I spent a week in Germany. I went to visit my Syrian friend Hadi. It was the first time I as “Dutchman” crossed the border. What a good feeling to wear a Dutch passport with you. If an agent asks for your papers, and he sees a Dutch logo, you get almost immediately back your passport. If he thinks: “Is he from the Netherlands? Then it’s good. ” Every time Hadi wanted to go outside, I looked out my passport and put it in my pocket. It felt like the logo of the Netherlands protected me from everything that could go wrong. I am a person with rights. I do not fleeing police dogs, afraid of being taken to a closed refugee camp. That happened during my first visit to Germany, when I was fleeing from Syria to Netherlands. Although I now confidently bus got off in Hanover, my arrival was different than expected. I wanted to get in immediately and returned to the Netherlands. Everyone spoke Arabic and begging everywhere Syrians on the street. Hadi took me to the place Salzgitter. I ended up in districts where no German was in sight. Although I was shocked first, I felt later suddenly good at seeing so many Syrians. It means that they are not in the war. The more I looked, the happier I became. They are all here and alive! I do not sound so nice German and Dutch. According to Hadi Dutch sounds exactly like German. Yes, we began to compare. In Germany the cars better, we thought. “But we have WiFi on the train,” I said proudly. He laughed. “Sir is also a year in the Netherlands, with your ‘we’.” On the way back on the bus, I looked out the window. Suddenly the landscape changed. The weather was beautiful, clean and green. Netherlands I recognized immediately as my own.


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