French customs post in this quiet
border village in the hills.
(above) The frontier with Belgium.
(left) This is attractive country for walks.
On the French-Belgian border, there's a little museum to the
men who guard the frontiers and collect taxes - Customs
officers. In fact, borders created livelihoods for smugglers
Before the Common Market, French taxes on tobacco, alcohol
and coffee were higher than those in Belgium. Smuggling was
lucrative, and fraudsters could be crafty in disguising
their contraband, and desperate and violent if challenged.
In the slump of the 'thirties, many unemployed turned to
this way of making money. Cars made it easier, and after the
war, it became almost a hobby....