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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

My time in Frankfurt gave me some moments of pleasure to recount here:

1. Hurried, but friendly conversations with German ladies d'un certain age like me, getting easily lost about the city as we made poor attempts to read crappy maps!

2. Being asked directions by German people three times in the same day on the last day of my trip - by which time I knew the city quite well and felt more confident about my German and found myself quite able to point out the way!

3. Seeing the ferret on a lead, and another in a knapsack. Similarly, finding an ueber-friendly black cat, who responded to my calling to him in English, while he stalked mean-looking pigeons in front of the Anglo-Irish pub in the touristy streets of Sachsenhausen.

4. Being chatted up by octogenarian gentlemen in a park, who might have been Turkish.

5. Almost being mugged on the Kaiserstrasse, by a guy who tried to harangue us (non-aggressively) first in German (we both look very German!) and then in English. Only in Frankfurt could you be accosted by a man of the road who is also a keen linguist!

6. Having the numberous blisters on my feet finally heal, after I had walked a formerly comfortable pair of black gladiator-style sandals from the streets of Frankfurt straight into the hotel's waste-bin.


Finding a friendly pub, or Stube, around the corner from the hotel, where we were adopted by the regulars and enjoyed glasses of wheat beer that cooled our tongues nicely while my feet recovered from their daily pounding. The elderly gentlemen who frequented said establishment also took to calling me "Young woman...," as I passed through! See 4.

8. Having to complain to hotel staff about the late-night noise coming from the party they held on the outside terrace for 400 of their business customers on their grand re-opening - Even with all windows and doors shut, we could not get to sleep on the fourth floor of the place. While they assured us it would stop at some point, they could not guarantee when. As I suggested to them that this was a hotel and not a night-club, they invited us to give up trying to sleep and join them instead!

Eventually, it seemed the music was halted, perhaps by another disgruntled guest, who had found the electricity cable to the terrace and had hid it, or so we heard the next day!

9. Walking through the city's wonderful Palmengarten, enjoying the tropical plants and their heady smells while observing belligerent ducks trying to tip well-behaved youths from rowing boats on the ornamental lake!


Reading this novel by Elizabeth Speller over two days. It seemed wholly redolent for me of the atmosphere of World War One. I can recommend it.

I am firmly of the belief that we waste our time looking for full-time and eternal happiness in life. All that exists (at least for me) are moments of fleeting, but wonderful contentment and unbridled pleasure...

I found some of those in Frankfurt over these past ten days.

My husband is talking about us moving there over the next year or so, as it'll be easier for him to patrol his international business areas from that hub and airport.

We'll see...

I am still welded to the county where I was born, although I will make my home anywhere and have indeed done so...

I love Europe and have always felt more European than English. My family and I pass for Germans in the street, with our blond hair and pale complexions. My German is still passable, although it improves when I spend any time in the country.

In Frankfurt, I didn't find one neighbourhood that I couldn't have enjoyed living in, if we could afford it.

Costs in Frankfurt appear at least 20% dearer than in the UK at present. Frankfurt is also one of the three cities with the highest cost of living in Germany... Perhaps it's the exchange rate and all the difficulties countries are having with the Euro, but life there would certainly cost us more than in the UK at present...

Above all these considerations, I know I'd miss our son most.

Poetry from Sandy Denny's "Who knows where the time goes...":

"Across the evening sky all the birds are leaving
Oh but then you know it was time for them to go
By the winter fire I will still be dreaming
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes

Sad deserted shore your fickle friends are leaving
Oh but then you know it was time for them to go
But I will still be here I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes

I know I’m not alone while my love is near me
I know that it’s all until it’s time to go
All the storms in winter and the birds in spring again
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes

Who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes"

Who knows indeed? Que sera sera...


Gigi said...

Sounds as if you've had a wonderful time! I, too, would like to think I could make a home anywhere - but only if my son was there as well. And this becomes more glaringly obvious to me as the reality of him leaving home for school next year looms.

Expat mum said...

I'm sure you'd do fine as long as you knew you were but a short plane ride away. It's been over the ocean that's harder.
I've never been to Germany. My brother is there at the time so I'm dying to hear what he thought. My whole family could pass for German, especially the males as they're huge!!!

Retired English Teacher said...

This was a wonderful post. I love the song! Thanks for sharing all of it. Where does the time go????

SueAnn said...

I loved this post and the song is amazing!! Thanks for sharing your Germany with me!!

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