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!