Friday, June 22, 2007

Talking of crazy Germans

The Berlin Wall may be long gone but communist East Germany lives on in the form of lovingly maintained Trabant cars and now an old-fashioned hotel.

"Ostel" takes its guests back to some time before 1989 - an era of ugly brown and orange wallpaper, spartan furnishings and Politburo portraits.

The hotel, which opened in Berlin in May, offers guests a choice of rooms in the style of the old eastern bloc.

The "Stasi Suite" is more expensive than the budget "Pioneer Camp".

The hotel is a former East German Plattenbauwohnung - the kind of mass-produced concrete apartment building that came to symbolise life in the communist bloc.

In the reception four clocks are another throwback to the "socialist" camp, showing the time in Moscow, Berlin, Havana and Beijing.

First as tragedy, then as postmodern irony.

Goodbye Lenin is a fantastic film about ‘Ostalgie’.

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