After 12 months of planning and 12 hours of flying, this is Berlin. I’ll be here for a month, learning German at school and revisiting the former East-West border city that featured prominently in my life and the life of everyone my age. My last trip to the German capital was marked by harassment from Soviet guards at Checkpoint Charlie, shopping at Alexanderplatz with black-market East German marks, a papers check by submachine-gun toting People’s Police on a subway stretch that ran under the East, and a somber visit to Spandau Prison, where Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess was serving a life sentence. The Berlin Wall has been gone now for more than the 26 years it stood, and much more of Berlin will have changed. I look forward to the surprises.