By August 2008, we had left Voikovskaya and moved into a wooden dacha in the artists' colony of Sokol in north-west Moscow. The house was a haven amid the madness of the city: lily of the valley grew near our front gate, Virginia creeper decked the green picket fence. .
I left Kurdistan in April 2003 with the peshmerga, following their excited advance as Saddam's forces crumbled. First Kirkuk, then Mosul - where looters broke into the city museum and seized its Parthian sculptures - then Tikrit. I reported from Baghdad in month-long stints until the end of 2004. .
Notionally a left-wing movement, the Anti-Germans were born after the collapse of the Berlin wall. While most Germans rejoiced at the end of the Cold War, the Anti-Germans feared that a united Germany might lead to a fourth Reich - and a return of anti-Semitism. .
My four years in Russia end, then, in dramatic fashion: with a textbook Soviet-style expulsion. I am the first western staff correspondent to suffer this fate since the end of the Cold War. I'm stunned. But my expulsion is not, I reflect, a surprise. It's something I have always accepted as a real, if far-fetched, possibility. .
Germany's hierarchical reverence for seniority may have something to do with the fact that everything here happens relatively late. Germans start school at six, graduate in their late 20s, and get their first proper jobs in their 30s. Adolescence can go on a long time. It is rare for anyone to achieve responsibility before their 50s. .
My journalistic mission was straightforward: to await the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Nobody knew quite when this would be. But the diplomacy - the meetings in the U.N. security council, the allegations about weapons of mass destruction, the martial language of Tony Blair and George W. Bush - all suggested a war was brewing. .
When I first began visiting West Germany in the early 1980s, I was startled by the contrast between Birmingham, where I went to school, and affluent Cologne. My host family, the lovely Schumachers, always had an opulent array of grapes on the table; they were better dressed than anyone I knew in Britain. .
By August 2008, we had left Voikovskaya and moved into a wooden dacha in the artists colony of Sokol in north-west Moscow. The house was a haven amid the madness of the city: lily of the valley grew near our front gate, Virginia creeper decked the green picket fence. .
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