After a really great Easter back at home eating good food, drinking good drink, and catching up with friends, it was high time to head back to Germany to begin the settling down properly. Unfortunately, when we planned our period of yo-yoing back and forth between Dublin, it seemed most likely that we still wouldn’t actually have a place to live when we came back to Frankfurt and thus would have to continue our apartment search. Like I say though, we have actually found somewhere to live so instead, we landed back in Frankfurt extremely early of a Wednesday morning – myself, Anna, a bike and associated tools, and a rucksack heavier than all combined – with no real reason for being there, since we’d no need to be in Frankfurt until Sunday evening.
A word to the wise – Frankfurt Airport’s pretty dull if you’ve nothing to be doing other than hanging around for hours on end. First we tried to find some free internet, but that came a cropper. Then we tried to find somewhere to pay for the internet but after Anna had been sent from information to a coffee shop, to the bookshop, to the post office and onwards, that was looking increasingly more problematic than the problems we’d hoped having internet would solve. Despite being up since 4am Irish time, the earliest we could drop off our stuff at our apartment was 5pm German time, so we sat in a small cafÃ© inside the airport for pretty much the whole day, occasionally taking shifts at who got to go outside and get some fresh air (as if it could be brought back to the table) or go for a walk around and see ‘what was going on’, which inevitably was very little.
By the time we could head over to the apartment, I was just about ready to hang myself. The sunlight actually hurt my eyes after spending so much time in a dimly lit airport cafÃ©, and the air was much colder than I even expected it could be. More importantly, the sudden warmth of the taxi was nearly the final straw in inducing a deep slumber, as I struggled to stay awake, opting to fight it by forcing myself to move around every few seconds or try and memorise the journey.
Then, there was the heat of the apartment, which had nearly the same effect. The only thing to do was get in and out as quickly as possible and straight back to the nearest ‘bahnhof’ to commence our train journey back up north to Muenster to Anna’s parents. In the end, between leaving the apartment and arriving at 23:57 (why not call it midnight and be done with it, I wondered?) into the train station, the only way I managed to survive was by eating cheap food and drinking a beer roughly once an hour until we arrived – and, while I’m sure it’s possibly not a recommended way for staving off imminent slumber, it worked unbelievable miracles.
Since then, now safely ensconced back in Ochtrup (although heading to Frankfurt tomorrow), we’ve been enjoying the good weather, going to the Netherlands for a look, having the odd barbecue and more importantly, catching up on all the lost sleep of the longest day ever in Frankfurt Airport.
Most importantly though, I’ll know for next time that a beer an hour along with cheap Asian food is a reliable way to stay awake.