free as the birds

Do you think that flying is freedom? Recently,when i came to Japan after a stay in Thailand, I have learned to ascociate flying with everything but freedom. After standing in line for at least twenty minutes, an officer looked at my passport, then at my filled forms and when he was almost ready to stmp mu passport, he saw "shinto" as one of the reasons i had written on the immigration form He told me to wait, another , older officer came, they exchanged words I was told to come with the older man into a litle glas cubicicle, where I was told that shinto is not a proper reason to come as a tourist Everything was yet still friendly, but my question what visa was right for shinto remained unanswered, I was led into a more solid office area, there was a corridor with 4 or so doors, at the end was a waiting area. As I was standing there in the corridor, am officer came out of one the offices he passed me to go to the waiting room at the end of the floor, while he passed me , he looked at me with something that I can only interpret as sheer hate, his hand was clenched into a fist. I was then given a form to fill out and told to do so in the waiting room, that was dingy, neon lit roon, there was a sink with sign in many languages saying not to drink the water.The form I was sopposd to fill out was olnly in Japanese and english.There were about 4 people in the room, one bangldeshi man, who did not speack any english,a peruvian mother with son and some koreans. I started to fill out the form , about four A4 pages:" Reqest for a special hearing" or so it was called.One of the questions was:"Why did you conceal your true reasons for coming to japan/ why did you use a inproper visa".It also asked if I had ever commited a crime. I was furious at being treated as a criminal and told that the officer , who than screamed at me:"You have nothing to say, you have been here toooooo loooong. This is not you country, if you do not fill out this you go back now!" I then asked to be able to return into the airport transfer area, to use my ticket to korea or the Phillipines. It was also forbidden , I had to go either to Japan or to the country that had issued my passport. In the meantime a friend of mine had came into the offices, I was forbidden to speack with him , I was the taken into an office and asked some question, like what I did about shinto , what people I had met and where, my namecards were checked, and some relating to shinto ,copyed as evidence.Then I was told to wait again. At this point I was broken bodyly and spiritually.I shivered.I felt something like this for the first time.Now I know what a dog must feel like , with its tail between its legs , trying to make itself small and unoffensive.To proof my point I also handed them some religious things, which then were also copyed (!!) as evidence. Those officers seemed to have no respect for other peoples beliefs. But they had not shown any respect for any basic law or right at all.I was finally told that this time they will let me into the country.The officer then placed a stamp in my passport, but the stamp was broken, so he went searching for another one.

c 1997

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