continued from 11/06
We were very snug in our big down covered bed. The duvet was so thick and the linen smelled like it had just come off of the clothesline. The things we remember...
We got dressed and found our way down the stairs. We were greeted by an English speaking German who said he was from Dresden. We were thinking that we must be in a makeshift Bed & Breakfast and the four of us were its only guests. The table was set and an older woman with a scowl served us each a boiled egg and a bowl of green sludge. We never figured out what it was and none of us were game enough to try it.
When she retreated back to the kitchen, we were able to look more closely at our surroundings. It reminded me a bit of my grandmother's house except the framed print over the fireplace was not the least bit reminiscent of the still life that I grew up with. It was a propaganda poster showing a cowering mother holding her baby and an American soldier pointing a bayonnet at her. Simply delightful to look at over breakfast.
The man said that he'd been there for several months and if we got out, would we carry a note to the West for him. Got out? Of course, we were getting out. I'm afraid I can't remember the particulars about why he had been detained, but I do remember that we agreed to deliver his note to the West when we went home later that day. He looked dubious but we clearly remember the policeman telling us to pick up our passports.
After staying a respectable period of time, we didn't want the woman to think we were ungrateful, though she didn't look particularly happy that we didn't finish our sludge. We went to the front door and began to put our shoes on and take our coats from the hanging rack. She said "Nein". We said, "Ya, ve go to polici--passport". She repeated her objection again. We repeated what we were doing in case she didn't get it the first time. "Ve go to polici, okay?", we said nodding and smiling. Finally she disappeared and we thought we finally got the point across but felt she was a bit rude for not saying goodbye. Just as we were buttoning our coats, she reappeared pointing a gun at us while saying "Nein", again. "Fine", we said removing our coats, "perhaps we should stay for lunch".
I remember that we were mostly quiet during the rest of our stay which turned out to be another 24 hours. We couldn't figure out what was going on. What a relief it was when the police came and escorted us back to the station. Apparently, they were drumming up an interpreter to take down a statement from us. He was brought in from a University--not sure from where and we gave him a full narration of the past couple of days. We signed it and were served sandwiches. We were then picked up in a Jeep (or a reasonable facsimile of one) and were driven by three young soldiers back to the boarder where we were to cross Checkpoint Charlie.
Our drivers gave us chocolate bars and oranges and smiled and waved as we marched across the great divide. Behind us we could hear the boys giggling but up ahead, the West German guards weren't having quite as good a time as we had hoped. In fact, you might say, they were less than happy to see us. We had expected to flash our passports and enter the West but it wasn't quite as easy as climbing over The Wall.
to be continued...