A unwelcome Guest

We have a pet fly. Perhaps I did not express myself properly. 

What I meant was, we have a fly living with us and who, for unknown reasons, has adopted us as her pets.

She follows us everywhere. But I have the feeling she is more attached to me than to my wife.

At first she appeared at our dinner table.  Every time food was put on the table there was a buzz in the air. This, no doubt, comes naturally to a fly. I tried to catch her many times and I thought I did so. I felt her in my closed hand. On opening my hand to release her outside, I could not see her. On walking inside, I saw her flying directly into my face to welcome me back.

After the meals and doing the dishes, she would be flying happily around my head assured I could not harm her with my hands in the water. Honestly, I do not want any of her caresses. She is a nuisance.

When I carry out the rubbish she follows me too. She flies around my head and shows off her acrobatic tricks. She never flies too far away afraid I could sneak inside without her. I can tell you, she is a smart cookie. As soon as I turn to walk back in, she settles down on my back.

Once inside she flies ahead, makes somersaults in the air and would laugh her multi-eyed head off if she could. 

After the evening meal and doing the dishes we usually settle down in front of the TV to watch the unfolding horror of the daily news. At first I can hear her buzzing around my head. Then she flies in front of the TV set as if to shout,  “Here I am. I’m here!”

When the Minister for Immigration comes on to announce, to my displeasure, that his Borderforce has stopped another boat loaded with desperate asylum seekers, our fly delights me by trying to crawl into the minister’s nose. Of course, she gets frustrated and instead attacks my ear.

Today we did go  by train to Sydney. We were hoping to get some relief from our fly. You won’t believe this  when we entered the train carriage she was already sitting on the windowsill looking at us expectantly with her beady  eyes.

I was  hoping to  take a picture of her. But she did not settle down long enough for me to do this. By refusing to be photographed,  she wanted to show the whole world how paranoid I am. I have no proof!

Once in Sydney I expected her to get lost. The smells of so many people would surely confuse her as she is just an innocent little house fly from the country.

It seemed to work and we were not bothered by her while in the city.

But as soon as we stepped onto the train for the return journey there she was again.  She was flying happily around our heads indicating that she was pleased to have found us again.

“Alright,” I said, “let’s go home together.”

“Bridge of Spies” – Glienicke Bridge

Today, 26 years ago ( on the morning of the 10 November, Australian time) the Berlin Wall was opened. Next day, Berlin Time, the old border between West-Berlin and the GDR (East-Germany) was opened at the border to between Berlin and Potsdam.

Sign on Glienike Bridge, today

Sign on Glienike Bridge, today

The sign reads, “Here was Germany and Europe until the 10th of November 1989 at 1800 hour divided”.

So it was astonishingly appropriate that we, my wife Uta and I, saw a film today that had that bridge as a dramatic backdrop. It was another story, from the time of the Cold War, that was told in the film “Bridge of Spies“.  Here is a trailer of the film.

As a former resident of Berlin, I’m not unfamiliar with the bridge. I visited her many times and the bridge was once before the background for a movie. “Under the Bridges” was the last German film made before the end of the war but only shown after the end of the war.

This particular construction of the Glienicke Bridge was only completed in 1907.

In 1986, three years before it re-opening we were visiting her.

View across the River Havel towards Potsdam

View across the River Havel towards Potsdam (1986)

The bridger with boadersign and guard's hut 1986

The bridge with border sign and guard’s hut (1986)

This really was the border of the Western world. Whereever you were in West-Berlin, you always faced the East.

This really was the border of the Western world. Wherever you were in West-Berlin, you always faced the East. (1986)

Today, you should take a walk across the bridge and let the full impact grab you.  In the middle is a line marking the former border.

This masrks the old East / West borderline.

This marks the old East / West borderline.

This the approach to bridge from the Potsdam end of the border. Today the bridge is the border beweteen the City of Berlin and the Federal State of Brandenburg.

This is the approach to the bridge from the Potsdam end of the border. Today the bridge is the border between the City of Berlin and the Federal State of Brandenburg.

And if you have made it to this spot, you are right in front of the beautiful cafe “Garage Du Pont”.

You can sit and ponder the history of the bridge while you indulge yourself.

 Garage Du Pont

Garage Du Pont

Here you can enjoy a coffee, an apple tart or a brandy  or all three of them.

Bon appetite!

Bon appetite!

The film is not only based on a true event, but it is also a stark portrayal of the American justice system. Justice is not always been done but depends often on people  like James B. Donovan  100 out of 100 for Tom Hanks too. The scenes at the border, in August 1961 when the wall went up, were just frightening to watch.

A few times I had to fight back tears as I saw how Berlin suffered.