There are these times – especially when adulthood seems to be overwhelming and I am supposed to pretend to be an adult among others who are trying to fake it until they make it -, when I reminisce the old days, when I was a child unaware of the grown-up world and its tedious complexity; when my deepest frustration would revolve around my aversion to the lunch my dad had prepared for me that day and my biggest joy would be Santa’s advent with his presents. I am inclined to believe that it is a universal tendency to look back at the past with nostalgia and think how beautiful it all was back then. This kind of nostalgia is the feeling that takes over when I see Sascha Kohlmann’s pictures of old gumball machines. I automatically have to think of my mom bringing me home after kindergarten and me stopping her on the way to ask her if I could have a gumball, which back then meant the world to me. What memories do gumball machines bring up to you?
I’ve been living in Berlin now for 10 years. Oh my, has my life been different before this city. I grew up in the East of Germany at the Baltic Sea, for the most part in a concrete ghetto in one of those pre-wall “Neubaublock” high rises. Back then the cities were quite children unfriendly with only few playgrounds. And those had practically no appeal as they were built from cold iron on concrete grounds mostly trimmed for athletic kids. No wonder we had to extend our adventures into the bushes around the houses and into the dark basement labyrinths of the neighborhood. We already had computer games back then, but there was no internet, no cell phones and no social media networks back then. A trip into nature was one excitement to look forward to.
It still is like that today in a way. The other week my good friend Chris and I went for a boat trip and jumped into a lake for the first time this year. So many childhood memories flashed back in that moment. Nature is too rare between night work, parties and fashion weeks.
On his blog Analoge Jugend Chris is taking a look back at the last generation of kids growing up without social media, digital cameras and a desperate force of self-expression. This week you will find a lot of memories of us writers of iHeartBerlin.de there.