25 years. Unbelievable.
Everybody I knew who was born after the cold war started either thought all that would last forever, or we would all die in a thermonuclear catastrophe. When The Day After ran on television, it ran without commercial breaks after the nuclear attack.
No commercials—just think about that!
Here’s the closest photo I’ve got to when the wall fell (click to embiggen), either summer 1989 or summer 1990, I’m not sure, from Alcudia, Majorca.
Me on the left, attending to my regular after-work set (a cup of coffee and an »Äppelwoi«), Andreas on the right, my Swedish friend and co-worker.
Back then, I’d started working as an instructor at a sailing school in Alcudia, Majorca, usually from late June to early October. (Somehow I still managed to hold a job “at home” for the rest of the year and get my studies done at the university. Sort of.)
My closest friend on Majorca back then was a certified beatnik, Rainer, who’d been born in East Berlin but gotten out somehow, and who owned an ocean-going catamaran with which he’d sailed around the world for more than a decade, and who shared my love for everything gin. When we met again in the sailing season right after the wall had come down, we both talked “history” all through the night and got drunk as skunks. (Okay, nothing extraordinary here, as we’d done that numerous times before, but still.)
But it wasn’t until three or four years later, when I walked along »Unter den Linden« and right through Brandenburg Gate for the very first time, that history finally caught up and came crashing down on me.