Standing on the Edge

28 Aug 2011
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

Despite the fact that it ended within my lifetime, it's quite hard for me to imagine the craziness of the Cold War. And it's not like I haven't experienced its after effects, traveling through Vietnam's once ravaged countryside and trying to imagine a worse place to have a war. I know there are terrains that are perhaps as unhospitable as the jungles of Vietnam, but of all the people I've met, I would definitely not want to fight against the Vietnamese. Or living in Korea and visiting the line that splits the North from the South; one of the last real remnants from the Cold War, a country so cut off from the rest of the world I can't imagine what life is like up there despite the fact that I lived amongst their brothers and sisters for two years. 


And it's that experience that helps me imagine what I would have experienced if I had been in a position to understand what the fall of the Iron Curtain meant when I was four. I know if I woke up tomorrow and someone informed me that there had been a bloodless revolution overnight and the North Korean regime had fallen, I'd be shocked. And yet, North Korea is only one small country and despite it's posturing, I loose no sleep from fear of them blowing something up, even when I lived a few hundred miles from its border.


So when I visit places like the border between East and West Berlin I remember my trip to the DMZ between North and South Korea and imagine it bigger. And it's amazing what twenty years can do to something that seems so permanent, because unless I had Jordan spouting stories and facts at me about European history as we walk along its streets, I'd really have no idea. The biggest dilemma I faced while staying in (formerly) East Berlin was which bag of Haribo to buy.


Marisa, I enjoyed the unique


I enjoyed the unique connections you made after visiting such countries as Korea, Vietnam, and now so many of the European countries. It also makes me wonder what the world will be like in another 20 years. Will there be more stability, or less, especially in areas such as the Middle East and Africa.

On a lighter note, I'm interested in knowing which bag of Haribos you chose.


I don't know if I can find

I don't know if I can find the pictures, but I visited West Berlin on our Jan. '78 Bethel Choir Europe tour. We visited the wall, some of the sites, and I think sang a concert. It was pretty eerie (sp?) in those days.

As always, I enjoy your reflections and pictures.

Can't wait to see you guys in just 3 days!