So, here I am. 2 decades after being named Hans, a decade away from making my first German connection, and after surviving the typical buzzard week prior to travelling, I’ve finally arrived in the place I was by fate born to bond with. The journey kicked-off at 600, beat the October sun by about an hour. What was my first impression?
Recalling Andre, son of Ms. Dragon, once said “I think every country has its sense of humor except Germany.” At the time I didn’t agree; Max had that black/white sense of humor which has lived in me ever since. Pa didn’t mention about Germans being boring either. I wasn’t really expecting much, but the minute I stepped into the boarding gate in Bangkok I knew I was surrounded by them. Tall, well-structured, blonde, long and protruded nose; hardly surprising. But when I arrived here in Frankfurt, in this one of the biggest airport I’ve ever walked around in, I could feel it. Everywhere I went; they were either standing upright, or sitting up shoulder squared. There was not a single fussiness in the air; people were assured of themselves, yet not proud like the Americans. I could tell they had a plan in mind, yet they didn’t make you feel they were too busy to be bothered. Oh, and they were all dress in back. In fact, at this moment, approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the Germans around me are dressed in black. What is this? Am I in New York again? The air is filled with content, with duty, with responsibilities. If I have to use one word to describe them, Germans are SERIOUS. Calmer than Forest Gump, and sterner than David Stern. To the Americans, they can be described as the “boring version of New Yorkers.” Sounds like hell. And that’s exactly what I felt while meeting a German in the very first place.
After cruising around the airport and smelled enough of that Germaness in the air, I decided to head out to downtown. I realized there was a flight earlier to Prague but I couldn’t get on it since my luggage had already been checked-in. So I used this 4-hour window to tour the city, in my way.
So the first thing I had to do is to get on the train. After reading through signs and computer-aid information, I’ve found the track to downtown. Yet I have no idea how to purchase the ticket. The lady at the info center told me to wait in line… that line is about 10 m long and is moving at probably the same velocity per hour. So NO WAY. I gutted out and went to the machine line-up and see how others purchased their tickets…and did pretty much the same my own. So even I’ve already gone from the airport to downtown and back, I still have no idea whether I’ve bought the right value for my trip. Oh well. In Europe, credits and trust worth everything; there was no officers checking tickets and all. Yet I had no intention of cheating; I’ve secured my credit in heart.
Frankfurt really is a beautiful city indeed. Art is carved into every bit of element in the city. Whether it is the buildings, the road, the garden, or the sign, it has that sense of class engraved in the modern technologies. And just within minutes off the central station, I found a RIVER BANK!! If Ms. Dragon claimed that every city should has its own river concept from here, I would hardly be surprised. It’s gorgeous. The calm and clear water with inverted shadow of the buildings around, flanked by wide path of lawn and stone bricks. Trees, huge maple-class tress stood in line, as if damping the business of the city to match the decency of the scenery. It’s 900 in the morning of Northern Europe October, I sat on the river bank, breathing. Ducks were swimming, a few white collars biking in suits, and one or two strolling, jogging across. Satisfaction surpassed.
As stern as they could be, I had to get all my pocket fillers in one box, laptop in another, carry-on in one more, and back pack in another one. That’s 4 trays for me, yet the officer didn’t blink an eye. As he was sliding all 4 of my boxes on the roller platform, one of the boxes was sliding so fast that it jammed his finger placed on the edge of the other box. It ached for sure, because he was swinging his finger. Then the moment of truth, he turned and looked at me. I smiled, he beamed back.
There was a sense of life in the Deutsch after all.
So I guess Andre and his analogy did make sense, in his own way.