I love riding trains in Europe. You never know who you’ll meet. Today, I’m sitting across from an intense young man, about my son’s age (he’s 33) who pulled out a notebook to write. Turns out he’s a young Swiss /Albanian comedian from Basel (our train’s final destination) who said he bombed during his first standup performance in Frankfurt so he was writing down his notes/thoughts in a little notebook with German writing on the cover.
I’d seen the same one in the book shop at the train station (I always get to train stations way too early) and wondered what it said. He told me it was the old Oscar Wilde saying: Everything is going to be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end. He bought three so he gave me one as a gift. Wise words.
He said he doesn’t write post show if it goes well. Apparently the crowd was full of women and if you lose the women right away, you’re sunk, the men won’t go for you either. He had 8 minutes to grab them. his favorite comics: Dave Chappell (the greatest, he says) and Trevor Noah plus two English guys and a Finnish guy. he’s only been at this for about 5 weeks (and has other game full employment.) He was also a big fan of Eminem. And had some interesting geopolitical views. He was very current on the mass killings in the U.S. (17 to date this year, he mentioned) and saw this as one of several signs our top dog status is drawing to a close. He showed me a sign with his name lit up that he puts beside him when he does his standup so I took a photo since he promises he will be a famous comedian some day.
Frankfurt looked gloomy when our plane landed. Grey and rainy. Didn’t help that we had to deplane down metal steps in the cold drizzle to catch a waiting shuttle bus. No matter. Lovely day in this interesting city. I hitched a ride on the subway into town with two American women who had bought a group tix that apparently covered 5 people. They were doing what a lot of people do in Frankfurt…a quick trip to check out downtown between international flights.
The Motel One Romer turned out to be a gem. And a bargain at 99 euro a night. It’s a very modern, stylish place, with lovely lounges, bar and dining area. Best of all the very nice guys at the reception desk gave me a room almost 2 hours before official checkin which was very unexpected and appreciated after a long trip from Chicago.
I dragged myself through the city, with jet lag mounting. First stop the quality market/kleinmarkthall a huge enclosed market with all kinds of fresh fruit stalls, cheese and sausages counters, sushi, ethnic food stalls. Not as stellar perhaps as the food hall in Lyon that we visited in January but lots of good options and local character. I joined a line leading to a small window where two women worked very hard serving sausages (wurst) on buns with mustard.
A nice young traveler from Hong Kong was in line too and we struck up a conversation with a kind local (frankfurter) who offered to order for us and told us which of the four sausages was her favorite. (The one with the yellow casing, which didn’t look too appealing.)
She said she’s been going to this window for wurst since she was a kid. I later learned the woman behind the counter who was diligently boiling sausages of various colors and cutting and peeling off the casing before putting them in a to-go bun was Ilsa. A local luminary. The young woman from Hong Kong and I found a table at an outdoor cafe to eat our wurst, sitting under an umbrella in the rain.
Romer is a classic old German area downtown with elegant timbered and stone buildings. Except it’s been reconstructed after being obliterated by allied bombs during ww2. I had some apple Weiss (alcoholic apple cider) standing in the wide brick paved Romer plaza and later landed at lovely Kaffeehaus goldene waage) https://www.goldenewaage.com/coffeehouse golden way)some delicious pastries (merengues, florentines) and hot chocolate served in a glass.
I walked a little through the busy shopping plazas and along the pretty riverfront then finally succumbed to jet lag.
Yes, I have only myself to blame for flying this odd airline again, after a fiasco in January with lost luggage (for five days) plus long airport lines that almost caused us to miss our flights from Paris to Dublin to Chicago and led to the disappearance of my watch at the Paris securitycheckpoint. You get what you pay for I guess. But I arrived safely in Frankfurt (via Dublin).
Still it’s not reassuring when three flight attendants cannotfigure out what appears to be an ancient entertainment system. After poking at the screen for who knows how long, Isought advice from an attendant who also had no luck with the touchscreen. Another attendant told me to use the remote hidden in the armrest, also from another era. None of the attendants could figure out how to use the thing, which is an ancient cell phone on one side and an ancientremote on the other. Neither work. I did find a barely functioning screen by switching seats. Terrible sound but at least I got a movie.
I get the impression from the attendants that this is an old plane that they don’tusually fly. Hopefullyit’s just the entertainment system that’s out of date…and not working. Ididn’tcheck my luggage.