In Isobel Fonseca’s brilliant Bury me standing she recalls showing her passport to a young guard at the Polish border:
Uniquely intriguing to him was the stamp for Albania, or “E Republikes Popullore Socialiste te Shquiperise”, with the “Popullore” and “Socialiste” touchingly crossed through by hand.
Funny as this is, she goes on to reflect soberly:
People believe that Gypsies are dangerous because they have nothing to lose. And here I sat, impatient, even indignant, as the pale border guard felt up my passport. Swollen with extra pages, that little accordion and its inky scores of distant anthems was the proof that I was the only one who had nothing to lose. I could just leave.