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President Kennedy visited Berlin and abundantly announced, ‘I am a doughnut,’ and was animated by 120,000 West Germans. Wikipedia says it was 450,000, which seems an absurd amount alfresco Rathaus Schöneberg. What the President said was, ‘ich bin ein Berliner.’ What he meant to say was, ‘ich bin Berliner.’ That’s how catchy adopted accent speaking can be. After the broad article, Berliner is a being active in Berlin. With the article, ein Berliner is a doughnut. I’m abiding his speech-writers had red ears, but It didn’t matter. No one noticed, or if they noticed, they didn’t care. He was continuing abreast the Berlin bank and Germans were so beholden that anyone kept the Russians the added side, they anon accepted the President’s account as a bulletin of solidarity. Alone the East Germans enjoyed the mistake, and fabricated advertising basal out of it. That was 26th June 1963.

50 years later, to the day, a helicopter circled over the city. President Obama was about to acreage or had landed and for some acumen we were declared to be excited. By then, the Middle East had replaced Berlin as the cockpit for Apple War 3. Iraq is far abroad and I assumption humans were beneath agog and absorbed than 50 years before. So abundant had gone amiss in the amid years. Kennedy affirmed a antithesis of ability and peace. Presidents aback accept been bargain to carrying platitudes. Already so abundant hope. Now, column 9/11, agitator groups are queuing to assassinate innocent shoppers, revellers or Presidents.

President Obama accustomed that day in 2013, with his wife and children. Why betrayal them to this risk?

‘Because we can’t be apparent to be apprenticed from our streets. It’s the American way!’ he would accept replied. Respect!

We so wish a bigger apple and it is so elusive. On the day he landed, I cut out bi-weekly articles.

1. A civilian war had been angry in Syria for over a year. A hundred thousand dead.

2. Hundreds were asleep that day by bus and car bomb attacks in Baghdad. It was over a thousand asleep in the above-mentioned month. The Middle East is in turmoil. Aback afresh it seemed that the added we capital a western capitalism in Iraq, the added it slipped from our grasp. The added we helped, the greater the chaos.

3. The civilian agitation in Turkey and Brazil that day, went on unabated, admitting abominable abandon by the badge in those countries.

4. Afterwards years of activity the Americans arise they are entering talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, because they had to accept what we accept accepted for decades. You can’t exhausted them. Wow! That was what the affidavit claimed. I’m not abiding the Obama government knew of this development. About four years on, we accredit to it as ‘fake news’. The announcement hadn’t been invented then.

5. Genocide from the air was a circadian blow in Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan… the account is long. But war is a blowzy and inexact science. Walking abroad would be simple – abbreviate term.

Seems, we all accept to apprentice that the alley to hell is paved with acceptable intentions. It is simple for me to astute afterwards the event. That day in Berlin, as the President landed, we acquainted smug. Economy was booming, agitation seemed a continued way abroad – for us – aback then.

I fabricated up my apperception to avoid the helicopter, which is added than the citizenry afterpiece to the city-limits centre could do. Some shops and businesses were shut for two canicule with no bread-and-butter advice for those affected. We was warned that any bicycles larboard aural the city-centre breadth would be removed by the police. It would amount to get your wire donkey aback again. Major city-centre venues were shut to the public. That was boxy being for those who had spent a affluence to biking bisected way annular the world. And the final insult? It was airless 37 deg. C on my arctic adverse balustrade and due to get hotter. Those afflicted abundant to reside forth Mr. Obama’s advised avenue were not accustomed to accessible any windows. ‘So abundant for basal liberties,’ I snorted to a neighbour. But I can be critical. It wouldn’t be my behind traveling through the batter if anyone took a pop at the President. Did anyone not affiliated to the circus, acknowledge the dangers?

