RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
As holes were being bashed through the Berlin Wall for the first handshakes between East and West in early November, two dozen of us, Lewis and Clark College students, were gnashing our teeth in anticipation of our departure during orientation to a comparative program between East and West Germany scheduled to begin in January 1990. How shocked were we that we would be arriving in Germany with our professors to participate in the crumbling of the Wall? My first night delving into the fray was New Years Eve 1989. After arriving in Berlin I met three Germans from Leipzig on the Wall as millions celebrated at the Brandenburg Gate. We spent the rest of the night together exploring the city taking in the amazement everyone seemed to feel. We had dinner in a West Berlin restaurant and loaded our bags with champagne and beer. Ultimately our revelry landed us on the East side were we finally fell asleep in a Trabant. As the sun rose we scoured East Berlin for something to eat. After the bounty of the West the night before we felt the difference in our bellies. When we parted company I was interrogated by the border guards because my visa for the East had not yet gone into effect. What was I doing there? I explained about the mountain of glass that had already been swept up on the east side of the Brandenburg Gate. Guards at the checkpoint looked like they'd been up all night ... it was clear that like an iceberg in the open sea boundaries were rapidly melting away as the floodgates between east and west dissolved. I was released and sent on my way and for the next six months my classmates and I lived the euphoria of history unveiling German reunification.
posted 3 years, 6 months ago
view in context