Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQPaxlZWu4 (With English subtitles)
But, as someone who grew up less than 100 meters from this border, I'm pretty sure this stuff actually happens all over.
I just imagine the guards opening the gate for a little girl with a school satchel. The bollards which held the gate are still there.
I was born in Switzerland. I was smuggled to France when I was a few days old so my parents could take me home. I got a passport a few months later, with a baby photo. I went to school in Switzerland, 20 minutes from the house. I had to take my passport to school, though we had a "frontalier" card that we'd show in the car windscreen so we'd rarely be stopped by border guards. It was a Schengen external border until 2007, though!
There are many stories of people getting stuck at that border for forgetting their ID, or phones connecting to the wrong transmitter causing people to get 3000 EUR phone bills for roaming data. My first kiss was on that border though, so I have quite fond memories of it!
The problem of growing up there is that I can't be Swiss - my parents weren't resident. I can't be French either - I wasn't born there. So my passport is British by descent. Children cannot be British from me, because I wasn't born in the UK. If I wanted to continue living in Geneva, children would be stateless.
That started me on a long journey of trying to find a new country. I went off to university, and proceeded to live in the UK, USA, Switzerland, Taiwan, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Austria, Netherlands, China, and India. In 2013 I decided that I wanted to move to New Zealand, but the process of moving here has been so slow (getting work experience in Taiwan, waiting 2 years for a case officer to evaluate my SMC visa, finding a new job that pays enough to satisfy Immigration), means that I only just got residency at age 31. (Children born in NZ can now be citizens, which will allow me to get married in future). Hopefully by age 36 I'll finally have a passport and a country to really call home.
Because I can never be truly British. 5 years from now, I hope to earn NZ nationality. Any children born overseas after that could have NZ citizenship by descent.
But a British citizen by descent has no way to "upgrade" their citizenship - not even after living there for 5 years. So I could live in the UK for 20 years, but would never be allowed to have children in Geneva. A French person has more right to become British than I do! They could naturalise, I can't. I'm officially a "second-class citizen". A citizen, not a BNO like people in Hong Kong, but without the full rights of a citizen.
If you have lived in France for the past 5 years (and still live there) you can get French citizenship. If you have obtained a diploma in a French university, you only need to have lived in France for the past 2 years.
If you have moved since then and don't live in France anymore, it might be too late though (unless you move back to France and wait 2 or 5 years).
(Also if you have siblings with French nationality, maybe if they were born in France after you were born in Switzerland, you are already technically French but have to claim your nationality).
My brother tried to apply for French nationality after his 18th birthday before going to university, but the application process is so slow that he wasn't interviewed until several years into his studies. The French immigration officials didn't like that he wasn't living there, so they deferred his application until he returned (and he chose not to return, but went to Australia instead). It may have also been complicated by going to the International School of Geneva in Switzerland, rather than a local French school.
I don't have any other siblings born in France, and my mum is past the age of childbearing unfortunately! My parents were able to naturalise and become French after 34 years. They applied when my dad retired, and after about 2 years they finally got it, in the midst of the political troubles of the UK leaving the EU. There was some worry about whether my parents would even be allowed to continue living in the house they spent 25 years paying off a mortgage to own. They couldn't apply earlier because CERN is an international organisation and doesn't pay French tax, so my dad was only paying French tax after his retirement.
However, I would like me, a future wife, and potential future children to all have the right to live in the same country.
If those kids had a Swiss passport, but my visa to Switzerland got denied, I'd end up separated from them. This is happening to many British families from the area who hadn't tried to get a second EU citizenship. Also, those kids would have to do military service for Switzerland (or Austria, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore... many countries) and learn to kill foreigners. As a foreigner, there's a conflict of interest - I'd rather not have children be forced to kill me.
I'm not sure how seriously you meant this, but that seems a little exaggerated. If your kids are drafted into service in another Western country than you hold citizenship, the odds that they would find themselves fighting a war against your country are slim. And even if it does happen, they'd likely find themselves transferred or exempted on account of a parent being one of the enemy.
On top of that, there are an abundance of non-combat roles for draftees - here in Israel you can spend your mandatory service programming computers, driving or fixing trucks, coordinating international communication with countries that are only semi-friendly (maybe that of your parents, since you speak the language!), stapling papers together with no apparent purpose other than government bureaucracy, supervising a kitchen, investigating higher-ups in the military for fraud and corruption (internal police), diffusing bombs, helping with Covid testing/ vaccine logistics, or singing in a choir. (I have met people who did most all of those things. If you don't want to kill people you have many other options.)
