Friday, February 24, 2012

Sour Patch Kids: The Foundation of Friendship

They should have let us exchange students know that candy belonging to your home country is a certain form of invasive species.  The only difference between the two is the fact that the candy itself doesn't grow and spread: the rumor of its goodness and the rumor that you are the only person to get it from spreads.  I made the mistake of wanting to show Germans what real sour gummies taste like.  Back in October (yes, October) when I went to London I brought my first bag.  Like I thought, they were a HUGE hit.  Unfortunately, I did not realize that Sour Patch Kids are only available in the USA.  Not only did my friends search high and low in Germany, but also in London. They felt cheated.  I had exposed them to this new thing that they could never have again.  So, I thought, problem solved: Christmas would be a Sour Patch Kids event.  That only made the demand greater.  One friend in particular  - Julia - LOVES them, so I asked my mom to send me another package just for her.  I gave them to her Wednesday.  So far she has screamed, hugged me, told me she loved me, offered to pay me for them, wrote on my Facebook Wall how "wundervoll" I am, etc.  I am glad to make someone so happy, but today I had three people beg me to get them a bag as well.  All offered to pay me. Hmmm.... smuggling candy, eh?  Haha.

Other than my candy dealings not much else has been going on this week.  I got very sick after my Rotary weekend in Hundisburg.  Hundiburg was very interesting because it is in the old East Germany.  For those who don't know, after World War II Germany was separated by the allies into four sectors: the Soviet Union sector, the British sector, the American sector, and the French sector.  Berlin, because it was the capital, and because it was located in the Soviet Union sector, was also sectored between the allies.  The Eastern half or so of Germany was given to the Soviet Union, and, because so many people began fleeing to the Western side, which was much more developed, they built a wall between East and West Germany.  This wall was just suddenly built, both along the border in Germany and in Berlin.  It was so sudden, in fact, that some people left their houses in West Berlin to do some grocery shopping in East Berlin, and couldn't get back to their homes and families when they were finished.  Many families were separated by the wall without warning.  If that wasn't hard enough, the wall was also closely monitored by guards, who had the order to shoot any person who attempted climbing over the wall.  From what I learned that day, being shot by the guards was the best option. There were also electric fences, glass shrapnel, and dogs.  I can't imagine losing part of my family and being so oppressed.  It must have been so hard.   Here are some pictures of the preserved part of the wall and the guard tower that we saw.  You'll notice that the guard tower is located at the highest point so that they could see everything.  The east side of the wall is the one with the mud "pit" and the black things that make the 10 ft wall harder to get over (10 ft is an estimate, it was just tall).  There is also a barbed wire "pre-wall" wall on the other side of the picture that you can't see.  This wall would have a silent electric alarm that would alert the guards.  The other side is the supposed "west" side, but the other thing that the Soviets did was build the wall significantly into their sector so that, if, and I mean if, someone made it over the wall, they thought they were safe, but really they had to run 500-600 ft or to be safe, and they would get snatched right up again.  I can't even imagine.

I also have here a picture of my tour for the Europa-Tour :D More on that to come later.  Miss you all!


  1. Seeing the impact of past oppression, in person, is very powerful. With your love of history, I'm sure the visit to the wall had a big impression. I can't believe that you have become a candy pusher. Do you need a trench coat and dark glasses?

  2. It's so amazing you are getting to experience all of this first-hand. (But you already know that, I'm sure!) You couldn't pick a better candy than Sour Patch Kids to get everyone hooked on? C'mon. You sound like your cousin. I'd be pushing something filled with peanut butter if I were you. ;-)