Brunch at Lokalbahnhof

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I was complaining for ages that I’d not been to this popular brunch spot and then I went twice in two weeks! I’d heard amazing things about Lokalbahnhof’s brunch – I’d been there in the evening and though the music is a tad too loud, it’s a really quirky, slightly hipstery place (and you know those are my favourite kinds of places).

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I can’t remember how much the brunch actually was and it doesn’t list it on the website but I think it was something like 12 euros, no drinks included. There were breads and cold meats and some sausages and eggs. There was enough for vegetarian people to eat, and kinda enough for wheat free people like myself to eat (though I did take a croissant…) There was also a fresh waffle maker (above).

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They even had Frankfurt “favourites” like handkäse for you to try!

I think this brunch was ok. I honestly don’t think it deserves all the raving people do about it – Merianbad Cafe is just as nice food-wise and has a lot more selection and order-your-own eggs. For Lokalbahnhof you NEED to book – especially if your group is bigger than 2 people. The boyfriend and I managed to get seated without one on Easter Sunday but normally I think it’s pretty much impossible. When I went with a group of friends, we had a table booked for 10 people but they don’t put a table aside for you, just estimate when people are going to be done around that time. So in the end we waited for a while and then were given a table that only 8 people could fit at – luckily 2 people didn’t show up.

If you want brunch near to old Sachsenhausen then this is a good place to check out. If you are able to get into town, there are much better options. But if you really do want to try it here, you can find Lokalbahnhof at Darmstädter Landstr. 14, 60594 Frankfurt am Main.

How to Survive in Primark

Primark is a wonderful Irish invention; a shop that sells very very cheap clothes for those who have no sweat-shop related social conscience. You can buy t-shirts for 4 euros, jeans for 8 and a dress for that party you wanted to go to for less than 20. It was my savior at uni – I could be dressed fashionably AND have enough money to buy ridic expensive Japanese textbooks!

Then I came to Frankfurt. Frankfurt has CRAP shopping. Seriously, if you are visiting here and want to spend the day shopping, save your time and money and just don’t. There is a Primark up in a shopping centre in the north and it was nice to make a day trip there once every few months and just buy EVERYTHING – because it was the closest thing to home fashion as I could get. But now there is a new Primark that opened on Frankfurt high street and so you can’t shop there anymore because every spotty teenager from Dornbusch to Darmstadt will have the same items.

BUT since I know a lot of people here are new to Primark, I will tell you as a Primark pro how to work your way around these battlefields.

Rule number 1 – Only bring with you fellow Primark warriors.

Got kids? Nope, try for Primark at 10am on a week day. Leave your boyfriend/husband/non-shopper at home because children and stragglers will only get kicked to the side when all the serious shopping starts. They will get in your way, they will get in my way. We will all be sad.

Rule number 2 – Don’t try it on.

Are you seriously going to wait in that queue for 40 minutes to try on a top that costs 12 euros? Buy it, and if it doesn’t fit, take it back. Or, go at 10am on a weekday.

Rule number 3 – Don’t make it more difficult for staff.

In terms of hardcore levels, you have your That-Guy-Who-Jumped-Out-The-Rockets, you have your Chuck Norris’. Then you have Primark staff. They cannot just throw down their baskets and say “I’m outta here” when the Primarkers get crazy – they HAVE to be there. So even though you picked that Mickey Mouse t-shirt from a mountain, don’t just throw it on the floor after you’ve opened it to see what the rest of Mickey’s face looks like – attempt to fold it and put it back where it should be.

Rule number 4 – This is a battle ground.

Your buggy is in my way. I will move it to the side politely because it’s in my way. You yourself are in my way. I will put my hand on your shoulder and ask you politely to let me past. We are all in each others’ ways. But let’s not be dicks about it, ok? We are not heathens! Let’s not ram past or send each other flying or huff and puff when you can’t get past. After all, we are all here for the love of cheap fashion. And that is a glorious love to have.

Rule number 5 – Don’t be Those Primark People.