On some level, any participation in the organization is indirectly supporting the war effort, but so is paying taxes. Would you be against your children paying taxes to a country other than your own?
Many other students in the Engineering department of Lancaster University, where I studied, went to work for BAE Systems, a defence contractor and major local employer. I joined protest marches against them. I'm still involved in activism, most recently last Saturday in a solidarity march for Myanmar.
Military service does more than just train violence, it also takes away peoples' youth (which could be spent in Erasmus or Working Holiday), causes relationships to become long-distance and often break up, and creates a sense of national pride (which is contrary to the international views of the EU and UN that I support). The violence may also not be directed towards others: there is a very high suicide rate within the military. I can say that if I'm ordered to shoot someone else, I'd rather shoot myself.
I suggest you read this poem, 5 Ways To Kill A Man - Edwin Brock, and consider how the distance between a murderer and the victim becomes larger through weapons technology, the more devastating the results can be. Supporting the military through R&D is not an acceptable alternative.
Alternative service for conscientious objectors is sometimes available, but many of the issues above also apply to the police service, and I may not have the freedom to choose ambulance/fire service instead. I'd rather run away than fight, so I've chosen to run to the ends of the earth in NZ.
And I agree that if you're against war, you should not voluntarily go work for a defense contractor.
But i think if you're drafted the calculus is different. Would you conscientiously object to paying taxes in a country fighting a war? How is mandatory non-combat service (say kitchen work) different from funding the military via taxes?
Draftees, even in non-combat roles, often have to explain their service to future governments. Visas can be denied for many reasons, including that. My US visa conversion from J1 to F1 was denied because I was too poor, not having $40k in my own bank account at age 19, but the visa could've be been denied for many other reasons such as political differences: "communism", "terrorism".
What if my temporary work visa gets denied? If I had a family, I could end up unemployed, deported, and separated from wife and kids. Those kids would grow up without a father around, increasing their chances of divorce. It would be disastrous.
Would I rather choose a wife based on her nationality, or go through the long, gruelling process of trying to earn it? My girlfriend is from Taiwan, and despite its many flaws, the Immigration system is really my only hope for getting the prerequisites to start a family.
There might still be some countries that require that a child be born physically within the country as well, though I don’t track it.
Good luck finding your home.
I am Australian and can recommend Australia wholeheartedly, although I know we make immigration thoroughly difficult.
I've never heard that word till I started playing GeoGuessr.
Hmm, her husband is Belgian, if moving is involved you're right: he might want them to head into France.
Perhaps they could each move one of them!
Marc is from Belgium, Emma is from France. When it came time to decide where to live, they couldn't come to an agreement so compromised and live on the border. But what they didn't know is that neither of them ever truly gave up the fight. Tune in for their late night heists and hijinks as they try to move into their preferred country... by moving the border! Fridays at 8pm on the WEB.
However India-Bangladesh has enclaves of a higher nesting order.
Once Britishers came, Bengal was separated from the rest of India along their borders of their territories.
It looks like a very French first name and a very Dutch last name. Is that common in Belgium? Is there a significant overlap between the linguistic communities of Belgium?
- There's rather limited contact between the linguistic communities of Belgium.
- Knowledge of nl is generally extremely limited in Wallonia. I have a feeling it's improving a bit, even if nl is not obligatory in education there.
- Knowledge of fr is clearly worsening with the youngest generation in Flanders, even if fr is obligatory in education there.
- Mixed nl/fr work environments used to be fr.
- Friends from outside Belgium often tell me they notice absurd humor as a common trait.
- Lots of interesting things to say about language community history too. Long story short, the language border hardly moved the last few hundred years, except for Brussels turning majority nl-> fr in the last ~100 years .
- Did you know Belgium has large ar, ber, de (official language!), it, ku, ln and tr communities too?
P.S. If you like Poelvoorde, watch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brand_New_Testament .
ln: Bantu Lingala
I theorise that neighbouring countries, especially those that fought a lot in the past evolve these odd language-language meaning issues. Some folks just start using a word from the neighbour country’s language, but use it in their language with a totally different meaning, often chosen to be hilariously different. Then if it turns into a sort of meme, eventually it ends up in the language.
Explains why you had some of the best surrealists back in the day
Jean-Claude Van Varenberg (the real name of Jean-Claude Van Damme). It is incredibly common. I've got many several french speaking belgian friends, with a french name but a dutch family name.
> Is there a significant overlap between the linguistic communities of Belgium?
