Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For the Love of All Things German Food

Attendance at the book fair afforded some certain perks, one of which was a train pass for the entire five days I was in Germany. Actually it was a full public transport pass, good for the train and any busses that I might want to take. The apartel we were staying in was about four stops from Messe, where the fair was, and downtown to the Hobenhoff was about two more stops. With my magical train pass I could go downtown, get some dinner, and then head back to the apartel by myself later. At around six I left the fair, and it took about twenty minutes to get downtown mostly because I was scared of the first train (which would have gotten me where I was going) and opted for the second instead.

I got to downtown Frankfurt, half-crocked on wine, with a realization that I had NO FUCKING IDEA what I was doing. This was really unusual for me, as usually when I traveled for business I took some time to look up three or four things to do in the location so I could do those things during my free time and not spend every single waking minute working. This had worked well for me when I went to Shanghai, but sadly, I’d not had a single minute to look into Frankfurt before landing, so I had no plan.

It was now time to make a plan.

The plan was to find an information booth where I could get a tourist map or something. Welcome to Germany. It took me a few minutes to find a booth, and when I did I discovered that there was no such thing as a tourist map for free. However, the lovely girl behind the counter was able to offer me a few options. One was a plain subway map for about two euro, although for four euro I could get a tourist guide that recommended places. Just the look of it reminded me of the Sherpa guide I used in Shanghai to find interesting places to eat and then explore, so I opted for the second. Then I asked if she could point out someplace to eat dinner.

“What do you want to eat?”

“German food?”

“What kind of German food?”

“Well, I don’t eat beef or pork, but I like chicken and seafood.”

She looked at me.

She continued to look at me.

Then she blinked.

“You are going to have a problem. Most German food is beef or pork. Mostly pork. Germans like pork.”

So, yeah. I was not just in a country of meat lovers, I was in a country that had found new and innovative ways to put meat in everything.

She pointed me toward downtown and said I should walk for about fifteen minutes to come to some more traditional German places. I started walking, and by 7, when I was still walking down the dark streets of Frankfurt, I realized I was tired, hungry, and sobering up fast. I started walking and made it about five minutes before I broke down in front of the first restaurant that looked interesting.

It was a Mexican place.

I had shrimp scampi.

No comments: