The kindness of friends

Trip Start Aug 18, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Sylvie's house

Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, September 3, 2006

Back in Aachen, I had to find out whether to implement plan B, which was to continue due east across Germany, or plan A, which was to catch a train to Frankfurt and visit my school exchange partner, who I have been too lazy to contact for over 4 years. The decision rested on an email, so my first stop was the internet cafe. Happily, despite my failings as a friend, she was happy to meet me again, so plan A it was. This meant one more day in Aachen, and then catching the morning train to Frankfurt. I abandonned the internet as a reliable source of information and went straight to the tourist information office, who gave me a list of campsites within 5km of the town centre.

Frankfurt was just as I remembered it, an economic centre with little to recommend it to tourists. Fortunately, I only saw it from the car window as we drove first to see my friend´s family, and then to her flat. Both of these were in the outskirts of Frankfurt´s suburbs, almost in the countryside, and much more pleasant places to be. She is now a nurse in Frankfurt hospital, and has a beautiful flat with her boyfriend. He is a carpenter, so their place is furnished for the most part with hand-made bespoke furniture. Seeing how grown-up, organised and house-proud she has become made me quite conscious of not being any of these things; for a split second I wished I´d used the money I saved for this trip to Get A Life, but the feeling passed.

In the evening we met friends of theirs and the five of us had dinner, drinks and played darts in a local bar. For all that our situations have changed over the years, our dynamic seemed just the same, so hopefully it won´t be so long before we meet again. In the morning there was more scrambled egg, spek, brötchen, wurst and cheese, and another packed lunch. German hospitality is not to be sniffed at.
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