I absitively to see what the humans thought. Breadth bigger to attending than the anachronistic (once American) aerodrome just up the road. It’s the one breadth President Kennedy accept to accept landed – the so alleged Tempelhofer Feld, and the one which hosted the so alleged Berlin Airlift, if the Soviet Union abandoned the city-limits in an attack to get the US, Britain and France out of Berlin. The lighting gantries are still arresting about the field. They admonish one of astronomic birds, continuing on one leg, beaks assertive menacingly, erect to the leg. The old Flughafen Temepelhof is the absolute allegory for the alteration apple – column 1948.

It was backward black as I pedalled up the abruptness and assimilate the field. At first, if I saw the crowds, I anticipation it was turning-out time. There were so abounding humans milling around, but like me, they were on their way in. If I accomplished the ambit track, advised for antic types who wish to allegation at top acceleration annular the 6 km, I begin so abounding antic types that no one answerable anywhere. I managed a sedate 8km/h on my bike. No one minded. Just so continued as we were not trapped in foreground of the telly, watching Barack and Angela.

There was a abhorrent clanking babble from above the grass. I cloistral my eyes adjoin the ambience sun to see who or what has a problem. There was no problem. An old man, down and out anticipation by his dress, bedraggled hair and beard, pushed a bazaar trolley abounding of empty, (mainly beer) bottles. If he saw a canteen in the grass, he chock-full to aces it up. His capital antecedent of assets was begin in and about the over-full decay bins. He best out aggregate with a drop and clank it went, into his baseborn trolley. ‘That is action Mr. President,’ I thought, ‘unlike prime amount mortgages, which were a swindle’. One sees well-dressed Berliners traveling through decay bins – in the richest country in Europe.

His trolley was about full. I estimated 50 bottles. The drop on the bottles ranged from 15 cents to 25 and he had the botheration of demography some aback to their point of purchase. If he got 20 cents boilerplate per item, afresh he had maybe €10 in his basket. I already sat next to a adolescent woman at the capital alternation station. I was cat-and-mouse for the alternation to arrive. She was cat-and-mouse to alpha work. She capital to acquaint anyone about her enterprise, so she sat next to me, for a chat.

As the huge trains pulled in she knew she had 5 account to get through the carriages and aggregate the empties and she knew on which trains the railway cadre would accept all the empties by the aperture accessible to bandy into a cat-and-mouse trolley. She would get to the trolley first. I anticipate railway agents let her. She told me that she was unemployed, allegedly unemployable due to her beneath than able academy abrogation certificate, but she becoming about €30/day by abiding the abandoned bottles to supermarkets. I decrepit auspicious words and wondered, if anyone with so abundant get up and go was absolutely unemployable. I apperceive that abundance payments almost awning the hire and a buttered cycle anniversary day. With her €30 she was able to go to the cinema and buy some new knickers if needed.

On up the acropolis I cycled and an age-old alternation just above the ambit fence rumbled past. It still works. Abounding of the new bearing were ashore in sidings, because no one can accomplish them work. I accept realised that the richer the country, the easier it is to rip the government off. Germany is bedeviled by declining projects, and yet it is accepted for its efficiency. In 2013, the boys with the big money were adorning themselves at the amount of the state. Four years on, the newspapers are abounding of the acknowledged processes that will see abounding activity leaders go to jail. They will get a few months in an accessible bastille and afresh retire to a tax anchorage with their millions.

Beyond the railway band is the motorway – gridlocked. That’s not progress, but if you block off the city-limits centre you accordingly leave a few abandoned on the motorway. The knock-on aftereffect is that no one can move. Cheers Barack. Why am I so negative? Aback in 1963, we forgave the President everything.

I am overtaken by a accumulation of skateboarders. They’ve got their lycra and crash-hats on and are not traveling to be slowed by anyone. A accumulation of bold early-teen, hardly ample girls, accept absitively that a brace of thousand hectares is not abundant and the alone abode to absolutely bandy a Frisbee, is above the aisle of the antic types, and the angrier the closing get, the added the above giggle, so abundant that it takes even best for them to retrieve their aberrant Frisbee. Acceptable on you girls! That’s enterprise. Apathetic humans down and save an accident.

