OK, I guess I’ll do this German-English dictionary style:
Ostalgie (n): Nostalgia for East Germany. A combination between the words “ost” (east) and “Nostalgie” (nostalgia). It takes many forms here. One of them is the Trabant, aka Trabi. The Trabi was the piece-of-shit little car that dominated East Germany. Because Trabis could hold four people and luggage — and because there weren’t many other options in the east — the waiting time for a new Trabi was often about 15 years. Here’s what they look(ed) like:
OK, maybe not. For all of the luxury here at the FAZ office, the computers are complete crap. Mine’s frozen up on me four or five times today, including twice while trying to upload that Trabi photo. Well, see here for yourself.
Anyway, bottom line: I thought they were pretty much things of the past, and occasionally collectors’ items. But I actually passed by two of them on the way to work today. I think one was a taxi — it was that particular shade of German taxi beige, and it said “Trabi Safari” on the side. But the other was a normal (old, beat-up) car, driven by a normal (middle-aged, German) man.