It’s funny that he is holding a banana in his hand, because one of the most memorable things about visiting East Berlin a few years after the wall came down, was going with my friend (a lifelong resident of the GDR) to a little corner store where, amongst the cigarettes and snacks, they had bananas for sale. I’ve never forgotten my friend commenting on this. She picked up a banana, holding it as if it was a highly significant object, and told me that prior to the fall of the wall bananas were not available to residents of the east. That was the moment I got a feel for the momentousness of the changes that had occurred; to me, an American, a banana was the most commonplace foodstuff imaginable, but to her it was a symbol of broken political, cultural, and social barriers.
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