Cead Mile Failte !

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Monday, November 9, 2009

11/9: The Fall of the Berlin Wall- 20 years ago

Apologies if I digress one more time; I'll get on with the farming life without delay, promised!
But this historical landmark just happened before our move to Ireland and the political situation in Germany in the years before had influenced our decision to escape to Ireland.

Ask any American where they were on 9/11, they will now. On 9 Nov, 1989 I was physically absent from Germany, was on a 2 weeks’ vacation playing golf in Tunisia by myself. I was also mentally elsewhere for the months leading up to the events because I had life changing drama going on in my own little world. We were on the cusp of emigrating to Ireland in early 1990. A decision favored and initiated by my then husband, me only willy-nilly supporting the idea and undergoing therapy to get used to this involuntary change in our lifestyle. My now Ex and his mother stayed back in Germany minding our 2 and 5 year olds so that this mother could recharge her batteries and find some peace in herself.
The resort of Port –El-Cantao provided enough distraction, sun, beach, food, and golf. My hotel didn’t have a TV in the room and this was during pre Internet days. What I gleaned from the news in the noisy lounge bar was unfathomable: Hungarian and Czechoslovakian borders had opened to let Eastern Germans leave their country. Calling my husband back in the Fatherland, he was equally doubtful. We both watched developments anxiously. Mrs. Thatcher would rather give up Northern Ireland and let it reunite with Ireland than that the Soviets would tolerate this insurrection and not intervene, was our reasoning. They had done that before in Prague in 1968 and suppressing Hungarian liberation attempts in 1956. Another evening, I fearfully suggested to come home directly to have the family back together at least.
“Let’s watch on TV if there are Russian troop movements, you from there in Tunisia, and we from here. If they are sending tanks west, don't bother to come back to Germany -then it’s time to reconvene in Ireland“, our new home where we had bought a farm a few years back and to which we would move soon in 1990. Maybe sooner now....“The Americans won’t just stand by and watch on.” It had all the trimmings of an escalation. In the 80s, we felt like living on a powder keg during the armament race during the Cold War anyway. That had led us into buying the escapist farm.

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