I am on a bus. I am in Denmark. The bus is traveling towards Germany. The tour guide is making jokes. “We are all Danes on this bus”, he says. “Not my husband” a woman replies. “He is from Fünen”. Danish humor. Fünen is a Danish island. Everyone laughs. I am not a Dane. I say nothing.
We cross the border. All the passports are controlled. We are in the EEC. That does not exist anymore. Some might have nostalgia for the EEC, now it is the EU. Not many have the same nostalgia.
We have money with us. The Mark. The Deutsche Mark. Denmark has the Kroner. Denmark still has the Kroner. Germany has the Euro. Some things change. Some don’t.
Lübeck is on the agenda. It is close to East Germany. East Germany disappeared 3 years before then. Lübeck is famous for Marzipan. I tasted Marzipan when I was a child. Marzipan is used a lot in Denmark. Some things never change.
The next day we are on a bus towards the old border. We cross into East Germany, DDR. The buildings are drab. There are no colors, there are concrete buildings, dreary, and lifeless. We cross the border again. There are no borders, no Guard towers, no guards. We are in the EEC.
I purchase a calendar. It is in Russian. A Russian Calendar in the BRD. Purchased with Deutsche Marks.
We are in a gift shop. Everyone speaks German. I ask in English. No one replies. “Wie viele kostet es?” I get a reply. In German. I purchase a glass ornament. In Germany, West. In the EEC. With Deutsche Mark.
I am on a bus, traveling toward Denmark. There is passport control at the border. I am now in Denmark. In the EEC. I have Danish Kroner. I still have Danish Kroner.
It is not 1993 any longer. There is not GDR any longer. There are not Deutsche Marks any longer. I am in Denmark. In the EU.
I am not a Dane. Some things never change.