40 Years in Beer, Part Seventeen: Uncle V’s beery introduction to Bohemia (June 1989)
  West Berlin, 1989. Previously: 40 Years in Beer, Part Sixteen: In 1988, I had a slightly better year than Michael Dukakis. In May 1989 I gave notice at UMI-Data Courier, or whatever it was being called at that point, and packed my bags for Euro Journey III. Incidentally, at present the Super Bowl still maintains a comfortable two touchdown margin against me, LVII to XLII. It would be the beeriest trip to date, and more importantly, the last to be calibrated on Warsaw Pact time, hence my arrival in West Berlin with a stated intention of remaining in Europe for at least seven months, beginning with an extended stay behind the Iron Curtain. In 2023 Berlin is the dynamic capital of unified Germany, but in 1989 there were two Germanys and two Berlins, and they led decidedly separate lives. Bonn, a small city in the Rhineland, was the capital of the Federal Republic, known to us as West Germany. West Berlin as an entity was entirely surrounded by the territory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or communist East Germany, of which East Berlin was the capital. Strictly speaking, Berlin in 1989 was still divided into zones of occupation as administered by the triumphant Allies after...Read more