Since I’ve been able to travel from East to West, I’ve begun to take an interest in who it was who wanted Germany split and why: why the Left, the French, the Russians, the English, the unifiers of Western Europe wanted it; everyone in fact, apart from, presumably, most of the people in East Germany.

Of course, unification has become a nightmare, although not because its opponents were right: not the Left or the French, the English or Russians; and not because the chemical-workers of Saxony can no longer spend their time tinkering with dripping acid-pipes and are out of work; and not because rents are rising, speculators are enjoying a boom and mediocre academics from Western Wherever are occupying East German teaching posts: that’s all to be expected.

Unification has become a nightmare for me because the East, wherever it articulates itself in those terms, gives me an inescapable feeling of nausea. Everything has turned into nausea: my pity, my sympathy, my interest. I know I’m being unfair and I can’t do anything about it. I see it as a sickness and don’t know the cure. I call the sickness–an allergy to the eastern zone–zonophobia.

Berlin by Night
Halle by Day