Moti Mahal Frankfurt

2013-06-25 07.08.24

Since my boyfriend is Indian, I’ve been learning lots about Indian food since we’ve been dating. When I’m on my own or with friends in a restaurant, I’ll panic and just go for a korma but I love it when Boyfriend can show me new options that aren’t scary and confusing. We’d spotted an Indian place that he’d not tried out and so we took a night off from him cooking me amazing food and went there – a restaurant called Moti Mahal.

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As can be expected from an Indian restaurant, there were plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. Everything clearly explained whether it was spicy or not so we chose two normal spiced vegetarian dishes to share. Now, I don’t know if it’s because of Boyfriend being Indian or something, but the food was made to be pretty spicy. In fact, I couldn’t handle it and had to stop. I can handle spice to an average level, but when my tongue is burning I know it’s time to stop. The boyfriend, however, loved it.

I told my German teacher that I had been to this restaurant and she says that it’s her secret place because it’s always quiet and (so she says) is the best Indian food in town.

The service was pretty good and just as my teacher said, it was very quiet for a Saturday evening. The namaste beer was also very delicious – something we’d never tried before.

I’d like to try the place again and maybe ask for a little less spice next time, since it does seem to be a good place.

You can find Moti Mahal at Dreieichstraße 37, 60594 Frankfurt

A Walk Down Kaiserstraße

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Ever since I moved to this area, I’ve begun to really like the area around the main station. It’s up and coming, full of new restaurants and shops, and has its fair share of bohemian residents like myself. Sure, there are a few druggies at the bottom of the road, and the Rewe is probably best left to the homeless, but it’s a safe place to live, regardless.

I decided to take a walk up most of Kaiserstraße and show you some of my favourite places. Perhaps I can teach someone something new!

The Back Factory bakery is new at the end of the street. With my gluten allergy, I have no need to try it out. But it seems to be popular! My flatmates and I were hoping it was going to be an Alnatura shop but alas…

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This “call shop” is one of the many places where you can buy second hand phone hardware, but they also fix broken phones pretty well. When I bricked my jailbroken iPhone, they fixed it for me for a pretty good price.

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One of the two hostels on the street. It’s usually full of stag parties and/or hen dos, but I hear it’s a pretty nice place to stay.

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Not that I recommend going with O2 in Germany, if you need someone who speaks English, this little O2 shop has always been a reliable source of English speaking service regarding mobiles. The service is still German standard though 😉

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There are a number of sex shops along Kaiserstraße, Dr Muller being one of them. I think it caters to gay people – or that’s what I suppose from the window displays of mannequins with huge penis shapes poking out of their trunks…

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Here’s a handy German tip – German banks can only exchange European money (or so they tell me) and so you have to go to specialist places like Exchange above to get your holiday money if it’s not Euros. This is the only place I have found that will exchange stuff, and they gave me a decent rate on my yen, then again on my rupees for India. They aren’t open at the weekend, though. So if anyone knows of a more convenient place then do let me know!

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Mabi is another new addition to the street – it’s a vegetarian, vegan and gluten free snack shop. Surprisingly, it’s not so popular yet. It’s mostly empty every time I go by, but the owner is such a lovely American lady, and their food is pretty good too –

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The lady said that they have a lot more recipes coming so I think their shelves will be fuller later. Their cakes are pretty good too. I like the choco banana cake, but the green lime pie has avocado in it so make sure you read the ingredients before you buy!!

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Dolly Busters is, I think, the cross dressing sex shop. You see the most gorgeous transexuals coming out of their side door. I can never help but stare because they are more woman than I will ever be!

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There’s a lot going on here! Firstly, top left – Frankfurt’s scientology chapter. Then we have Bagel Brothers, which make pretty decent bagels (though I think Coffee Fellows’ are much yummier – worth eating gluten for!) Then down this street are a few places I really like. The first is Samurai Sushi, which I think is the best sushi in town. There is a Turkish (?) restaurant before that, whose hummus I really want to try out some time. At the end of the street on the left is Lam Freres, a French-Vietnamese place. I’ve been just once before and it was really good. A great place for a date, since they have great shared meals.

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Last on my list of interesting places is this simit shop. If you have been to Turkey and love their bready snack, you can get your fix right here in Frankfurt! I like their coffee sign, which explains all the different types of coffee. Pretty handy for someone who has no idea like myself!!

I hope you likes my mini tour of Kaiserstraße! If there are any places you like that I’ve not mentioned, then please let me know in the comments!

Cafe Charivari

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The other week my boyfriend had a gig in Bornheim and so while I waited for him to do his soundcheck, I found a nice cafe nearby. I’d been to Cafe Charivari before, on a warm evening last summer. They have a side garden tot he left which is simply beautiful at night.

