I go through customs. My passport is checked and I’m cleared to enter the rest of the Brussels airport. I find a bathroom to take my make-up off and freshen up. A couple minutes later a female police office enters the bathroom and comands me to follow her. I did just that because I was terrifed. (In the states police officers tend to shoot black people without cause.) Once I got out of the bathroom I notice three huge male police officers. They all escort me to the aiport ‘jail’ per say. I was interrogated for hours about why I was in Brussels with a flagged passport. I was accused of stealing my own passport and using it illegally. After hours of convincing the Belgium police that I had no idea my passport was flagged and that I really am Tina Angok, they finally let me go.
Just in time to make my flight to Venice.
What on earth just happened??!
In February of 2017, a month after I moved to Berlin, my wallet was stolen at a train station. I called the police and a report was issued. The police asked me what was stolen, so I told them. Thankfully, my passport was at home and wasn’t stolen, which I told the police officer. But somehow, this information didn’t process for him. He issued the report stating my passport was also stolen, so from that moment on, the German authorities put a flag on my passport so if anyone tried to use it, the police would be notified. The intention here was good. The lack of listening skills, not so much.
Fast forward 1.5 years and I’m on vacation with my friend Erin, without knowledge of the flag on my passport. Hence the reason why I had no idea what the Belgium authorities were talking about.
Long story short, the Belgium police thought I was traveling with a stolen passport. I thought the Belgium police were not in their right state of mind. The whole situation was incredibly frustrating, but I can understand that they were just trying to do their jobs.
The thing I don’t understand is why I didn’t have this problem in Ireland, which was our first stop.
Once I got back to Berlin I went to the police office right away and I asked them wtf happened. That’s when I found out about my passport being flagged.
So cheers to my time in Belguim, not. Lol