Monday, 6 April 2015
When the Berlin wall fell, we knew it was over. All the dark years of constant fear and worrying had come to an end. We used to keep away, but now we could wander the cobblestones of back alleys, even at night. Touts had moved in, setting up shop and hawking in makeshift flea markets. I found one once, two young children selling wares, sharp knives, watches, heroin. Another man, perhaps their father, was taking a pick axe to parts of the wall that still hadn't come down, making fist-sized souvenirs for tourists. All of the soviet's power had come to this: relics and dust. He looked back over his shoulder occasionally, between bouts of hacking it all away. This was a new world we were living in. The 90's proceeded in a new way, without any super villains - the fascists were gone, the socialists had been routed, the world seemed empty of threats. Life became simple for the first time, until the planes hit in 2001. Until the shifting shadows of terrorism scared us back inside, to once again hide shivering under our beds. The optimism and spirit of the 90's didn't end with Prince partying in December 1999, they ended on a Tuesday.