Just after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the East German economy collapsed, widely expected as it happens, but hindsight can be a beautiful - as well as ugly - thing, eh?!!
Left with few options, I looked further than the immideate (i.e. 200 miles) surroundings of my home town Rostock and outside the box (i.e. what else can I do?) and found - wahey! - a job as an apprentice in a hotel in the deepest Bavaria - the PLB, officially known as the Prinz Luitpold Bad in Hindelang, near Oberstorf, the most southern community in Germany. I left my parent's home on 9 August 1990 and cut right across my Fatherland.
Life was hard on an apprentice's wage, but better than sitting around at home on the dole.
To cut a long story short, I soon befriended these foreign workers, mostly English-speaking students on their 'Year Out' between A-Level and University. We had lots of parties in the staff building called 'Freiheit'(Freedom) just behind.
That was the time I learned my real English. Two, three months and the language was there - but Boy! - wasn't learning the sense of humour difficult! (it poses a challenge to this very day, LOL).
Anyway, the parties we had were fantastic; this is when I first learned about 'Indie' and 'Madchester'. These tracks will stay in my memory forever...
Happy Mondays - Step On
The Charlatans - The Only One I Know
Inspiral Carpets - She Comes In The Fall
Soup Dragons - I'm Free
EMF - Unbelievable
Primal Scream - Loaded
The Farm - All Together Now
James - Sit Down
Stone Roses - Fools Gold
The Cure - A Forest (from the Remixed album)