Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


Old Polish tape-recorder (photo through

Old Polish tape-recorder (photo through

There are two things you will never forget, sometimes try as you might: the smells and the sounds that you experienced and that mattered.

The whiff of your mum´s perfume when you opened her wardrobe. Mixed with the smell of your dad´s winter-coat. The aroma of fresh and still hot bread from the bakery opposite the church (you hated the church, you loved the bread so you always went to the early Sunday service to make sure you get some). The strange melange of smells inside the kitchen cupboard with tingling pepper fighting for supremacy with vanilla oil and cloves.

And then the sounds… The steady warbling of the coffee-grinder in the kitchen. Your neighbours´ old ebonite telephone ring-ringing behind the wall (by the time your family got their first phone they had got red, green and see-through already). The water gurgling in the old iron radiator in your room.

Most of the smells are gone. So are most of the sounds. But thanks to the Internet the latter can be brought back to life.

Go to the page called conservethesound. You might find some of your childhood preserved there. I did. At The Online Archive for The Disappearing Sounds.

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