I've been in "the East" last weekend (and a couple of times since the fall of the Wall).
I've been to "the East" in early 1989, prior to the falling of the Wall.
I've been to "the East" (mainly East Berlin) during GDR times.
I've never believed that people could change to our system - remember: even their parents lived/grew up in a totalitarian system. [I even got a degree for that 'belief', in political sciences, in the 70's
Coming back to last weekend: the 'normal' citizen I've met ... is really actually wanting back the 'good old times' ("well, not everything was good, but ...").
On the other hand, many here in the "West" think, we paid too much - remember: we got 17 million new citizens from one day to the other. 17 million, who didn't pay a single penny/cent to our health insurances, social security fonds etc but participated fully from the first day onwards; plus all the other 'things' like new roads, streets, railway lines etc which catch the eyes of visitors ... .
It will last some more years until the full integration will have happened ... such, as Germans from the North or Bavarian fpreigners (
) like CJ and Thomas are integrated.
And I just want to add that most never have seen/expeienced the US-style capitalism: we -still- have the Free Social Market here, though a lot less than 10, 20, 30 years ago.