I would say not anywhere near what the name / family names may suggest. The north/south separation in Belgium is quite clear and although mixed french/flemish couples are by not means rare, I'd say the overlap is still not huge. Even in Brussels native flemish speaking people are only 6% of the population.
It does throw me when some documentary interviews a Frenchman with a very German last name. Until I find out he lives in Alsace. That area traded hands so many times. There are some French names on the other side of the border too, I’m told.
And isn’t “Austria” just a mistranslation of the German for “The outer lands”? But we don’t talk about that any more. Not since The War.
Ost - East
Öster - To the east, easter - relative to something
Reich - Empire
And yes, "we do not talk about that" since the war ended, the Myth that we were the "First Victim of the Nazis" still perpetuates, at least in the Generation of my Grandmother (who is 94).
The only austrian resistance when the nazis entered in 1938 was a Group of International Brigades that had returned from the spanish Civil War and they all got slaughtered.
You likely will not find that in a lot of history books either, somehow the ~80.000 international Volunteers of the Civil War in Spain are rarely mentioned anywhere.
Most people with FR first name and Dutch last name are Walloons who probably do not speak Flemish.
Having said that.. In an attempt to get me to learn Flemish, my parents placed me in a Flemish-speaking school. Most Flemish kids spoke decent French. The other way isn’t so true. Too many French-speaking Belgians don’t bother to learn Flemish.
And even french have trouble understanding the Quebec language.
Some that learned it never use it, so they forget it though. But they don't need it professionally.
> but the compulsory classes don't get you anywhere near native proficiency.
And my proficiency is good enough work related and when I meet people. With no issues.
What more would i need?
I hope the original poster replies as well, it would be interesting to know if he knows the history behind his last name.
If that's the bar, then i reached it. No?
Being native doesn't matter. Plenty of people here learned English by classes, tv and online while not being a native English speaker and you wouldn't even notice it ( eg. me)
Some are noticable, like people from the netherlands have a certain accent while speaking and you still understand them perfectly.
Here's my point again: A native speaker has no single advantage over a non-native speaker, if they are at a certain level.
> compulsory classes don't get you anywhere near native proficiency.
It gets you good enough to explain yourself and speaking. You don't need native proficiency.
What you need is to practise it afterwards, if multiple years go by. Even native dutch speakers that went abroad don't speak dutch anymore well by lack of repetition over ( a lot of) years.
PS. My original reply was not on a question. But on the statement quoted above.
Some old people in french speaking still speak dialect dutch. Not the "new" generation.
French Flanders: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Flanders
Additionally, Wallonië is also french speaking and not dutch.
So my guess is that it's pretty common ;)
His first album "Sacre Geranium" is a strange kind of masterpiece. Naive, comical, poetic, and strangely complex musically at the same time (all that mostly as a solo acoustic guitar voice act)
some times the 'local' title for films that are in English get another unrelated English title.
> Man Bites Dog is an intensely disturbing movie that, despite having frequent moments of dark humor, is shockingly violent and very difficult to watch.
With 74% on RT, which is pretty good. I already have conflicting emotions from this. The descriptions evoke the spirit of Bret Easton Ellis' stuff.
What I've seen of French film violence tends to be cinematic in an off-putting way, but perhaps that's only post-2000s explosion of movie tricks.
I watched it as a teen with my family and it didn't shock me in the least. It's serious but not traumatizing.
Today, as an adult and a dad I dont know if I could watch the kid murder scene.
I'm fairly certain most people outside of the north-american-cancel bubble know how to separate fantasy from reality, so while maybe hard to watch, there won't be any uproar.
Edit: judging by the downvotes, HN is not outside that bubble, my mistake
Where did you grew up and are you still regularly there?
Ps. If it's near, here's something unique about the neighborhood: https://www.google.com/amp/s/sniperinmahwah.wordpress.com/20...
Will have to see if it is streaming somewhere..
I've seen a number of people in my extended social circles do varying combinations of A and B, but still eventually losing because of a failure to do C, because they don't want to be confrontational or whatever.
(I am specifying "in the US" because I'm fairly sure this is related to common law. Countries operating under other traditions may not see this effect. However in common law, there's a certain element of having to be able to "defend" your property in order for it to be yours.)
