Divided games

She grew up in East-Berlin in the 1970s, just about 50 metres from the wall. As a six year old, she knew something was wrong with the street in front of her house that ended at the wall, because it had tram tracks in it, but she had never seen a tram. Her mother told her that Berlin used to be one city, but there is a wall now and so there are two cities now. She accepted that as it explained why the tram wouldn't go to the wall any longer. She was into Native Americans in these early years. Very much. She had seen them in the cinema and she loved the idea of riding a mustang, being brave, and being able to read nature. And she loved her Native American feather headband, which was made of red and yellow plastic, but she loved it anyway. She wore it proudly whenever she could. At this time, the traffic was minimal, and so the kids from her neighbourhood played on the streets quite often. The street along the wall was of particular interest. One side was their side, the other was watched over by the border soldiers who patrolled along the wall. Once, when she played with a ball with other children from the neighbourhood on the street, the ball rolled onto the side of the street where the border soldiers walked up and down. It was scary. The soldier kicked the ball back to them, but he was so angry that the girl decided to avoid occasions like this in the future. Years later, when she entered university in 2002, she learned that children in East Germany preferred to play Native Americans and cowboys, while children in West Germany were more likely to play along cloak-and-sword stories. Putting that into the foreground of her experience of the Wall, it not only divided the city and the tram lines, but also games.