Border phenomena - and a Russian missile
At the Venlo border crossing we stopped and examined how the abstract concept of "Dutch - German border" actually looks like.

Since the "Schengen-agreement" of the European Union the internal borders have lost a lot of their significance. The EU now uses the (misguided) "coconut" security concept. A "hard" outer border along the EU-'s perimeter and soft internal borders. Of course the outer border is not "hard" at all and streams of economic migrants enter the Union every year.

There are no border-checks here anymore. The traffic flows unhindered in the direction of Germany and the drivers step on the gas-pedal because there is no speed limit in Germany (in Holland the maximum speed is 120 km / h).

Looking towards the Netherlands - Semi deserted border station

For me this crossing marks the beginning of holiday. Usually I use this crossing when I drive to Germany, Switzerland of the Czech Republic. But then I have a family in the car and I can't stop to investigate.

Grenzübergang Schwanenhaus - Highway 61 starts at zero

I was very curious if the actual border would be detectable in the road surface. An I wasn't disappointed. A seam runs through the asphalt at the exact spot where the German road meets the Dutch road. I imagine the builders pouring the asphalt oh-so-carefully as not to spill anything on the other's territory. And on whose territory is the lamppost? Who pays for the electricity ?

Left picture: NL /DE - Right picture: DE / NL

Notice the different colour of the asphalt and the change in the stripes. The transition also runs through the cobblestones at the side of the road - different stones, different pattern. I liked it very much.

The border looking South - DE / NL - Border marker 456-0 (?)

The border runs through the ditch on the right. There were several small milestones hidden in the grass. On the left an overgrown parking lot that used to be a lot more frequented. I wonder if the lonely lamp really shines at night. It must be a surreal sight.

The tiny building in the background looked like a kind of bunker. Solid and solidly locked. Behind the row of trees is the railway. Another intriguing artifact was this box - I think it's a generator.

The railway - looking towards Holland - the white sign is on the borderline

The railway border-crossing was marked by two large pyramid-shaped milestones and a sign showing that the railway also started at zero kilometres here. Unfortunately we had no time to follow the line of markers further South. We were on an expedition deeper into Germany.

The railway marker - and it's double on the opposite side

The border marker was numbered 466 - at least that's what I think, it's not clear in the picture. But that doesn't add up with the previous one 456. I must have made some error here.

The border crossing itself had a nice deserted look so we investigated that first.

Some of the offices are still in use but most of them are empty. It would be nice to hire one and to live in them. You would have a most original front- and back garden.

I often daydream about such a monastic way of life. No luxury, no TV, no neighbors, no distraction. But that's only a dream.

That's Ben in the distance. And that's me in the second window from the left.

I think this is an overgrown parking lot - The small row of buildings was almost deserted. The building was locked and had a dusty look. But it was not totally deserted. I assume some minimal administrative traffic still goes on inside the building. But it's operating far below it's former capacity. I have seen pictures of border stations along the Belgian / Dutch border that are deserted and are slowly crumbling. But the Germans are still maintaining this building.

We were surprised to find this missile on the parking lot. It looked very authentic with it's Russian lettering. At first I thought it was some kind of illegal transport that had been confiscated and forgotten. If you look closely you can see another (bigger) part of the missile in the background. - The lettering on the missile said nothing special, just some basic maintenance instructions - like "write last maintenance date here ..."

Magic-Giga-Artist >> Wastel << Explorer of human spirit & mind - Museum of strange human mind - magic + logic + basically } kind = GIga-Art - ... there is and will be a lot of behind !!!

Tel. 0049-173-299-42-49

Fax. 0049-2157-12-68-73

But later Ben stepped into the house to investigate and we met the official owner of this "Missile for human dignity".

The artist hires this house and works and lives in it.

Some things that he told us: - Lately he saved a Turkish migrant from a fight with the local skinheads. Since that time he is hated and threatened by the local neo-nazi's. (And indeed I saw some nazi slogans and swastikas chalked on his property).

He lived and worked in the far East. Then his Asian wife lost all his money at gambling and the local thugs made an attempt on his live in revenge.

He left for Germany and took his children with him. But on arrival the children were taken away by the authorities and put in a children's home. He can visit them but they can't live with him. That's why he put the German flag at "half mast" in front of his house.

Eine Rakete für die Menschenwürde

Kaldenkirchener Original und Künstler Wastel hat eine ausgefallene Idee

Er nennt sich Wastel, ist 46 Jahre alt, verkauft an der B221 Obst und Gemüse, lebt auch mal in Thailand, ist gerade von einem noch ungeklärten Mordanschlag genesen unde versteht sich als Künstler. Die Rede ist von Wofram Schabel-Gundhardt. Und der hat sich viel vorgenommen mit seiner russischen Rakete.

Seine ganzen Ersparnisse hat er eingesetzt, um an diese rakete zu kommen, die er in Holland ausfindig gemacht hatte. ... Es ist eine echte russische Interkontinentalraketerakete, die sogar mal einen Atomsprengkopf getragen haben soll. Wastel will sie zum Kunstobjekt umfunktionieren und damit ein Zeichen gegen den Rechtsradikalismus und Rassismus setzen. ...

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