You know Those Primark People. Usually a small group of girls or young women, they’ve filled their baskets up want to assess their purchases and maybe try a few things on. So they set up camp in the corner, building a small wall of clothes around them so that no one can get by, and they sort their clothes out, and try on anything they want to try on. Look…this is annoying. You’re blocking a load of clothes, you’re blocking the way, you’re being stupid. If you don’t like something, don’t put it into your basket. Simple as that.

So there we have it – my top Primark tips. If any fellow Primark warriors happen to be reading this and have some tips, please do let me know in the comments!

Coming Up in Frankfurt

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So the other day on Facebook someone mentioned this amazing art exhibition that’s basically a room full of balloons. Unfortunately it was the last day, so even though I made it in time, it is too late to tell you all to go see it 🙁

BUT I do know of a few cool things happening in Frankfurt in the next few weeks.

Firstly, TLS have a great show coming up called Shakespeare, Anyone? Who wouldn’t want to hang out in a cool bar and just have a bit of Mr Shakes going on? It’s starting in April so make sure you’re free to see it!

The Caricature Museum has a pretty cool collection right now that I went to go see over the Easter weekend, when it was free to get in. I want to find some really funny things there, but these were really sweet cartoons. I hope they’ll have something off the scale funny soon!

Speaking of museums, night of the museums is coming up soon – pay for one ticket (12 euros) and visit as many museums in Frankfurt as you can for one night. I must say, I went last year and it was PACKED and so don’t expect me to be there this year! But it’s a good deal if you can handle places with lots of people.

There is a Holi festival happening in Frankfurt in the summer but the tickets (some of which I wanted to buy…) sold out in an hour. But if you don’t have crap knees like I do, there’s always the Color Run which is the same concept but with the festival being replaces with a marathon. I wish I could go for it… sadface.

If you like beer and fairground rides then you should also try out Dipplemess which is on for another few weeks or so. I went with some friends on the first night and though it was COOOOOLD it was still good fun!

For other good events, check out these pages from the Frankfurt Walking Tour (which is always awesome) for April, May and June!

Accents

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The other day I introduced a new co-worker to my pub quiz team. My American and German friend said that they really loved his accent; he’s a well educated British guy…well aside from the British and guy part, I said I assume he was well educated – you can tell from his accent. I was trying to explain to them that while, on the surface, it seems that Britain doesn’t have class systems anymore, you can tell a person’s upbringing, education and “class” by their accent.

Accent is a funny thing. I read a paper when I was in uni about how different accents make you feel certain ways, and so companies take advantage of this – for example, the Scottish accent will make you warm to the person and feel calm, so they put a lot of Scottish people in call centres. I had trouble in uni because of my accent – I have a typical RP, or “Queen’s English” accent, which usually tells people that you are well off and posh and stuck up. So this is how people thought of me, despite me telling people that I am normal, went to an average school and lived in some pretty rough areas when I grew up. People would take what I said and twist them to make it sound like I was looking down my nose at people, or just make rude and snide comments about my accent.

In Britain there is a north-south divide which I wasn’t even aware of until I went to uni. I’m from the south, and while people sometimes make jokes about Liverpudlians, or maybe about people from Newcastle, there’s rarely any bad mouthing of people from the north in general. The stuff I experienced at uni in Liverpool was just one part of it – when I was dating a guy from Middlesborough and I went to go stay with his family up there, his uncles and cousins had lots of stories and comments about how rude and stuck up and horrible southern people are. So when someone speaks the way I speak, all these images are brought up for a lot of people – even though I’m not like that.

On the flipside, my accent can (sadly) help me out in the working world – or at least in England. I’m not sure how true it is, but I’m told that people with RP accents are more likely to score top jobs and make good impressions in interviews. In an article I read this week, too, a brain surgeon comments that him being an East London boy is an unexpected thing, given his profession. Again, this comes down to accent – people don’t expect people with a “rough” London accent to do such a skilled job as brain surgery. Another good example is this woman from BBC News –

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Most BBC news presenters have “clean” southern accents, but she has a very strong northern accent. She’s the business woman on the show and often explains all the complicated economical news, but some people find her accent very off putting, or out of place in this job.

Even my American friend couldn’t understand when I explained all this to her, so I think maybe, in the English-speaking world at least, it’s a British thing. Are there stereotypes or prejudice placed on certain accents where you are from?

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