Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rainbow Warrior

Today is the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. I remember this well, and it makes me feel old!

We were living in Belgium at the time, so I don't really know what the reaction was in New Zealand. But I knew the French had blown up a Greenpeace ship because they didn't want Greenpeace to stop their nuclear testing in the Pacific.

The immediate effects for me were:
1. My French teacher kept on stopping in the middle of the class, looking at me, and saying accusingly in a strong accent: "Rainbow Warrior".
2. We were required, as kiwis, to get visas to enter France, and were only allowed to enter for 3 days. As far as I know, we never bothered getting the visas, and kept on driving across the border every fortnight (Dad was the church organist at an English-speaking church across the border in Lille) in our Belgian-licensed car.

This visa thing did cause a spot of bother for my sister when she went to fly out of Paris back to NZ. They accused her of being an illegal overstayer because of lack of valid visa and her French was too good.