I ordered an Indian chai and was happy to see that it came with warm cream and honey – usually they’ll just give it to you all ready made so it’s not the right level of sweetness for me.

I find that in Frankfurt when you order tea you’ll get one of two types of drink; a cup of hot water and a packaged (and cheap) tea bag, or some Kusumi tea. Neither of these options are worth 3 or 4 euros, so I was really happy to see the range of cheap tea they had at Charivari. Take a look! –

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On the menu was also homemade quiche which I’d like to try out some time, as well as a few other dinner options.

When the weather warms up I think you’ll find me here a lot more often. I simply can’t resist a sparkly garden and a good cup of tea!!

Find Cafe Charivari at Berger Straße 99, 60316 Frankfurt am Main

The Sexing Up of Japanese Culture

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I loved Japanese culture even before I knew I loved it. Every month I’d save up my pocket money and buy the 5 pound Playstation Magazine, with a demo disk in it. The demo disks were usually awesome and I feel so nostalgic thinking about them, but it was also the thick magazine full of articles that kept me going back each month. My mum was very strict on me playing video games (I could only play for 30 mins a day… haha who is laughing now – I HAVE to play for hour and hours a day at work now!!) and we didn’t have a lot of money so most of the games in the articles meant very little to me, but I loved the art. I’d cut out little pictures of Croc or Lara Croft and sit and draw them for hours. I also used to cut out little cartoon characters – now I know them to be manga/anime style characters – and also draw them, sticking my pictures on my school folder. Of course, these Japanese images were probably not what a 12 year old girl should have had on her school folder – pictures of anime girls with huge eyes and even bigger boobs, but to me they weren’t sexual, they were just cool and funky and I loved the style. It wasn’t til years later that I found that these were Japanese, and that the style has so much sexual content linked to it. It’s one of Japan’s biggest exports, if not just in manga and anime form, but the style of the art is shipped out to make anything sexual and cool.

If you ask any non-Japan-related person what they think of when they think of Japan and after the geisha and samurai will undoubtably come the vending machines that sell used underwear. Newsflash – this is not a thing. People who say they have seen one probably didn’t read the kanji correctly or something, I don’t know. When I was studying in Japan, I had a friend who worked in an adult store and while there were many many things that would have (and probably have) scarred me for life, used underwear was not a thing that was on sale, even there.

And it makes me sad and angry that when people think of Japan, one of the first things they think of is sex. “But in Japan there is so much fucked up porn and stuff, Charlotte!” Yeah? The rest of the world is so pure and innocent, and didn’t come up with the likes of 2 girls on cup, or goatsee? I think the world uses this equation of Japan = weird sexy things to cover up the fact that, actually when it comes down to it, no one actually knows a thing about Japan. “Oh, I know something! There’s that eye licking thing! I saw it on the news!” Yeah, I asked my friends in Japan about that and they said that they had heard little to no news on that from inside Japan. My guess would be it was a very small thing with a couple of kids that got picked up by The Daily Mail and escalating into another OMG JAPAN IS CRAZY article.

A few weeks ago there was a Japanese film festival in Frankfurt. Last year the event was really great – including the posters. When the posters for this year were announced, I thought that they were cute at first, but then I noticed that they were all kinda sexual. Cute animals in skirts, lifting them up to show their heart groins. Bears in little panties with pubic hair poking out the top. It’s just my option but I think that these images of cute and colourful animals would have still been “Japanese” even without the sexual element added to them. It made me really sad that an event called “Nippon Connection” – what I take to mean that they are trying to reach out to bring Japanese culture to regular people – had to bring sex to the table in order to sell it. I only got to watch one film this year since the tickets were mostly sold out by the time I got there. I thought it was going to be a nice tale of a Princess called Sakura, but it turned out to be a soft porn film. Little Sakura was raped within the first few mins of the film and then, because of course she loved it, she turned to be a prostitute in order to find the man who attacked her. The audience was full of middle aged men, and the one next to me made really gross noises every time there was nakedness on screen (this was a lot of the film).

I once saw a photoshopped picture on the net (from a JET Programme forum) that said “Welcome to Japan” with a background of 100s of naked Japanese women. I used this in a diary in Lang-8 and asked the Japanese people what they thought about their country having this kind of image and most just shrugged and said there was nothing they could do about it.

I think Japanese people don’t realise that this is often how the West sees them, so I’m sure this won’t change for a long time. It just makes me so angry because there is so much more to Japan than sex.

What do you guys think? I’d love to hear all your opinions in the comments!

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