October 21st, 2007

In Frankfurt

I was stranded in Paris for nine hours yesterday after missing my connecting flight. The layover was only one hour so I knew I would be cutting it close, but I lost the gamble and had to cool my heels in airport cafes and magazine shops. And if you have to be stranded for nine hours, Paris is not the worst place to be. I suppose I could have left the airport and explored the city, but I had no idea how far from the city I was and how easy or hard it would be to get back, so I opted to stay at the airport. It wasn't so bad. The coffee was good, and so was the little piece of chocolate and the baguette sandwich I had for lunch. Feeling antsy, I walked up and down the airport terminals in endless loops. Then I had a couple beers and watched planes take off and land. 

Finally my plane took off and I made it to Frankfurt. I took a taxi from the airport and the driver tried to rip me off. Fifty Euro flat rate my ass. "Fifty Euros? You're totally fucking me!" I went off on him (but in a good natured way), and he eventually laughed and sheepishly admitted that, yeah, maybe 50 was a bit much, and put the meter on. I ended up paying only 24 Euros.

When I got to the hotel I quickly washed up, got dressed up and headed out to The Cave, a goth/punk/industrial club here, where I was the first to arrive. I struck up a conversation with the bartender; she was really cool and gave me my first beer on the house and we talked for a little bit. Then a few people trickled in and I befriended a guy sitting to my left, Niels, who was from Hamburg, and was staying at his brother's for the weekend. He spoke English a little bit, (much better than I am with German) and we stuck together for the rest of the night, talking and running out with our beers to smoke in the cold. It was great to have a comrade; he was an utter gentleman and fended off more than one drunken slimeball for me. We took turns buying eachother drinks and trying eachother's cigarettes. I also spoke with a woman who had studied ballet for many years and was an amazing dancer on the dancefloor. I had three beers and then switched over to Beck's Lemon Lime (which has very little alcohol), so despite being out until 5am I woke up eight hours later feeling good. I haven't even felt a touch of jet lag, which is miraculous. 

I left the hotel this afternoon at 2pm and walked up to the Goethe Museum and spent a couple hours there. It was fascinating. They have preserved his house and all his furninture and things, and I walked through the rooms and got to see all the paintings and the chandeliers and everything. Every room had a big stove-thing in the corner to keep it warm. 

Speaking of warm, I haven't been. It's really cold here! I stopped in at a café for tea and cake to warm up after snooping through Goethe's house and did some people watching. There were some children sitting near me with their parents. It's great listening to the kids here because they mainly use words that I can understand. So I guess my German is at about the same level as a three year old child. 

Ok, time for dinner, a beer or two and then bed. My train to Munich leaves tomorrow morning so I need to rest and be up early.

Yes, I am having a very good time here so far :)