Bordering On Insanity: Drawing Those Fine Lines

Ermintruder

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(I have been unable to locate an existing thread on the forum on the fascinating topic of geopolitical borders/exclaves/enclaves upon which to append some illuminatary collective rumination. If my extensive searches are evidence of my inability to find the obvious, then I do apologise, and await re-editing (in pixel & perhaps personally))

This is a new one on me: thankfully it doesn't seem to cause any practical difficulties for the citizenry of Germany, and Belgium (or Germany or Belgium)

Fellow forum Forties- I give you
'Vennbahn- the world's weirdest border?) by The Time Traveller. (Oh, and don't worry about his glottal stop, it actually works quite well. And he's really effective as a presenter/producer in this video. You might want to consider, you know, subbing to his channel)

 

Ermintruder

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This is a map extract showing the site of 'Rückschlaghaus ' ("Set-back house") near the Vennbahn
https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vennbahn_Rückschlag_(Monschau)

So according to Wiki, the family living in this German house (the Cälls, at Auf Aderich 33) step outdoors into their garden, in Germany. But: it's a tiny square of Germany, inside Belgium....
Screenshot_2019-10-10-13-17-23.png

(Yes, I know that makes it nearly the same status as a German Embassy in Belgium...but it does it with so much more style)
 
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Ermintruder

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Here's a bit of a puzzle (maybe for @Krepostnoi to assist with, пожалуйста?)

I always thought that there was an exclave road that joined the interesting Kaliningrad all the way to Mother Russia...in something of a personal Mandela misremembering moment, I now find the internet tells me нет... that is incorrect: just air and sea links.
 

James_H

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Here's a bit of a puzzle (maybe for @Krepostnoi to assist with, пожалуйста?)

I always thought that there was an exclave road that joined the interesting Kaliningrad all the way to Mother Russia...in something of a personal Mandela misremembering moment, I now find the internet tells me нет... that is incorrect: just air and sea links.
No, but there was one between West Berlin and the rest of West Germany.
 

maximus otter

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I mention here using the world’s only underground railway station that was also an international border.

l’m also reminded of the situation that obtained in the pub featured in Spike Milligan’s hilarious novel Puckoon: He imagines a weird process by which a border is delineated between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This results in the border running right through Puckoon’s only pub, leaving (IIRC) all the tightwad punters huddled in the ten square feet of the bar that's legally in the North, where booze is 50% cheaper...

maximus otter
 

Ermintruder

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This results in the border running right through Puckoon’s only
Is this also the same situation (which I was never sure if it was fictional or fact) whereby if a homeless person / vagrant dropped dead in that selfsame pub, the undertakers would have to measure him to see whether the majority had fallen in the North, or in the Republic?

Because he'd be proper-like buried at gov'ment expense in a coffin an' a', if adjudged to have died in de Narth....but popped into a pauper's grave in a torn shroud, iffn he'd corpsed-it in Éire.

My half-remembered understanding of this was that opposing undertaker teams (more in the spirit of secular commercial competition than any religious divide) would&could play tug-o-war with borderline bodies. There must've been a real-life example of this, I presume, then embiggened by someone's over-active imagination.

I've only been able to visit the North so far, but when I next get over to the island of Ireland (via the Cairnryan luxury paddle-steamer) I shall be sure to ask a passing undertaker about the truth to this tale.
 
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maximus otter

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...if a homeless person / vagrant dropped dead in that selfsame pub, the undertakers would have to measure him to see whether the majority had fallen in the North, or in the Republic?

Because he'd be proper-like buried at gov'ment expense in a coffin an' a', if adjudged to have died in de Narth....but popped into a pauper's grave in a torn shroud, iffn he'd corpsed-it in Éire.

l can’t assist, unfortunately.

l can tell you, however, that at least one nick on the “border” between the Met and the City of London police used to have an official wheelbarrow for use in transporting...undesirable detritus...into the other force’s area of responsibility...

maximus otter
 

pandacracker

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No, but there was one between West Berlin and the rest of West Germany.

Back in 1978 I went on a school trip to West Berlin. We went by coach and on our return journey the driver took a wrong turning and we found ourselves heading towards the Baltic. We continued on till we found a motorway help phone and had to wait for the police to arrive.

Our teachers were a bit nervous of what might happen and told us all to be quiet and well behaved as they spoke to the police who did a cursory inspection of the coach.

The teachers had to club together to pay a fine, were told by the officer in charge how impressed he was with the behaviour of British schoolchildren and were escorted to the correct junction where, by this time, we all were emboldened to wave goodbye. And the communist bastards waved back!
 

Ermintruder

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An odd example of British border-bodging might be the Suffolk near-exclave of Newmarket, into Cambridgeshire....

2019-10-11 09.38.55.png

I could imagine that this must pose a whole pile of weird local government challenges. So...what..the...hell...is going on?

(nb I've no insights/awareness on this....I am just seeing it on the British Counties map. I've been to Norfolk a few times, and once passed through Cambs, but I know very little about Suffolk)
 
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maximus otter

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Back in 1978 I went on a school trip to West Berlin. We went by coach...

l went to Berlin by coach in 1982. l remember being driven past former 1936 Olympics accommodation areas, now occupied by the Russian army (Wustermark?).

We were glared at by numerous Russian soldiers as we passed; sullen-looking skinny young men, dressed in cardboard boots, and uniforms that looked like they were made out of that material you find in the bottom of packs of meat to soak up blood.

They were probably bewitched by the sight of a motor vehicle that could actually move under its own power, as the autobahn was littered with dead Trabis:


maximus otter
 

Krepostnoi

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dressed in cardboard boots
There's a tremendous Fortean cross-fertilisation, here: the stuff these boots were made out of wasn't quite cardboard, but it wasn't much better: it was an artificial leather called Kersey, by (mis-?)attribution of a woollen cloth that was itself named after the village of Kersey in Suffolk. Yes, that Kersey.
 

Krepostnoi

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(maybe for @Krepostnoi to assist with, пожалуйста?)
Увы, не могу. It would have been quite an undertaking of border control, I would have thought. I can't help feeling that even if the rest of the Soviet Bloc were willing, the actual Soviets themselves might have found it something of a headache to police.
 

INT21

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When I returned to the UK from my posting in Berlin, about 1968, two of us drove back via the corridor. We had to await a couple more cars before we were allowed to set off. It was very easy to end up in the Communist zone.

I also did the trip by train, all the doors were locked and the windows covered until we had cleared into West Germany.

It was quite easy, when using the U Bahn in Berlin to get off at a station that was actually under the control of the East. Not so easy, I am told, to get back on.
 

Victory

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