Thursday, 7 March 2013

Frankfurt am Main

We've been living in Frankfurt for a couple of weeks now. Aside from a few Facebook status updates, l haven’t actually blogged about it. Unfortunately this is the only way a few of my followers, who aren't on Facebook, can keep up on our adventure. To you I apologize.

There are probably a few reasons for this:

-coming down off of our high from our trip to Cambodia,
-settling in & figuring out what’s where in a new city
-weather is yuck, so I sit inside and read or surf the net…

….but I think those are just excuses. The real reason, is that I’m really, really missing Berlin. T and I were discussing this during her birthday visit with us last weekend. She told me it was obvious that I don’t like Frankfurt very much. Then she said “…get over it, you’re in Frankfurt now Mom.” Kids. Got to love ‘em. was nice having her and Johnathan come for her birthday, I blew up some balloons, had Sacher Torte (with funky sparklers), pretty napkins...been too long since I've done something like that.

My baby girl. A grown woman.

Honestly though, the adjustment to Frankfurt has been harder than I thought it would be. I've been trying. Really. But, then I remember that we’ll probably only be here until the end of March, so why bother. So it goes in a circle.

Frankfurt am Main (because there is another Frankfurt in Germany, and because it straddles the Main river) is a very different city from Berlin. To be honest, there is no real comparison between Berlin and Frankfurt, they are just worlds apart. One is an amazing city full of culture, history and bustling with activity …and the other is not nearly as exciting. Erwin says it's soulless. Perhaps fitting for the birthplace of the author of Faust who sold his soul to the devil.

Frankfurt is business and money, Germany's financial centre for centuries. No-nonsense. Button down. Sometimes referred to as Mainhatten, although it’s probably about 100 high-rises short of its American namesake. It is one of the few cities in Europe and the only city in Germany that allows high-rises to be built in its downtown area. It even has its own twin towers, the head offices of Deutsche Bank nicknamed debit & credit.

It is home to a number of major banks and brokerages including the headquarters for the European Central Bank.

There are statues of the two symbolic beasts of finance, the bear and the bull, in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, one of the largest in the world. Serious business here.

I read in the Welcome Book, yes book, that we were given when we registered as residents, that one in three residents of this city does not have a German passport. So I guess that makes it a multi-national city as well. Berlin had tourists all the time everywhere clogging up the streets.Frankfurt hardly any. They have guys/gals in suits with phones attached to their ears clogging up the streets. It seems people go to Berlin to play and to Frankfurt to work. Maybe that’s it.

We've explored the sights a little, but there’s not a whole lot of them. And like I said above, after two weeks in the tropics, coming back to temps hovering around zero have kept me in. From what we've been led to believe Spring is late here this year, even the locals are complaining about it. But the fact that a season called Spring even exists here is fantastic. (That’s a joke that only my Newf friends will appreciate.) When I have gone for walks it’s obvious to see that Spring is indeed just around the corner. Trees have buds, and flowers are poking up…the sun feels warmer.

I've made it through a winter without having to shovel snow, scrap a window, or plug in a car. Life is good.

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