The Train

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It was a weekend that had had a lot of football in it. I didn’t know much about it, but I heard the people cheering from the boy’s apartment – he lives in the “party” area of town, where there are lots of hen parties and people just going out getting drunk.

The walk to the nearest station had been tricky all weekend – there were more rowdy people in the streets than normal and the amount of graffiti on the shops’ walls in the area had doubled overnight.

I was getting a Sunday afternoon train back home, and the walk to the station wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I ducked past a group of 6 women in tutus taking photos with young boys who were leering at their breasts.

Getting on the train I managed to find 4 seats free so I sat in the corner. At the next stop, however, there was a large group of football fans – mainly men – that got on the train and were followed up by a couple of policemen.

They piled in around me. One young lad of about 18 sat next to me, making his friend nudge him and shout “waaay heeeeey!!!” Opposite me sat another young guy with his girlfriend.

“Offenbach!! Offenbach is shiiiiiiiit!!!” shouts one guy sat in the next set of seats. “Offenbach is shiiiiit!” reply all the other fans. A couple of men start a song to the tune of Waltzing Matilda, and they start bouncing up and down to the tune as everyone joins in.

Another guy in the next set of seats has the loudest voice of those around me. He seems to be really caught up in the excitement and is yelling at the top of his lungs. He also gets up to bounce to Waltzing Matilda, but then shouts “Kassel!!! Kassel is shiiiiiiiiit!”

No one replies with yells as they did with Offenbach. One thing Frankfurters can unite with is their dislike for neighbouring Offenbach, but apparently Kassel is spared the same loathing. The guy looks embarrassed and sits back down. More shouting starts and so he soon perks up when he can join in again.

While the shouting is going on, the girlfriend opposite me is wincing at the noise. We catch each others’ eye and give a look of understanding – “yeah, these guys are morons”.

Luckily the train pulls into the main station and the football fans and I go our separate ways. The girl and I nod at each other one last time – “good luck with those guys”. And she is gone in the jumping, yelling crowd.

Piknickbank, Frankfurt (omg is that hummus?)

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We had a busy Saturday running around town buying toasters and things to cook that evening. We planned a lovely lunch at Piknickbank, a Moroccan cafe/restaurant we went past once, and it was the perfect end to a busy afternoon.

The place itself is like a back-to-front Tardis – it’s much smaller on the inside than it seemed from the outside. Luckily we got the last table for two but other people were made to wait in the rain for tables.

The waitress was fairly aloof but she replied to our German in German and so she was all right by me.

I had the large Piknick Teller which wasn’t quite as large as I had imagined, but still filled me up. Boy had the vegetarian tajine and though he said I had ordered the best thing, his meal was very good too (though had hidden olives! Grown-up food alert!!) My hummus was lovely and the carrots were so good I am going to try to recreate them at home next week!

The other people there were surprisingly not young hipsters, but older, middle class groups. I don’t know what it says about the place but it was interesting anyway!

I hope to go there again soon – we both said we wanted to try all the things on the menu.

You can find Piknickbank at Weißadlergasse 7, 60311 Frankfurt am Main

New!

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I thought it would be nice to include some little drawings on this blog and I also needed a new mobile so I have a swish big one that also allows me to do little doodles. I’m just getting started on it but hopefully you’ll enjoy this kind of thing too!

And I hope it’ll encourage me to do more posts because I seem to be lagging recently…

Thoughts on Smoking

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I was with a friend trying out a new burger restaurant in town. It was a gorgeous day, so we sat outside. The restaurant serves healthy burgers and really wholesome food. My veggie friend and I were looking forward to a really nice dinner.

We were sat on benches, across the table from each other. Just after we’d ordered our food, we noticed some young girls looking for a place to sit, then pointing at our table. We motioned for them to come and join us, so they did.

The food was delicious and I was taking my sweet time. However, towards the end of my meal, one of the girls lit up a cigarette and started smoking. I looked over to her and said “I’m still eating. Would you mind not doing that right now please?” They are giggled and bitched in German under their breath.

To my annoyance, the second I put my knife and fork down to finish, they lit up again. I was so angry.

People here just don’t think it’s rude or gross or bad at all to light up around people eating. It affects the taste for me – after all, taste is whatever % smell, right? But it happens so often here. Back in Japan, too, it wasn’t uncommon to have people smoking at the next table along from you. I always put it down to Japanese men being stubborn because most of the time it’s men and not women who smoke.

Germany has this super clean and conscientious image but when it comes to smoking it can be pretty behind the times. A lot of great bars in Frankfurt are let down by there being smokers there. And the one thing I miss the most about British life is being able to go out for a drink and not having stinking jeans and hair afterwards.

I just don’t understand why *I* must be uncomfortable when out eating or drinking just because some people want to smoke. It makes me pretty angry…

Maybe I’m in the minority with this kind of thing and most people just put up with it?

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