At Berlin central station, a mother and two children sleep deeply behind a bench. Around them gather policemen and women, with kind faces. Plastic gloves are pulled on before they are gently wakened. Taken elsewhere before the rush hour. Compassion and barriers.
Flensburg station, the outside platform. Trains from Germany stop and we change for Denmark. Families with four or five children and tickets for the train. Such small bags they carry. 'Station Mission' women with tabards and badges. One stops to help me understand where to go.
Barriers, makeshift pieces of wood tied with string. Red and white. They make us queue. Migrants at one end and 'us' at the other. How uncomfortable we feel and yet don't know how to move. A pair of policemen doing nothing much. A train station employee with Service on his red jacket checks tickets, reassures that this train will go, in one hour, in twenty minutes.
Downstairs in the station hall, people on benches, on the floor. A long jumbled line following mission women, who knows where. It feels like the town itself is in a state of shock, doing what can be done, in a hushed daze.
Cold and knowing this is not yet winter, our minds imagine us onwards. Tired and knowing there is another country to cross. Welcomed and watching the plastic gloves being pulled on.