Bicycle Teacher, The

Campbell Jefferys
In the summer of 1981, Michael from Perth meets Kathrin from Berlin. It’s love. It’s East meets West, and East wins. The place where we are born and raised greatly shapes our lives and opinions. To those in the west, life behind the iron curtain was horrible and oppressive. But for the millions who lived there, it was a way of life and they did the best they could. Some are now even nostalgic for it. Ostalgie it’s called in Germany. For Michael Smith, East Germany fills all the gaps in his own life. He’s happy there. He wants to stay. Everything is within his reach. And yes he’s very naïve, and yes he’s ignoring a lot of bad to focus on the good, but ignorance really can be bliss. That is, until the Berlin Wall falls. He’s forced to watch as his beloved East Germans give up their country for the west, for everything he had rejected. By unification in 1990, their country and identity is all but forgotten. It’s then that the lies are discovered, the secrets revealed. How does he continue?

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