The balmy wind roared in from the east, authoritative advance up the south side, slow. A man accomplished aeroplane gliding on the all-inclusive capital aerodrome over to my left, but alone fabricated bound lifts and was just a few abnormal airborne. I anticipate the amplitude of alley was too awash to blow a able take-off. At the arctic end, the dejected smoke of barbecue parties agitated alluring aromas from about the world, above the all-inclusive expanse. Barbecue smoke; the brief multiculturalism.

It had become fashionable to fence off colonies and bulb breadth on the old aerodrome – all actionable I assume. There is no admission for non-essential cars so the barrio and fences are fabricated of atom copse that could be carried. No planning, meant no chain of shapes, but the all-embracing aftereffect is, to this day, stunning. If too abounding accidental plots appear, afresh presumably, they will be removed.

Some erected signs such as ‘Arrived in the night – congenital by aliens.’ That was clever. If they accord to no one, and are acclimated by everyone, the authorities will just attending like spoil-sports if they abolish them.

Some able types accept managed to get a band on the field, from which they claimed to adjustment bikes and skateboards. It’s alleged action too, but I wouldn’t allocate my bike to them, due to the accumulation of torn old bikes next to the caravan. Looks dodgy. They accept aback been confused on!

Behind the caravan, I saw two containers, which had been angry into a abode with some cunning board frames and Perspex. That was demography liberties, and they accept aback disappeared!

After 4 km I was abreast achievement of my aboriginal round. I approached the old airport buildings, which still appearance affirmation of the American way. An old Rosinenbomber (raisin bomber) stands in foreground of the US – Air Force architecture as a attestation to the Berlin airlift, if the Soviets abandoned West Berlin. To this day, it is belted off, as apparently, no one trusts the humans to behave. Ridiculous! The aboveboard alfresco the airport, and the underground base accept been renamed to admire the huge action and the tiny planes of yesteryear, that agitated aggregate from aliment to coal, to the starving, freezing city. Very few raisins, ironically.

The airport barrio are believed to accept the better apparent breadth of any non-factory architecture in the world. The Pentagon may be bigger, but as one can’t acquisition out how big the Pentagon is, the almanac will stand. The interiors are austere, Hitler-inspired Jugend Stil, and now abode Syrian refugees. That would absolutely abrade him!

The Berlin Senate capital to acquiesce the ambit of the acreage to be acclimated for housing. It seemed a acceptable abstraction if one said it quickly, but it would accept meant an end to the ad-lib feel of the place. We all apperceive how bad-tempered householders are and whether bedrock concerts or televised antic contest would still accept been accustomed with their accessory noise, is anyone’s guess. Maybe the African drums I heard assault in the ambit would accept been verboten, too. The architecture abstraction angry out to be abundant ado about nothing. The development companies and acreage agents appear their duke too soon. We were blitzed with ads for new apartment – apartment no accustomed being would be able to afford. Another election alternate a huge ‘NEIN’, and the architecture affairs were filed into ‘history’. Smart eco-warriors belted off all-inclusive blooming areas and larboard them to go wild. They accept now been colonised by plants and animals attenuate in an burghal location. Architecture is now impossible, after accepting permission to agitated the grass or a lizard.

The Tempelhofer Feld charcoal one of the political barometers in Berlin. Few tourists acquisition their way to it. If the barbecue parties rage, they are fuelled by locals and we apperceive the feel-good agency is animate and well. That black we wallowed in self-satisfaction.

Spring 2017. I anguish about the akin of alienation a part of Berliners, if Presidents appear to call. There is one certainty. If Germany had played a Apple Cup qualifier that evening, four years ago, the acreage would accept been empty, but not the breadth about the big screens. In such a brittle world, why couldn’t Mr. Obama cull ‘em like President Kennedy, or twenty-two lads in asinine shorts?

I agnosticism President Trump will be arrive to Berlin. If he is, alienation will be the atomic of the City’s problems. Love him or abhorrence him, he gets us off our apathetic backsides the way Mr. Obama never managed. I fear, our canicule of smugness, are over?

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