It was my first time in Southern Cyprus. This was before the island was split with these mechanized walls. Before now, there were no walled borders between North and South.
There was also a buffer zone, a neutral ground between the North and the South, stretching about a thousand meters. There shops and cafes in the buffer zone, and life there was serene.
But a new law on the island allowed us to cross over for the first time. Could we really cross into the South from the North? I was excited and wanted to confirm this for myself.
So one evening, I approached the former border. I presented my passport, was asked a few questions and I was let through!
I was only a few feet away from the former border, still within the buffer zone (which is where the current borders begin) when it started!
Suddenly, walls start descending from the sky, piece by piece, one after the other. As they landed strategically, they formed what we now know as the new borders of Cyprus.
“How do walls descend from the sky!?”, I thought to myself. And not just normal concrete walls, but jet-propelled walls! “This is not normal!”, I exclaimed to myself. I could only imagine the amount of tech required to make walls fly and self-coordinate as they did.
As each wall partition landed, it sealed itself together with adjacent walls. It was as though fire welded the wall partitions from within. And as the partitions sealed themselves together, I ran towards the walls, hoping to once again cross over. But as I got closer, I noticed some of the partition joints dissolving, like the seal did not hold.
“This is my chance!”, I thought to myself. Slowly, I approached the walls, awaited my chance, and then I ran through!
Unfortunately, those who sent these wall partitions had superior technology. They had drones monitoring people who crossed the new border.
I felt something on my left foot as I crossed into the South, again. It felt like a slap, as I had lost my shoes in the confusion as walls descended from the skies. I did not know what touched my feet, but I ignored it and ran for my freedom anyway.
Even before the walls were mounted, I had never been to the South before. And I cannot explain why the walls suddenly made the South any different, or special. But I was now in the current South, and for the first time.
The former South had started a few meters after the buffet zone. But since the walls descended, all that region now belongs to the North. I was only a few meters into the old South when the walls descended ahead of me, turning the South I was then on, into the North we now know.
I Got In!
Now I was in! I was in the South before, but the walls descended before I had the time to observe and admire. Everything looked different, yet they felt the same.
The structures were different, but the people looked familiar. I moved around looking for refuge, hiding from those who sent the walls. But there were even more drones in the skies, monitoring the activities of citizens in the South.
I thought the drones were also looking for intruders like myself. And I was right! Suddenly, one of the drones changed its course and approached me. Then I realized what had happened when I walked through the walls on my way here.
What I felt on my left foot was a tag from one of the drones that monitored those passing through the walls. I looked down at my bare left foot, and there it was. I saw what looked like a white tattoo painted on my skin!
From the look of it, it seemed permanent. “That was how the drone found me!” I exclaimed to myself. I knew that I could not wipe it off; I could not erase it, I could not remove it. I was tagged, and now being monitored! I knew that it was only a matter of time before they found me, and sent me back to the North.
I saw a friend who used to be in the North but now living in the South. I hoped that he would help me hide until the dust settled. But he was of little help, unfortunately. He unknowingly led me straight to my captors!
Eventually, I was found by their homeland security forces! Damn! And these guys had superior technology!
First were the jet-propelled walls that coordinated and sealed themselves with each other. Then they had smart drones that automatically identify and tag non-citizens. The drones also seek out those tagged and report to their homeland security forces.
I could only imagine what else these guys had up their sleeves. And, how could the South have such technology that the rest of the world (including the North) remained oblivious to?!
It was so sad that my first day in the South was also my last day in this South. I was escorted back to the current entrance of the South. As I walked back though, I started to observe things that I did not observe before.
A New Day
I saw shops at the former border which were previously closed, being reopened. Repairs and renovations were taking place. I saw people painting, moving and arranging both new and old shops.
Somehow, the descending walls rekindled life around the border. It was as if they knew this would happen, and were ready… Waiting!
I knew that things were going to be different here on out. Indeed, it is a new day in Cyprus!