Frankfurt - the sausage city and site for ...

Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
Trip End Aug 22, 2002

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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, June 9, 2002

Frankfurt - the sausage city and site for searching for lost traveling companion.

Upon arrival I had hoped to see a monumental hotdog or at least a string of cocktail sausages strung across the street. Unfortunately, the Frankfurt tourist board doesn't share my appreciation of tacky commercialisation of cities with amusing names. However, there was a large Euro symbol in the business district. It was nice, but I still think sausages are the way forward for Frankfurt tourism.

Email fiasco, communication breakdown and I arrived and left Frankfurt without finding Mike. To say my 24 hours was a complete waste of time might sound a bit harsh, so I prefer to think of it as an insight into one of Germany's less ostentatious cities.

One of the things I love about arriving in a city in the wee small hours is the opportunity to explore before the locals rise. Though judging from the noise in one particular pub, Frankfurt locals like their beer at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I overcame the urge to join the group of old men in the bar and headed for somewhere more scenic.

Rommer Square is one of Frankfurt's highlights. I would say the highlight, second only to the cafe I discovered later, nice shady streets and the red light district where one can be followed for blocks and blocks along deserted streets by dodgy men who would like to entertain at the "restaurant". Lonely Planet should really colour-code their maps.

The Square was in full swing with Afro-Caribbean music. Frankfurt is a strange mix of business and culture. Grand buildings overlooked by gleaming skyscrapers. The Square consisted of new buildings rebuilt after WWII. Another theme of Eastern Europe. Everything that was "old" prior to WWII has been rebuilt with intense attention paid to detail. Is this part of the rebuilding of a nation's sense of self, as well as physical recopnstruction? Is recovery from war made easier by rebuilding these glorious old buildings? Recovery from a painful period of history by reconstructing a proud time and beautiful buildings?

Accompanied by Shannon, an American girl also stranded in frankfurt, I headed to Kaiser street in search of a street cafe. Surprise, surprise, there were many and all had televisions outside for prime World Cup viewing - Brasil v. China. The scene itself was more interesting than the game after Brasil's fourth goal. Beefy mafiosos sat leather-clad and pony-tailed amidst the canary-yellow tablecloths and pretty umbrellas. They were as intent on their strawberry sundaes as the game.

Frankfurt railway station was my abode for the evening. A toothless old lady with angry eyes had sat near me and glared at everyone who passed - I figured I was pretty safe. The last train leaves at 1:30 a.m. and at 4:00 a.m. the super-polite guards come and wake everyone up so that the station doesn't look like a doss house. Or in my case, chase a bundle of purple sarong and orange backpack about the station until she stops curling up in corners like a hobo.

A prissy Italian gigola and his near-mute toyboy bought me breakfast. Pity fills my stomache, but I made my escape ASAP. Every conversation started with "I've been around baby. Computer hacker, gigolo, barman, I've seen it all. But I would never, ever sleep in a train station!" Good for him. I suppose he wouldn't get much work in a train station......

So I went, I saw,I even sent a postcard before heading back east. Didn't find Mike and rendezvous is still to be arranged.............eventually.

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