After checking into our hotel we gave into the rain, the jetlag, and the crisp hotel sheets and took a nap. A few hours of rest gave us the energy we needed to explore our new temporary neighborhood. When the soft rain came down a little harder, we ducked into a Karstadt department store and bought Travis a new wallet. He was obsessed with European wallets, which feature a fold-out pocket for coins, since our first trip to Germany.
Walking out of the Karstadt, we saw the group of people who had gathered right outside the doors. We looked through the crowd to see two police officers and a man, sitting on the ground, zip-tied to a tree. A woman standing near us asked the person next to her, “Was ist passiert?” (What happened?)
“Er stahl ein Handtasche,” the other woman answered. “Sie fingen ihn.” (He stole a purse. They caught him.)
While I was concerned about a purse-snatcher, and glad the police caught him, I couldn’t help but be ecstatic in realizing that I had understood the two women. I smiled at Travis. He smiled back. Whether he was smiling because he, too, understood the women or because of his new wallet, I wasn’t entirely sure.
We walked further down the street and stopped at a restaurant called Weidenhof. We found a table in a corner and ordered. Travis had a coffee; I had hot chocolate. We ordered Handkäse mit Musik, described as a “traditional Hessen cheese with peppers and onions.” We read later that the “mit Musik” (with music) refers to the sounds a person’s digestive system makes after the peppers and onions. We were pleasantly surprised to find that this traditional Hessen cheese was extremely similar to the Obatzda we fell in love with in Bavaria.
A few (harder) drinks and a few sausages later, we were comfortable and cozy in our corner. Travis and I have busy lives, and one of the things we value the most on our vacations is time together. It gives us a chance to unplug from the noise and responsibilities in our daily lives and reconnect with each other. For the rest of the evening, we ate and, drank, and talked. It simultaneously felt like a first date and a chat with an old friend. We laughed and flirted. We solved the world’s problems. Then we paid our bill and walked down the wet street back to our hotel. The weather knew what we didn’t – we needed a rainy night in Frankfurt.