The 'neutral strip' that they auctioned off, was actually the very tippy end of the road (which they can do, unless it hinders someones driveway access), and we lost access to our second driveway, which is entirely illegal except there's a whole bunch of legal nonsense you have to submit to keep a driveway valid after it becomes blocked for a certain period of time, otherwise the driveway is automatically considered cancelled (in this case, his pergola blocked it for long enough that you need a new driveway permit if you can believe it). A new driveway permit can not be approved if the driveway can not be accessed, and so the fun begins. To make the driveway valid, and hence the sale of the land under the pergola illegal, they made it seem like we needed to forfeit the strip to general access...
I'm not even being sarcastic when I say that surveying property borders, roads and driveways seems like a perfect application for an immutable and easily auditable blockchain based on lat/lon.
Despite not having lived on the farm for 25 year my mom and dad are often brought out to help settle dispute regarding property lines.
Technically everything is mapped out and moving a post or plowing a wrong part of the field doesn’t change ownership, but some of the maps are old and reference point are no longer where they once where.
(This is getting complicated and challenged due to the fact suburbs are popping up nearly everywhere and totally useless land may now be worth money.)
In the case above simply demolish whatever the guy built. He tries to sue in civil court and fails because he had no right to build there.
Here in Germany, he would be issued a demolition order by the court that, in case of non-compliance, will be enforced even with armed police if deemed necessary. On top of that the affected party can sue him for damages.
The guy who did this also rubbished 70 year old stone fence - erected a generation before he was born, and ended up in jail after a number of court cases. Talk about pissing your life away because of misplaced anger.
Not because some war was imminent, but because of very practical reasons: Belgian police could only reach that piece of Belgium by boat; so "exchanging it with NL" was the easiest, because the Dutch police could just drive there.
It makes me happy to see that we're down to "practical exchanges of land" from centuries of war over the most silly pole, church or "slight".
 https://nos.nl/artikel/2112869-nederland-krijgt-belgisch-sch... Dutch only, sorry.
> wordt geklaagd over drugsoverlast, afval en naaktloperij
So the actual problems are complaints about drug users, illegal trash dumping and nudism. And the negotiations only took 5 years.
Yeaaaah I'm gonna point fingers to Belgium tho.
It's one of the reasons that the area is extremely popular for smuggling.
What was happening was that the cigarettes were being sold as export items (so little/no Canadian tax paid), exported to the American side, then smuggled back into Canada via the Canadian side.
If it is in, presumably, French territory now, why can't some French resident roll it back?
Even funnier are the so-called line houses along the USA/Canada border: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_house
Now I'm sure if you landed and somehow were talked to by the border police and didn't have a passport you'd be pretty screwed, but honestly thats pretty unlikely to happen. I know an old couple set in their ways who to this day just boat across the river sans passport for a favourite restaurant.
If you go here and search for "B street, Blaine WA" and right click in google maps, look at the latitude, the actual 49th parallel is considerably south of what is enforced in practice. Much of Blaine, and a very long strip all the way to the great lakes, is actually in Canada...
Although from a European perspective, the post 9/11-state of that border also seems somewhat depressing…
How do you even measure that effectively? Aren’t the stones more than hundreds of meters away from each other?
edit: for example, can I do that as well with minimal equipment (e.g. with just a phone)?
Or, if you can identify where a stone has been moved from and to, you can use the pre-installed iOS app 'Measure', which always gives you a number to the nearest cm over this distance.
The border was likely digitized a decade or two ago. Someone noticed the stone didn't match the database.
I tried this at home and it turns out that easily available GPS devices have huge amounts of error, especially without unobstructed line of sight like in woods. I left a phone on a stump recording a walking trail, and it wandered around multiple tens of meters. There is value in what the surveyors do :) Although I guess they would use markers like this as references, so unless they crosscheck with multiple markers and fancy GPS they could make mistakes too.
Edit: and the whole while the GPS receiver is reporting a misleading "5ft" or similar accuracy.
High Accuracy Service used to be the commercial service, but is now just called HAS and is offered free of charge apparently.
Then there is Public Regulated Service for government bodies, and a Search and Rescue Service.
WAAS gets you to a pretty solid 1 meter accuracy.
RTK gets you 1 to 2 cm accuracy.
But for that you need specialized equipment.
The stone is often only near the border - if the border is a path in a forest, you're not going to plonk it down in the middle of the path.
The gis database for administrative boundaries in Luxembourg gets updated once a week, because the borders are based on cadastral measurements, which have been constantly updated since the 19th century. There's an error in every measurement, the idea is that over time it will average itself out.
Prior to world war 2, this was also the case inside germany, considering many Lander still had lands all over the place (especially prussia) which made governance a hassle.
I always figured they were mostly symbolic. At least I hope, because the local loggers have moved Germany about 30 meters into Luxemburg by uprooting a stone.
