I was living in Cairo back in 1989, it was a very nice posting. Here I am on my terrace of my apartment in Zamalek on the Nile facing the vast metropolis. The view was wonderful. My little Dachshund Bundnie (Arabic for Brown Coffee) she was quite young then. She was born in Cairo and it was love at first sight, I got her when she was 4 weeks old, too early really but she needed a home and she would proceed to live 17 years and travel the world with us.
On November 9, 1989, I was at the Embassy in Garden City which at the time was near the British Embassy in Cairo. We heard reports of what was going on in Berlin. It was quite a surprise and at first no one really believe it, it was an aberration, how could that be after all those years of Cold War and stand off between the USSR and the USA. Surely we would soon hear that it was just a joke. But no the next day more astonishing news, I remember I wanted to fly to Berlin to see it, but I could not abandon my post. So we all followed (my colleagues and I) the news. Not really knowing what all this would bring, obviously the end was near for the rest of Eastern Europe, communism was on the way out. In December revolution exploded in Romania, on Christmas day Nicola and wife Elena Ceausescu were executed on television after years of terror and ruinous rule. What a year 1989. My Egyptians friends told me that when in 1952 the army officers with Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the Monarchy in Egypt, it was far more civilized. King Farouk and his family were given 3 days to pack their bags and sail away on the Royal Yacht from Alexandria. The King and his family were not really Egyptian but from Albanian-Macedonian stock. He died at 45 in Capri of a heart attack.
I would not visit Berlin until 1998 while living in Warsaw. Berlin today is vastly different and a great place to visit or to live.