While serving in the former communist world, (or any part of the developing world, I guess) one must be prepared for experiencing injustice. Last night a couple of us had a tussle with the local public transit officials. First the lady (?) at the ticket window intentionally closed the blinds instead of selling us day passes. Great. So we will buy tickets at our destination. I inform the checkers of our dilemma and they say no problem. So off we go. When we arrive at our next stop, we realize that the ticket windows are all closed and I can’t bring myself to paying single ticket prices. So we pool our change and are able to buy 24 hours passes for those in need of tickets! Off we go to our destination. Later, the crew is checked by the ever present checkers who seem to be targeting foreigners these days and are always watching the adolescent portion of the population. Lo and behold, they singled our our crew and tell them, erroneously, that their 24 hour ticket was only good if they stayed underground. It would seem they though our crew was in possession of transfer tickets (these machine made tickets DO NOT look like normal 24 hour passes). So the leader of the crew wisely bought single tickets and off they went.
There are a couple of lessons here. One, if you are a foreigner, beware. If you are a foreigner who looks like an adolescent, watch out. If you are a female foreigner who looks like a teenager and are travelling with teenagers, you may be targeted. So be sure you know the deal, and be ready to think fast as our leader did last night. Don’t expect justice in an unjust world. The other lesson is this, the world is full of injustice and trips like our crew are on are a great way for people to gain an appreciation for those who are experiencing far greater injustices, like Aung San Suu Kyi. Check this out.
I am off to Poland tonight. Part of the journey will be to visit Auschwitz. I’ve been there five times before, so this time I am going to take along two larger texts I have chosen to meditate on as the team takes the tour. I might guess that I will have some thoughts for you when I return. I will be thinking and praying about justice and injustice on this visit to a place where the experience of injustice has been profound.