When we drove to Denmark yesterday we started from E’s parent’s place, which is in the north of the Netherlands right on the border with Germany (as in: if you leave the village, you leave the country). We didn’t expect any border controls obviously, it’s one of those many small crossings that even before the Schengen treaty didn’t see much activity. And indeed there weren’t any.

Within meters of passing the border we did however get an SMS “The federal government: welcome! Please follow the rules on tests/quarantine” plus a URL. It made E and me laugh ‘Achtung, hier spricht die Bundesregierung’, ‘attention, this is the federal government speaking!’ as if spoken through a bullhorn while you’re surrounded Blues Brothers style.

It is the first time the Federal Government of Germany expressly welcomed me on their turf!

Perhaps they should continue the practice of SMS’ing a formal welcome message from the federal government even after the Covid measures have been abolished again. It has a certain ring to it, being welcomed to the country by the government itself.



The German federal eagle, also half affectionately, half mockingly referred to by the locals as ‘das Huhn‘, ‘that chicken’. (Image by me license CC BY NC SA, taken 2016 in the former German parliament in Bonn, when I was presenting there)

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