Notes on Being Back in Frankfurt

#frankfurt #ffm

So this past long weekend, I’ve been back in my old home of Frankfurt. It’s been just over 6 months since I left, but it seems like forever – and my friends feel the same, since they kept telling me about things that were happening before I left! “I’ve only been gone a few months!”

Here is a collection of thoughts and feelings I’ve had while in Frankfurt am Main. Some are good. Some are not so good.

Life in Frankfurt was good. It’s cheap here – my rent was just 350 euros to live in a shared flat, compared to my 530 pounds now, to live in a shared house with a landlady. Food is cheap in Frankfurt, and so we ate out sometimes even 3 or 4 times a week. Cocktails were also a theme. So it’s no wonder I lost some weight and got better skin as soon as I left. When I look down at my wobbly tummy, I think of all the burgers, beer, pork and other gourmet crap that went to building that lump of fat I am trying to get rid of.

I’d forgotten how aggressive and unforgiving German people are in public. I said this to my (Scottish) friend and she called me racist. But I think if you live here you kind of get used to it. It’s small things like bashing past me to get out the door, leaning over me to use the ticket machine before I’ve had the chance to put my purse away, and of course the walking in a straight line on the street, making it so that no one walking in the opposite direction can get past, and bashing you with their shoulders if you try. I have a whole comedy routine made out of that one – one of my most popular ones. Some people could say Londoners are just as bad but I don’t think so. They say sorry if they so much as touch you on the street, and the people being passive aggressive on the tube are rarely locals.

Pork is so good. I love Schweinshaxe (a big lump of roast pork with crackling on top) more than anything. So I dragged my friend to my favourite traditional German restaurant and ate like a (German) queen. It was amazing.

I miss speaking German. When I am in England and I hear German, it sounds terrible. But concentrated, and when I get the chance to use it too, I love it. I love that German is like a puzzle; you have to fit the words in strange orders to make it work. “Can I have a table” becomes “Can I a table have?” and then there are ‘put-together-verbs’ which you have to split up. ‘To call someone’ is anrufen, but you have to take the ‘an’ from the ‘rufen’ in some sentences. It’s an adventure in linguistics and I love it.

Frankfurt people are very different to those in the UK. Frankfurt is a banking city – full of people with good jobs. The vast majority of people are well educated, progressive thinkers. There was a protest on Friday night and my old flatmates were around to explain to me what they were protesting – it was to unify with refugees. Frankfurt protesters often are very vocal about humanitarian issues, and although it was so bloody annoying when the trams were stopped due to their activities, I am really glad that they do it. I look at how many people around me – educated, nice people – do things like share Britain First (an almost neo Nazi group) posts on Facebook, or come out with stupid things like “we didn’t fight in WW2 just to have Muslims come in telling us to stop celebrating Christmas!” and am really sad.

I have grown so much since I have been back. Not only that, but I remembered everything that made me want to leave. As much as my people in Frankfurt are awesome, being in a bubble kind of incubates strange habits, like cutting people off mid-sentence, or treating people badly at work or leaving people hanging when we had made plans. After everything that has happened to me over the past 6 months, I am much stronger and I no longer take any shit. I have a few more things to tweak in my UK life and then I will be living exactly how I want to be.

Of course, prepare for a post of all the things I ate in Frankfurt! Though most of the time it’ll be repeats of things I ate before – I wanted to eat at all my favourite places, after all!

 

 

Danni Made a Video!

You may remember that I made a video last week for my friend Danni, who is back in Frankfurt. We wanted to start a project where we made videos for each other, letting each other know what’s going on.

Well, here is Danni’s first reply! My favourite part is where Danni’s boyfriend reenacted a Frankfurt news story through Lego creations.

I hope you enjoy it!

Why I’m Nervous About Being Back Home

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So I’m back in the UK, in my home town of Bury St Edmunds. I’ve been feeling really sad since I’ve been back, which has taken a hit to my eagerness to blog and do other projects such as the YouTube project myself and my friend Danni are doing. But I’m trying to fight through the sadness.

I left Frankfurt on Sunday morning, at 7am, after catching a bus to Hahn airport at 2am. I was heartbroken at myself for leaving. Because I am really nervous to be back in the UK. For many reasons, which I will list for you here.

1. What’s up with this UKIP Stuff?

UKIP are a political party in the UK who want mainly two things – to be out of the EU and to have fewer foreigners in Britain. But, if we had a conscious uncoupling with the EU then that would mean that people like me wouldn’t be able to just hop over to Germany to work for a bit, but also that we wouldn’t be able to get so many awesome people come over. Not to mention, being free to travel where we wanted.

As for this foreigner stuff, a lot of British people are scared of this image of (mainly) Polish people who come over to Britain, “steal” jobs and claim benefits. Firstly, immigrants do not steal our jobs. Even if they did, it would mean that we need to up our game. When I was working in London in December, a highly educated person told me to watch my back because a Polish person would steal my job. If there was a threat of Japanese-speaking Polish people with native-level English then I would need to make sure that I have the skills to be able to stay employed. I actually know such a Polish person, and he is welcome to any of my jobs as he is frickin’ awesome. I need to be more awesome.

More people have been voting for UKIP recently, and they are no longer a kind of joke party whom everyone laughs at. I’m nervous to come back here just in case people can’t see the bigger picture and are easily swayed by the media.

2. What if people are just really crap?

In Frankfurt, everyone was pretty amazing – opening minded, not racist, not homophobic, not judgmental. In Bury, people are conservative and maybe closed minded and maybe they vote for UKIP. I don’t know. What if I just don’t like…people? I still have my old school friends here who are all super awesome, of course (they wouldn’t be my friends otherwise) but I hope I find it easily to find awesome people around me otherwise.

3. What if I don’t like my new job/end up in London and can’t afford to buy avocados and hummus anymore?

99% of the jobs I have applied to/have interviews for are not related to video game localisation, meaning that I’m probably going to have to retrain in whatever field I go into. Which isn’t bad, but what if I find that I suck at marketing or sales or team-assistanting? I guess I could just start again with another job. But what if I move to London and find that I can’t afford to do the thing that I want most in the world right now – live by myself. Argh!

All these things will iron themselves out, I’m sure. I’m also excited about my new life back in England. Tomorrow I have a lot of interviews in London so after those have happened I’ll be less anxious, I think.

And at the end of the day, repatriating myself was never going to be an easy task…

 

Maxie Eisen Cocktails

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Maxie Eisen is somewhere I’ve already blogged about before – for their amazing sandwiches. But there’s a ‘secret’ to this amazing place – it has a cocktail bar next door!

Back when the weather was cooler, the bar was closed up, and you had to slide the secret door at the back of the room to get in. However, this has now turned into probably Frankfurt’s worst kept secrets, since, now it’s sunny, they open the doors up and you can easy see and enter it from the street.

I was there with a friend the other week and the cocktails were just wonderful. A little pricier than the places we usually go to (these were about 12 euros) but you could see that the barmen really loved making drinks and that everything was the best of quality.

My cocktail had a Japanese theme. Sake and macha – it came out bright green! I can’t remember what my friend had but he was good and drunk by the end of it!

If you want to impress a friend or a date, I’d recommend Maxie Eisen’s bar. It’s also good for payday celebration drinks, like ours 🙂

Find Maxie Eisen at Innenstadt, 60329 Frankfurt am Main

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