With the unusualness of a European measuring something in feet.
It always irks me when I see signs saying "keep 6 ft (1.8288 m) apart", because 6 feet is just a round number of the approximate distance, and it's fine to just say "keep 6 ft (2 m) apart", for all that you'll get weirdos going "Well which is it??? 6 feet or 2 meters????"
So if the farmer takes the stone and tractors it to East Russia, did the farmer accomplish more than Napoleon?
 Or at least an overwhelming majority of people.
This is really small potatoes.
Frankly, if he doesn't get rapped on the knuckles it's a guarantee that other folks will try the same thing.
Borders should be changed via treaty and diplomacy not by some un-educated moron deciding to take matters into his own hands. That only encourages border conflicts.
To be fair they are living so close to the frontier that my cellphone picks up the Belgian cell network in their house...
I don't remember how this was resolved. I guess it thankfully just doesn't matter that much anymore, these days.
(For the uninitiated https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/stabbing-oranges-an...)
During the beginning of the pandemic, it brought about some truly bizarre situations: https://www.thebulletin.be/coronavirus-store-dutch-border-ha...
A few years ago someone got the idea that it was of Important Historical Interest and so moved it further down the path. It's not clear whether this moved the "actual"* border since they didn't place it in the same orientation. Somehow the misorientation annoys me more than moving it.
* "actual" gets quotation marks as the denoted territories no longer exist, though the cities by those names do.
The legal system would probably side with us, but it's a pain.
This is probably my favorite story to date of how a squabble over where to temporarily store some cut lumber escalated:
Be sure to read all 4 parts!
May I introduce you to the town of Baarle-Hertog? A town that is not only split between the Netherlands and Belgium but inside the Netherlands with Belgium owning most of the town with Dutch fragments inside it. Some houses have a Dutch as well as a Belgian address.
You can see some examples here, with the numbers and type of landmarks (apparently there are 1010 stone marks, other types of marks are wet marks for example, like rivers and lakes): https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_de_tro%C3%A7os_da_raia_(...
The re routing Spain is doing is contributing to the destruction of a massive portion of Portugal ecosystems.
This is all geo referenced against the OSGB coordinate system.
I could see interesting challenges in doing this for international borders where both countries use different coordinate systems and projections for their mapping, and the potential for slithers of no-mans-land. I guess at a certain point, you need to refer back to what's on the ground, as over decades the land erodes from the sea, and rock formations collapse and shift as the earth moves etc. The definition of location gets far easier when you have satellites offering precision navigation and timing!
Likewise, the exact location of borders between properties is usually ill-defined. Only borders that have gone through a painstaking process of surveying and registering (usually after a dispute or on a new build) are exactly defined. Usually, when you move into a new house, you have a fence around your property, and the boundary is generally assumed to be inside the fence (with conventions for whose land the fence sits on that aren't always followed).
Adverse possession makes it more complicated. A neighbour decided to put up a new fence, and weren't nice about it. I stipulated (in line with the law) that no part of the new fence could be placed on my property (except parts under the ground surface). They decided to put the fence in the "wrong" way round, with the vertical posts on their property, and the fence attached on their side of the posts, effectively giving me sole access to the area of land in-between their fence posts. If I were to sell my house, the new owner would be quite reasonable in assuming that that land was theirs. After the requisite time, I could apply to have the land legally registered as mine, although the new laws mean that the neighbour would be informed and given a chance to "evict" me from the land - they would have to tear down their fence and rebuild it the right way round so that I don't have sole access to it any more. In this way, adverse possession effectively resets the boundary to where the actual fence is in practice every now and again, which means that the land registry doesn't need to store exact boundary locations.
The white area being roads and non-registered land (mainly stuff that hasn't sold for decades and roads).
It's great, I can find a unique owner for any bit of field I have a question about, the size of the plot, etc.
The downside is that to get a copy of the actual entry in the register (to see who owns it and any covenants on the property there are), you have to pay £3. The entire process is digital and automated, IMO it should be free, but I suppose it's not a terrible price.
ex, in my country forest owners get spammed and targeted by forest-management companies that want to cut it down.
You'd think location via GPS or similar framework was easy but it's not nearly as easy as you'd think. Among other things, the land is moving. Both continental plates and then also local features like river beds. See e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TX--Fku9NQ
“Follow river such and so, then on that one field of farmer Jones turn left until the tree, turn right and walk in a straight line to that pointy rock, then walk back to the river etc. etc.”?