Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Are you terrorists?

Have you ever faced this question? How will you feel then?

I was once asked this question and was clearly taken aback. It was in Sicily the land known for its strong mafia roots. Although looking back I feel very silly, that incident is something that I cannot forget easily.

It was my second visit to Italy and I was bit intimidated as my first experience was not a great one. Also in all the travel guides, there used to be a special mention about the strong mafia in Sicily. In spite of all these, we choose this place mainly coz it was a long weekend and also a fuming mountain is not something that you can visit everyday. Mount Etna is the highest European volcano which is around 3300 m high. We stayed just 30 m from Etna and so could see it all the time. But we wanted to take the Circumetnea which is a small railway line which circles the base of the volcano. But since Sicily is not a well developed tourist destination, the public transport or even tourist information was very pathetic.

Somehow we managed to reach the subway and took an underground pathway. It was almost empty except for the two of us and two punk styled guys walking in front of us. One of them was almost double my size, very hefty and looked very rough. Maybe coz of my preset mind, I felt a chill go down my spine.

Then they saw us and the immediate question was

'Are you terrorists?'

That was more than I could take. All sorts of terror stories started coming to my mind. There was no one else in the vicinity even if we scream for help... I couldn't utter a word and it was JK who answered them (tho later he too confessed that he was also very much scared)

The question answer session was like this

Punk1: "Are you terrorists?"
We: "No"

Punk1: "You are Indians?"
We: "Yes"

Punk1: "Are you Muslims"
We: "No"

Punk1: "In India most people are Muslims right?"
Punk2: "No Muslims are in Pakistan. In India majority are Hindus. Only Muslims are Terrorists!!"

Aha so that was the reason - they were doubtful that all Indians are Terrorists!!! Our Kashmir has given this kind of impression to the outside world..!!

Anyway, after this JK managed to get some information about the train timings and the station where we could board it. So after all it was not that bad :-)


Dilin said...

whoa, that would've been one helluva experience!

Bindhu Unny said...

Ha ha ha. And that too from the city of Mafia! :)