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In 1995 Berlin, after a woman he has spent the night with leaves his apartment abruptly after he has made her breakfast, Michael Berg watches a Berlin U-Bahn pass by, setting up a Flashback (narrative) to a tram in 1958. In the flashback, as a 15-year-old boy, Michael feels sick while wandering the streets. Pausing nearby an apartment building he vomits. Hanna Schmitz, a tram Conductor (transportation) returning home, cleans him up and helps him return home. Michael, diagnosed with scarlet fever, recuperates at home, and once recovered, he visits Hanna with flowers to thank her.

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