and the consequences
When I stood at Tempelhof Airport in mid-May 1969 with my travel bag and 191.60 DM in my pocket that I had earned from slaving for weeks at my home town’s Jadedienst ship’s store, I knew that there was no picnic lying ahead of me. But what did it matter considering the fact that I was finally FREE!?! I found lodging in a Kreuzberg factory floor , near the famous Kottbusser Tor (Kotti). The residents were people from my hometown who granted me temporary shelter. I got fully involved in the alternative scene and got to know people whom I had previously only read about in the newspaper: poets , painters ,
At some point I decided to look for an apprenticeship as a forwarding agent in order to complete my professional training. I found what I was looking for at Schier, Otten & Co. After a year it was done: apprentice of the year! However, I was not interested in a job in the industry. I left Kreuzberg and moved to Wedding . In September 1970 I became a postman at post office branch 19 , later I was transferred to 12 . My goal was to get into second-chance education. With my admission to the Berlin-Kolleg (1972) it was done. I received BAFöG and was able to join the student employment agency TUSMA. Those jobs were well paid and mostly not too strenuous: tutoring, typing theses, etc. In 1974 I graduated from the Berlin Kolleg and began to study geography at the Free University of Berlin ( FU ) . I specialized in tourism and wrote my thesis in Sri Lanka.
I was an untalented student and it was foreseeable that I would not finish my studies in the regular time – goodbye BAFöG! What to do? What will I live on in the future? I received the answer during my first trip to Southeast Asia : start a trade in goods from Asia! It started at the flea market and ended on Berlin’s Kudamm , where we opened our first shop in 1983. But before that I had to pass the toughest test of my life. According to the motto: If it rains, it pours! In April 1983 I failed the final examination at the FU . That meant: punitive field trip in the Alps. In addition, there was the stress of opening the store and an exhausting shopping tour to Asia. When I came back from Asia, my mother had died. To make matters worse, the house in which I lived was being renovated. Which meant I had to move temporarily. The hardest blow, however, was yet to come. My girlfriend, with whom I had stayed for three years, had married someone else during my six-week trip. I was really amazed that my house didn’t burn down or that I suffered a serious accident. Hard times in Berlin ! At the end of the year I was back on top again. Never give up! Our shop was a great success, especially since we moved to Bahnhof Zoo . In 1996 I sold my share to my business partners and emigrated to Myanmar.