I was Gratiano, Bassanio’s pal
in The Merchant of Venice. He ends the play
with an obscene pun. We were an ensemble
of drama teachers performing the piece
in English at Rüsselsheim’s Stadttheater,
the year after the Wall came down – so the pun
was probably lost somewhere in translation.
We were a couple of hours from the border.
One of our group became ill. The doctor,
treating her in the hostel where we stayed,
thought at first she was an ‘Ossie’.