oh frankfurt. where do we begin? first, let me say lewis has been an awesome sport at giving me time to write everything down so we can look back at our experiences. these posts take some time and i am thankful he is not irritated when i get in writing mode.
i suppose the first thing i saw (before checking in to our hotel) was a man with a cigarette in his mouth, head leaned back/eyes closed, unzipping his pants. nothing quiet like being greeted by a german man peeing on the street. not the first, not the last.
the next day, we woke up after 10 hours of sleep and decided “hey, let’s just walk around!” mmm, bad idea.
we ended up walking 4 miles in the opposite direction of where we wanted to be. the whole time i was walking i was thinking, “ugh this city is so boring, where are we?” i expressed to lewis my frustration (repeatedly) and was in a sour mood. i was not that upset about being lost as much as i was that we had not eaten yet. it was 3:00 pm (for you in the USA), 15:00 24 time. we had not eaten since iceland at 12:30 noon the previous day. i also acted like a duck on the airplane with some leftover pringles. or maybe that was on our first flight? any way, every café we walked by just had booze and/or coffee. which is fine any other day, but today it was not okay.
we finally passed a burger king but that was unacceptable because we are in germany and cannot cave to our american ways.
we left at 11:45 am (from our hotel) and it was now close to 4:00 pm.. without eating food and walking around in germany with no direction. we are in a residential area and all hope is lost. the reason we kept walking is in the hopes we would find something cool, but that never happened. cracking open our map was useless. streets like “grüenburgweg”, “konstablerwache”, and “holzhausenstr” – we were doomed. i cannot pronounce these nor read a map with these names micro printed on it.
we pass a little shop and walk inside. i look in the food case and see a wasp flying around on the food that looked like it had been there since yesterday. ciao. i was out of there faster than i had walked all day.
tensions were high and we were both hangry. hours have passed without food or water, and neither of us have wifi or cell service. finally, after what seems like FOREVER, we come across a cute café with food pictures. oddly enough, only one thing is on our mind: coffee.
we walk in and say “hello!” nope. no english is spoken here. lewis fiddles with his phone after connecting to wifi, googling “how to say ‘cream and sugar, please’.” he ends up ordering me a cappuccino (which i definitely used 5 packets of zucker with) and pointed to a crepe on the menu.
as i complain about how gross my cappuccino is to lewis, because he ordered me the wrong thing, (what? they are so strong!) we struggle with figuring out where to go. we eat our crepe with ice cream before lewis has the bright idea of getting an über back to our hotel. yay!
he googles how to ask the coffee shop woman for the check. when she comes over with her fanny pack of $, saying the price, lewis holds out his credit card. she shakes her head. great. he whips out USD (haha, yeah right!) and then we realized we are screwed. the language barrier does not help, either. now that we have had our share of caffiene and a snack, we both are thinking “ATM”.
he pulls up a picture of an ATM and she nods her head, and i volunteer to stay behind.
2 minutes later, i look on the table and see lewis’s wallet. NO! i hand her my passport for extra collateral and flash her his wallet. she laughs (thankfully). i run outside and look around. he is gone.
10 minutes later lewis walks in with a smug look on his face and grabs his wallet out of my hand. 3 minutes later he is back. that was fast.
we leave as our über arrives, saying “danke” more than once and waving goodbye. we are stupid americans. we end up laughing the entire cab ride home, high on caffeine.
if i got anything out of this besides a laugh and exercise, it was the fashion. men had on tailored business suits and shiny black shoes, a lit tobacco cigarette being their accessory of choice. women had on neutral colors, heels, and scarves. mental notes.
my eyes darted around the street looking for JUST ONE pair of shorts. i only saw four men this day wearing shorts. one man jogging in spandex shorts, another man who was wearing swim trunks, some dude with a mullet and multi-colored button up on the phone talking crazy, and the fourth man was lewis. i pointed this out to him twice. in the nicest way, of course. he got the hint.
when we got back to the hotel he changed in to jeans (by choice!) and we immediately exchanged USD for euros. we used wifi to make sure we were going to the right place and headed downtown on foot.
we first ate at “fox and the hound”, having a few drinks and some food to forget about how awful earlier was. thankfully the waitress was spelndid and spoke english. she wrote down points of interest and hooked us up with free drinks. the best part of this bar was the actual hound walking around who belonged to the owner. i may or may not have “dropped” food on the floor.
after that, we headed to the heart of downtown and ran in to all the shops, parks, and points of interest like we expected to earlier. the “tourist” side of town. gucci, burberry, michael kors all had security. ferraris, bmws, and mazeratis were all seen. it was amazing. men played accordians street side and shook their change cups and i observed more fashion. scarves, skinny jeans, the color black. sweaters pulled over collared shirts. i was glad lewis switched to jeans.
we had so much fun the second half of our day. no maps were needed, dogs walked unleashed next to their owners, art galleries flooded the streets. it was breathtaking.
we ended up walking over 9 miles today. i probably just burned off that crossaint from iceland.
we ended the night with beers (apfelwein for me), pizza, and smiles. i musy say on our way to pizza, i was verbally excited when we stopped in the european mcdonald’s. they had donuts and pastries and you ordered food on touch screens. the menu is super different, but we refuse to cave to mcdonald’s! (for now)