Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Jonathan im Deutschland - first day

Working until 12 and then rushing about trying to catch a plane is not an endeavour I recommend to anyone who likes their life stress-free. I caught two buses and a train to get from my place of work to my place of travel but, thankfully,  I made it in perfect time. I'd actually bought myself a sandwich and a coffee to congratulate myself before realising that the flight being called over the intercom was my own, and promptly poured boiling hot coffee down my gullet and chased it with a toasted sandwich.

Grilled cheese fresh from melting has the same approximate temperature and viscosity as napalm, and the same approximate effect when stuffed into my mouth. I turn white, then red, then try desperately to swallow even as my tongue attempts to escape my mouth and my throat closes in an attempt to limit the damage.

And remember, a grilled cheese sandwich will set you back a mere 3€. Living on the edge has never been cheaper.

I arrived in Frankfurt with no problems (keine Probleme) and no idea (keine Anung) where on earth to go. My friend Allison, who is living out here for the moment as a language assistant, had invited me to stay for a little while and take in some culture with her and, since I shall never have the chance to tour Germany with such a charming friend again, I accepted with glee.

We waited with for the next train back to the nearest station to her little village. We sipped coffee - she ordered as I'm not yet brave enough to inflict my German on these poor citizens - and talked about all sorts of things, the way friends do. On the way home we stopped off to pick up some beers, and at this point I must stop and talk about beer warehouses.

I want you to imagine a space wherein there are rows upon rows of beers. Every couple of metres there is a new taste, a new blend of hops. A multiplicity of aley goodness labelled in a language I could make neither head nor tail of. I picked four at random. We also got a packet of apples from the store next door - that's right, the beer warehouse was so full of beer that there was no room for food.

I got Pink Ladies, if you care about my choice of apple. It's not really important to the story, but I felt I ought to mention it as they've only recently come into my life and I was worried I'd miss them. It sounds silly, but once you've had a little taste of something you get a craving for it. I had the same thing with houmus, and ate nothing but it for a week.

Since then it's been Death Race, a monumentally ridiculous film, and some friends of Allison who came over. Apparently my German is abysmal, as two of the three girls fell into giggles every time I opened my mouth. The third sat in stony silence and said nothing, but I daresay she was tired. Or unhappy at my murder of her native tongue.

In any case, we are going to see a "euthanasia camp" tomorrow which should be incredibly moving. I don't know how many photos I'll take, but I'll see if I can snap a few. For the moment, here's my arrival beneath the sign they put up especially for me:

Overenthusiasm is not a word I know
 And my travelling companion and uni chum Ali: