Paying It Forward Behind the Berlin Wall

Dear Bay Weekly:

Thirty years ago, while living in West Berlin, I went on a shopping trip to East Berlin. Although I speak some German, I am not truly fluent. I call it survival level.

In the train station where I had to make the mandatory exchange into East Marks, I also made a visit to the ladies rest room. Of course there was a line. By the time I was second in line, the lady ahead of me was arguing with the restroom attendant. When she moved on and I was first, the attendant told me that the lady ahead of me had paid for me.

I didn’t know the lady ahead of me! In those days, one didn’t socialize on the other side of the Wall.

–Caroline Wugofski, Annapolis