Berlin revisited (but not actually revisited, although... anyway...)

I've posted abut this before but here's a story I don't mind repeating.

Twenty nine years ago a friend I was working with asked me what I was doing tomorrow. I said, 'working" and she suggested something else.

Something else turned out to be getting up horrifically early in the morning, driving to the airport and flying to Berlin.

We arrived in time for breakfast and, with some local knowledge, made our way to a section of the wall. We joined the many people who were chipping, pulling and otherwise vandalising this monument of separatism and toxic politics. We managed to make some serious holes and shook hands with the border guards on the other side who, weeks or possibly days before, would have shot us.

At some point later we went to a cafe for food and drink. My grasp of German was much better then and I could overhear the locals worrying that their jobs would soon be taken by those from the East. Everyone else, mostly foreigners like us, was talking about the joys of re-unification. After lunch we explored the city some more went back to the wall, to get told off by the western police.

When we finally left I had a chunk of the wall in my pocket which I treasured until one of my children accidentally lost it.

Since then I've been back to Berlin to work and hope to return again soon. On my last visit I stayed for a lot longer and got to know the place much better. Every time the anniversary of the wall coming down is mentioned I think of those visits, of good times and of the vastly better state of affairs when we don't build walls.

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