equation with the current refugee crisis, there could be a sense of disquiet triggering any number of possible reactions. Hoping I am wrong, I try to shake away memories growing up seeing conflict erupt from tensions between seemingly separate groups that are in fact are not separate at all.