Mein deutsch sind sehr schlecht!

Okay, I barely passed German in HS.  Since then I’ve learned a little Russian and Spanish for travel, and a lot of French for work, so I’ve forgotten most of the German I know.  Just enough to mix some in when I need to, with the odds a word of French or Russian will end up somewhere in the sentence.  Comprendé? 🙂

I’ve been in Frankfurt for the past week for training in small consular section management.  I’ll talk little about the course, more about the trip and the city.

This was the first time I left Cotonou by air since arriving, so I got to see how it worked.  The terminal is unairconditioned, there are too many people checking for papers too many times and someone needs to take the Disney World course on line management!  It didn’t help that everyone except me was shipping their worldly belongings as luggage, whereas I had one carry-on and my computer.  Still, we pushed back more or less on time, only to return to the gate because something wasn’t fastened down in the luggage hold.  We pushed back the second time about 45 minutes later.

Some good things to say about Air France.  No airline’s economy seats are comfortable, and Air France is no exception.  But you do have a screen at your seat with TV, movies on demand, games, and some selections I didn’t try.  The meal was quite good.  Passport control in Paris passed us through efficiently and quickly.  If I pushed it, I could have made the earlier shuttle to Frankfurt, but I stopped at McDonalds for breakfast instead.

I had decided before I left I would use mass transit to get from the airport to the Hotel.  It turned out to be simple.  There’s a commuter rail station in the terminal that takes you downtown, and from there I took the subway (although much of it is above ground) to a few blocks from the hotel.  I bought a week pass for E21.10 and used it all week for subways, trams and buses.  A cab ride to the airport is E40 (as I found when I decided to take one this morning).  My longest transit trip this week was to Ikea – bus, subway, bus and it drops me off right in back of the store.

Almost every city in Germany has a Christmas Market this time of year, and Frankfurt is no exception.  A whole section of town is filled with food stands, christmas shops, carousels (including a double decker) and lots and lots of people.  Public drinking is encouraged.  There will be photos later.  We went down to the market most evenings, and from there to dinner.  My favorites were the chocolate covered (milk, dark or white) fruit (almost any kind) on a stick, and the fresh made potato pancakes.

As I type this, I’m in the Frankfurt airport and my internet time is running down, so more in part 2.


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