I fly home tomorrow morning.
I almost didn’t go out for anything to eat tonight. After work I collected a shopping bag from my hotel room and wandered down to the local supermarket. After wandering the aisles and not finding anything even vaguely like a pre-made salad, or filled baguette, I gave up and wandered back. I would have to go out.
I started off in the direction of the main railway station, walking past both of the places I had visited earlier in the week. I continued on, and eventually found myself walking past a promising looking Thai restaurant. I found a table, looked at the menu, and wondered why nobody was approaching me to take an order. Ah. Maybe they don’t do that. I got up and walked over to the counter where others seemed to be paying. Everything was straightforward – ordering spring rolls, and a curry – until I offered up my card to pay.
“You have no cash?”
“Cash machine is three minutes walk.”
“You want to cancel?”
I nodded, and walked from the restaurant.
As I made my way along the streets of downtown Frankfurt, I became slowly more depressed and hungry. All the promising places to eat were jam-packed with Germany people on nights out in large groups. I passed a couple of doorways in the street that appeared to conceal bars – with groups of people standing in the street with beer bottles, laughing, and shouting in each other’s faces. It struck me that I didn’t see a single police officer while making my way through the crowds.
Eventually I spotted another quiet Thai restaurant on a street corner near the station. I wandered in, and a waiter ushered me to a table. After doing my best to decipher the German menu he wandered up with an English version, and smiled. Given that I hadn’t said a word yet, I laughed to myself. Do I really look THAT English?
I ordered the house special – a huge bowl of fried rice, spiced chicken, and noodles, with a “Tiger Beer” to help it down. As far as I recall, Tiger Beer is brewed all over the world, and passed off as somehow exotic in restaurants. I imagine the Tiger Beer in Frankfurt is probably bottled just outside the city somewhere.
While sitting in the restaurant it slowly filled with people, and I became more aware than ever that I was sitting alone while everybody else had friends, family, or loved ones sitting with them. The cacophony of conversation became an almost impenetrable wall around me. I asked for the bill as soon as I finished, paid, and left.
As much as it might seem exciting to visit different countries and cities, I’m looking forward to going home now. I’m looking forward to home cooked food, sitting around the dinner table with my family, and sharing our day with each other. I’m looking forward to crashing out on the sofa, and watching garbage TV with my other half until the early hours of the morning.
Just one more airport departure lounge, one more flight, and a few more train journeys to go.