Mel 1974

Academic Assistant
Record Company Promoter
Cultural Centre Director

JULY 1979: My Uncle Werner shaves his beard off and someone shows me his beard hair. I don't recognize my uncle any more. I am incredulous.

JUNE 1981: My brother is born. He is ugly and has a chest like a woman. My mum smells funny.

SEPTEMBER 1988: My father stayed in the West. I don't take the Communist youth initiation or Christian confirmation. I don't believe in anything.

AUGUST 1989: My mother, my brother and I escape to the West through Hungary after waiting for some time in the embassy. We lose our passports and most of our clothes in the fast river that marks the border. The Western breakfast provided by the Austrian police is wonderful.

DECEMBER 1989: The wall has fallen and I visit my friends in Berlin. It's chaos there and everything seems possible. On New Year's Eve we dance on top of stolen cars until a police van arrives.

JUNE 1992: During my exchange year in South Africa my Indian host father becomes so forward that I move families. I learn to appreciate my family at home and miss Germany.

JULY 1996: Moving out from home, almost-return to Berlin. Independence. I realise that you have to do the cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping for yourself.

NOVEMBER 1997: I know I'm going to meet him. I think there is a bet on, who is going to pull the first groupie in Berlin. There isn't. The encounter takes me to Switzerland.

JUNE 2003: In the middle of my mother's birthday party I have to find out what I already suspected. Now I have lost a good friend and have to decide whether I want to keep the man.

APRIL 2006: Yuri dies without ever really being born. Great sadness.