Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Perverse Nostalgia (And Really Bad Eats) In Berlin

How's this for a "fun" night out?:
Tucked behind 10-storey tower blocks in the heart of Berlin stands an imposing metal gate marked "Border zone, restricted area", guarded by a stern-looking Stasi officer.  
"Permits, please," visitors are told, as the gate cracks open to reveal a border post with another officer asking for identity papers - all part of a live event featuring "Good Bye Lenin!", the popular 2003 film set in communist East Germany. 
Organisers of the show have brought the defunct state to life in an old post office, and for seven nights at a hefty €30 per ticket, visitors can taste life in the grim authoritarian state before ending the evening with a screening of the film...
But wait, it gets better (i.e. worse):
Along the corridors decorated with commemorative Communist Party congress metal plates and portraits of former East German leader Erich Honecker, Stasi guards whisper conspiratorially. 
In a windowless room, a secretary is furiously typing documents, while a fake grocery store sells Eastern products like Bautz'ner mustard or toys featuring the cartoon character Sandman. 
And at a restaurant run by East German train caterer Mitropa, the menu features just three food options - gherkins and two hearty dishes ubiquitous in the former eastern bloc - solyanka, a thick Russian soup, and goulash. 
They can be washed down with Club Cola - the former German Democratic Republic's answer to Coke - or a luminescent green Gruene Wiese cocktail or Pfeffi schnapps, a pungent peppermint concoction.
All in all, think I'd rather pass a kidney stone.

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