Guantanamera

DSC01891This picture got me into trouble and almost to Guantanamo bay…

On my last day at work in Toronto, I decided to make a photo report of my journey to work. Considering that I take a tram, 2 subways and a bus to go to work, I wanted to make it unforgettable, this journey I was doing twice a day.

So I started by the tram stop, the tram coming, me in the tram, the subway entrance, first subway stop etc… at the second subway’s station I continued my artistic work, took this picture and got into the wagon waiting for the subway to leave.

But it didn’t leave, the subway stayed there for long minutes. While I was worried about the bus I’ll miss, a constable came in with his talkie walkie: tchh tchhh walking back and forth until he stopped in front of me:

Toronto Transit Commission Constable: Would you please follow me sir ?
A.: pardon me !
TTC: I would like you to follow me, please.
A.: ME ?
TTC: Yes sir, please
A.: well, OK
TTC: thank you sir
A.: You know that it is my right not to go with you without you giving me a good reason… but not to make troubles I am going with you
TTC: I know that sir and I really appreciate your assistance.
A.: It better be serious coz I am missing a party at work now, u know ?
TTC: sorry for that sir…

So he leads the way to the control room, where all the subway lines of Toronto can be monitored… He offers me a seat:

TTC: It shouldn’t be long sir
A.: I’m just curious to know what’s the reason for all that.
TTC: you’ll know soon sir…
A.: mmmm don’t tell me it’s because of the pictures
TTC constable in his talkie walkie: Tchhh tchhh the suspect is asking if it’s because of the pictures, what should I say ?
A.: SUSPECT ???

so we sit there for 20 minutes and chit chat, I tell him I’m a foreigner and that it’s my last day at work, that I loved Toronto and that’s why I’m taking bits and pieces of my life here in pictures as memories…

A.: So I decided to make a photo report of my everyday life, the places I like etc..
TTC: great idea
A.: wanna see the pics ?
TTC: sure

When my TTC constable friend saw the innocent and funny pics…

TTC: I’m totally sorry sir
A.: don’t worry, I understand. I am taking it from the good side, it’s funny for me to be arrested on my last day at work while my colleagues have prepared a surprise for me and are waiting for me to come…
TTC: Maybe it’s funny, but it’s so sad too
A.: True true
TTC: I’m really sorry for what’s happening

In the mean time, three policemen arrived, with their tough faces…

Policeman 1: So you are the one ?
A.: if you say so
Policeman 2: so you’re taking pictures in the station
A.: Yes, (explaining the story from scratch)
P2: Can we see them
A.: of course
P3: do you have an ID ?
A.: yeah sure

Policeman 1 calls the Toronto Police for an Identity check, while I am showing the pics to the other 2… I go through the day pictures and then accidently show them a few pictures of world cup games celebrations and a brazilian party…DSC01861

P2: nice pictures you have here
A.: yeah
P3: so did you like your stay here ?
A.: I had a great time, I love this city… and the country
P3: good to hear, you know that’s the real thing, unfortunately times are hard now, remember the people arrested last week… u only hear about terrorism plots here and there
A.: that’s so bad, it’s like a phobia everywhere, a situation like this is ridiculous
P1: yeah but better safe than sorry, we prefer to arrest innocents for a couple of hours rather than take a chance… here you go, your ID
A.: Thanks, I guess I won’t ask you for a picture…
P2: (laughing) no you better not 🙂

better not, better not
A.

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This entry was posted in Censorship / Censure, Cultural stuff, Politics, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Guantanamera

  1. la même chose m’est arrivée il y a quelques semaines dans le métro de montréal. je prenais des photos histoire de chauffer mon appareil numérique lorsque le préposé aux tickets m’a interpellé sur un ton désagréable pour me rappeler qu’il était interdit de prendre en photo le métro après le 11 septembre 2001. je n’ai pas aimé la réaction du monsieur, étrangère à un pays civilisé. je n’ai pas aimé non plus cette interdiction ridicule. croyez-vous qu’un terroriste va récupérer le plan du métro grâce à des photos ? cela dit, même curieuse et bizarre, l’attitude des policiers est correcte. sous d’autres cieux tu aurais été déjà embarqué manu militari dans un endroit inconnu où tu aurais subi des choses tout aussi inconnues.

  2. PeckoPivo says:

    hehe, unbelievable… at least they were nice to you… if this happened in serbia or wherever in eastern europe… well… let`s just say you wouldn`t be able to sit for some time :)cheers m8

  3. Angie says:

    Hahah what a story! Now i feel like experimenting here in Copenhagen and see if i get any attention.. Im almost sure i wouldnt as i think people are a bit less paranoid here, but you never know.. 🙂

  4. el greco says:

    bravo voyageurj’ai adoré ton récit, bien conté et raconté!!!Dur dur la vie d’un voyageur et je t’invite à visiter mon Blog voyageur:http://rachedelgreco.blogspirit.com/

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