On May 28th 1970, I flew into Vienna on what happened to be an Austrian holiday. The next day I hitched my way out to the Czechoslovak border, crossed it and caught a train for Prague. To my surprise, aboard that train were three Americans that I had met in Athens two months earlier. I often ran into people in Europe whom I had met altogether elsewhere; but the fix was in on this rarity: in Athens, I had spoken to them fondly of Prague.
On arrival in Istanbul (early January 1970), I went to a nearby pension and contacted Cengiz. A day later he and I were in a dolmus (pronounced as dolmoosh), and off to find a place for me near Taxim (Square). Dolma is Turkish for stuffed, and a dolmus was a taxi whose driver had the prerogative of taking on extra passengers who were going in about the same direction: that is to stuff his vehicle. It was not only cheaper but actually much more fun than solo.
On November 20, 1969, I boarded a train heading out of East Berlin toward Istanbul. Beside me was a man from Japan who had days earlier advised me of making this particular connection. Continue reading
These events and those in the memoirs that follow have, before now, not been related to anyone.
With the 20th anniversary celebration of the toppling of the Berlin Wall, I reminisced twenty years even further back upon an earlier visit to Berlin in November of 1969, only to discover that I had misunderstood how that visit actually ended.