I can finally start that religion I’ve been meaning to
I hope that I can encourage others to break out and not to question or limit themselves. If you have an urge to do something, within reason obviously, that is not going to hurt anyone else or yourself, and that you feel strongly about doing, why not do it?
My 3-month escape to Berlin was good for me, it met some needs I had, it really was beyond wonderful.
I also learned about Berlin and its history, I met both former Ossies (East Berliners) and Wessies (West Berliners). I met someone who’d been imprisoned by the East German StaSi for 5 years. I met people who escaped East Germany in dramatic ways. I heard that the politicians in the former East German regime were able to almost seamlessly transition into the capitalist system and quickly become powerful there as well. Unlike after WWII during the Nuremberg Trials, after the fall of the Berlin Wall nobody in East Germany was prosecuted. That was a conscious choice to speed up reunification and not open up a gigantic can of worms. There are a lot of scars and secrets in people’s pasts. The Berlin Wall is still very much in people’s heads, so they don’t mark it on the streets of Berlin. Still, the reunification of West and East Germany was a personally meaningful event, has turned out to be extremely successful all things considered, and Berlin is an emotional symbol to me as a native German. At the same time, I am very suspicious of any kind of patriotism and nationalism.
Many of us have a Berlin Wall in our heads and need internal reunification. Here’s my best advice: Do not dismiss or question anything that you are interested in. By all means, examine it. But then dive in.
I know I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to do this trip. I am still inspired by it, and these days I don’t have the urge to skip out of the country any time soon. And in any case, it probably should be Jeff’s turn next to make a break for it. Seems only fair.