Moon over Berlin chapter alert and author’s notes!

Culture shock often centers around small things, or at least it often has for me. Living in a different culture is very different from visiting, as Dima is about to find out. Daily showers and using deodorant are two of the small things that add up to make him a stranger in a strange land. Meanwhile, plans are afoot to get him out of Germany. But Bill just stumbled over a piece of information that could wreck everything.

Author’s notes:

I often felt like a stranger in a strange land during the 5 years I lived in West Berlin. One thing that took me a long time to get used to was the fact that Germans of that day rarely used deodorant. Unlike many Russians, they were fastidious about daily showers, but to my delicate American nose, a crowded U-Bahn ride during the after-work rush could smell fairly “ripe.” After a few months, I stopped noticing.

I wanted to headline this chapter with a photo of a German travel agency, or Reiseburo, from the 1980s, but my search was fruitless. When I stumbled on the 80s-era photo you see now, I knew I’d found the right one. It brought back a rush of memories. That sculpture is just off the Ku-damm and not at all far from where I lived. I was a regular at the cafe whose table and chairs you can see in the background.

Alex Peach kurt gasbarra Esther Spurrill-Jones Kathy Lee Tolleth David Wade Chambers Jerald Cole neil chapman Fred Shirley Phil Stevens Cameron Wheeler Adam, Diabetic Cyborg Patricia Copenhaver Kathy Lee Tolleth Artemis Shishir Britt Rossman BFoundAPen Brindusa-Katalin Poenaru Alan Lee Ali Wyles Chris Cohlmeyer

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.