posted on May, 2 2020 @ 10:31 AM
I am an old[er] German living in the UK. As a kid we used to sometimes drive to the border in the Harz Mountain range and watch the soldiers of
E-Germany. Well we went for walks , but as they were there, they made for a weird sightseeing subject too. I remember seeing them on their towers
watching us with binoculars, sometimes pointing their guns towards us, and I wasn't allowed to wave to them [just in case].
I asked many questions and got the answers very early on.
It scared me that other Germans had to live like that. Incarcerated in their own country, not allowed to go on Holiday apart from communist places
Then of course we visited E-Germany quite a few times. My mum kissed my forehead the first time I went, as she was preparing for me to end up in
Siberia [lol] for no particular reason at all. Going across the border wasn't easy as only my brother in law was allowed to use checkpoint Charlie
[he was still hungarian then] and they wanted me to go by myself by subway.
Well, having a bit of humanity left, they saw that that was a bad idea [as I was still too young] and let us through.
I had 17 Marks to spent because you couldn't exchange it back so I thought yeah I am RICH!
This was 1981. I had a walkman with Spandau Ballet on a tape. 'Gold' will be forever my first trip to E-Berlin.
Starting with a Gogga Golla [their own soda based brown concoction resembling Coke only in colour], largest glass with all trimmings [ice] in the most
expensive restaurant in Berlin [Palast der Republik]. I thought that this would set me back a few Marks, but nope, the baby cost only 0.50 pfennig.
There I was with 16.50 still to spent.
So we went to the only Department store they had, and had to queue a bit before getting in. Then inside I was literally gobsmacked. where were the
I liked clothes, but all they had was one round clothes rack full of black rollnecks. They were over 17 marks though and I didn't really want them.
We asked, and were shown that modern fashion is one flight up. As we came upstairs there was a sign saying 'Newest Russian Fashion' and a queue of
about 50 people. all the way to the stairs. Was it worth it? maybe.
I checked, and there was no fashion, but a woman selling the sewing patterns for the fashion. Oh-Kay. That was out then, especially as the patterns
cost way more again than I had.
I turned around and nearly fainted as they had a tiny portable b/w TV on a pedestal with a star price tag of 'only' 10 000 Marks. I kid you
Looking around again, I settled with something like an alarm clock maybe, but that was far too expensive again. Impossible to get anything.
So we had ice cream. It was lovely I have to say, costing next to nothing, only the flavours were very homely. Apple, pair and gooseberry.
I wore yellow ballerina shoes and didn't notice that one girl had followed me for a good half an hour. She eventually asked me if she could buy my
shoes, any price. [You see the E-Germans had money saved a lot because they couldn't really spend it].
I didn't, because that would have left me shoeless and I have a kind of phobia about being barefoot in public.
We ate the nicest Sunday Roast ever, in a public restaurant [cantine feeling]. I said I'd pay for myself as I still had lots of money left. Turned
out to be 2.50 for a huge plate full of meat and veg and potatoes. So I still had far too much money left but I could see now that it would be
difficult to spent.
When I saw a record shop I went straight there but all they had was German singers and songs I had never heard of or some Czeck Republic singers
This was just one journey. I gave the money to my brother in law, unable to even spend a third. I also had E-German friends later on and their stories
used to scare me witless. They were Huge Depeche Mode fans [if you know about E-Germany, DM were a cult over there] but they had to listen carefully
to the music in case some 'good' neighbour would grass them up. Which would have landed them in trouble.
When voting time came round those that were 'suspect' for whatever reason got a visit by the Stasi [a friendly visit of course, with Koffee and
bisquits], where they suggested whom to vote for [not that there was much choice, [like in America they had two, which were both the same though] and
why it would be in their best interest.
Yes and parents used to put their newborn's names on a list for getting a Trabant [car]. The waiting list was so long that if they put their names
down at birth, they would get one delivered by roughly the time they turned 18. Not that they could choose. They would get a Trabant, colour,
hutchback or sedan a surprise [one of her friends actually received a pink hutchback].
As usual in communism, you could forget any service from plummers, electricians etc. The waiting list was a few months to a year. So sod you if your
pipe broke. But then, most people could fix their own stuff [had to really].
As i mentioned before, I used to be effing scared going there. The whole thing was so oppressive and wrong. I laughed [regretting it now ..big time]
when going to the market and all you could buy there were carrots, potatoes and turnips. One stall had a couple of Oranges each costing a bomb.
This brings me to today.
Yesterday we were queuing at Tesco in the wind, ordered about by some little hitlers pointing out the arrows on the floor. Prices hiked up for luxury
items such as rice £8 for 2kg packet.
But that wasn't even the worst.
Today I stood yet again in a queue in front of Sainsbury's. when inside a woman's voice over the tannoy told us that certain foods have been
discontinued [yeah I noticed, frivolous things such as tinned mince and onion or steak], outrageous things such as oyster sauce and other things I
regularly use to cook my own chinese food as all restaurants are shut and don't deliver here.
She 'reminded' us all only to buy things we really need.
And that was when some old fear started to wall up. I suddenly felt panicky as I recognised this fear. I had it back in the good old GDR, only then, I
could go back home. I was free.
No way am I only buying what I need. What do they even mean?
Potatoes, carrots and apples?
Milk and stones and sand?
I need Oyster sauce but Sainsbury's has decided I don't. It's luxury now.
Our boiler is well overdue for a service but there is nobody coming out despite us paying every month.
My tooth hurts but I can't go to the dentist, I have an implant in my arm [contraceptive] that needs taking out but the GP's is closed.
Not a biggie but I fear others are in greater need.
We are being told that this crap is going to go on until September. By which time a new flu season could start. Then what?
Of course there is no other way but to vaccinate everyone, every year, late for some mutated viruses that make the vaccination useless. Especially
when 35% of elderly people who had the flu jab are in danger of getting any flu easier and much, much worse but I fear having any evident objection
will not count. My body ain't my own any longer. Just for a flu with a very low % of deathrate as we know now.
And yet they want to keep this up.
I could take it if it was actually useful, logic and necessary. But it an't. It's counterproductive, depressing and absolutely inane.
...and with that, I feel for the first time that we are actually on par [if not in some ways worse] than good old E-Germany.
Lets clap like seals.