The good old days
In Germany over the weekend, about 2,000 “car enthusiasts” met to celebrate the 50th birthday of the infamous Trabant, according to media reports.
As you may recall, the Trabant was not so much a car as a lawn mower on wheels.
Made of plastic, the smoke-belching contraptions had a two-stroke engine, barely any acceleration power, came in just two models and were, to quote that old line, unsafe at any speed.
A classic example, I hear you say, of Communist innovation at its very best.
And to get their hands on a brand new Trabant, East Germans had to wait for up to 10 years, assuming of course, they could prove they were more or less exemplary citizens.
A bad mark on your Stasi file and goodbye Trabant.
Still, nearly two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it would appear that there are some East Germans still nostalgic for the good old days when the Trabants (and the secret police) reigned supreme.
Like Joachim Futter, a car enthusiast who told The International Herald Tribune that while things were not perfect in the old German Democratic Republic, society “was a lot closer then”.
“You actually talked to people when you went shopping for groceries," Herr Futter said.
Nostalgia. They don’t make it like they used to.