So where did we spend our first noon-day luncheon in East Berlin in the fall of 1989? In Alexanderplatz. Over the followings days, we spotted elsewhere a lunch counter where two young Czechoslovakian workers served us huge portions of potatoes (cooked in all possible ways). We made friendship, and before leaving we gifted them much of the “pocket money” (in Marks of the GDR) the organisation had given us. I just remember they didn’t absolutely want to accept it, but in the end we managed to make it happen. Instead, on our first noon-day in Alexanderplatz we patiently waited for our turn in the long queue of workers at the stall selling solyanka, for the joy of Alessandra (who doesn’t eat either meat or fish). The weather was frozen, and we were dressed in fall/spring fashion (because we left Italy without heavy clothes). Rabbits were jumping everywhere, and the inspiration was making our heart warm anyway. In the following years, we had been traveling a lot all over Europe and far away from Europe, but, curiously, we never saw so far the “western half” of Berlin.
Alexanderplatz, 1989. Photo © phillygdr.