I came back to Berlin in September 2003, and could barely recognize the place. So many street names had changed – all the communist heroes removed – that I kept getting lost. I had also become accustomed to orienting myself along the Berlin Wall. Ultimately, I bought myself a nostalgia map in a tourist store. It had dotted lines where the wall used to be.
I still felt a little fear when going to the East - still felt a slight shock when the S-bahn train drove painlessly through what used to be barbed wire.
And I couldn't help looking for the East Berlin shops I knew so well – the Marxist bookshop, the huge department store full of cheap goods and uncomfortable clothes, the half-empty supermarkets with mysterious products in wrapped in pastel wax paper. Now the old streets of Mitte, where I had met Robert Paris in the garbage dumpster, were filled with real art galleries.
The Brandenburger Tor, now open for tourists. 2003.