It was the rough nineties, I was young, wanted to get out of Amsterdam, which was suffocating to me, where everything was regulated, and in Berlin it was the real rough freedom. What attracted was the no-man’s-land between the past and the future, between the lost GDR and the FRG that had not yet arrived in the East, the defeat of state socialism with their gloomy living silos, wide boulevards and Landwirtschaftliche Produktions Genossenschaften.
On the other hand was the world of pizza and porn, the capitalist West with the Mercedes star on top of the Europa-Center at Bahnhof Zoo, the station behind which the junkies like Christiane F. lived. Hundreds of thousands of houses were empty, you hardly paid rent, and life was cheap and very interesting.
Helmut Kohl fell and the green-left German government had not yet arrived in the city with their thousands of officials and lobbyists. In retrospect, this time of Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen, the motto of the first Love Parade, was a wonderful time. It was poor, but very sexy!
Rob is a Dutch journalist and writer. He works for various Dutch, Belgian and German media and is a correspondent for the daily newspaper for de Telegraaf in Berlin.