So the last time I saw my friend Thomas was December 2005. It is now April 2010. You do the math, it’s been awhile.
While at ETSU my 2 teammates and I had the pleasure of living with a French girl Elodie (blonde wig) who then opened up our apartment to all French exchange students that lived in Upper Class Apartments. They rapidly became our #1 volleyball fans at games, apartment visitors, and friends. Thomas would come over and ask Nani and I to “tell me something interesting” which is where our friendships began- talking about life, goals, the world, Forrest Gump, anything and nothing. Thomas and I also share the same birthday so we joked we were brother and sister separated because of that and our common interests and outlook on life, the brother I never had. Like Edna Buchanan said “Friends are the family you choose for yourself”. Thomas and Elodie were also business majors so they were able to help me with my classes and studying together as well. I loved our French community at ETSU and it has been waaaaay too long since I have seen any of them!!
After an Iceland volcano destroyed my travel dreams a week earlier, Friday my journey began for the 2nd time. Successful at last! Everything was swinging my direction. A ride to Stockholm and a place to sleep for a few hours with my team who were on their way to play in a tournament. All airport transport running smoothly, checking in, security, and luggage was a breeze. Flight arrived on time and Thomas ready and waiting.
We started our day early since my flight got in at 8:30am. I got to see him in action working, he had to check up on some of his stores (he works for Lidl). He oversees 4 stores I believe and is working non-stop seeing how Germans run things compared to France where he was working previously. He seems to enjoy it. Work has given him the opportunity to move to Germany and now speak German (as well as French, English, Spanish, and Italian). It was interesting to see a bit of what he does for work .
After that was done we drove into Frankfurt. The airport was a way out of town (thank you Ryanair) so I had quite a scenic drive, everything was so green and beautiful and SUNNY!! First time in months that I have needed to take some layers off and not put more layers on!!! We spent the rest of the day walking around enjoying the perfect weather and exposing me to some “German” things.
The River Main divides the city the hugely financial areas skyscrapers, home to European Central Bank, on one side and older traditional area called Sachsenhausen. There began my German tasting…snacked on a pretzel, drank Apfelwein (apple wine) with a Frankfurt schnitzel. Then continued walking and rested to drink some coffee. By afternoon we needed more rest and watched a Bundesliga football game Frankfurt vs. Mainz (a neighboring rival team) at an Irish Pub with some German and Irish beer and lots of people watching! By the end of the day we had done a walking tour of The Frankfurt Opera, the Central European Bank, Sachsenhausen, skyscrapers, Zeil (Frankfurt’s main shopping street), Romer (city hall), Romerberg (city hall square), St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, the Main River, and a few more things I’m sure I’m forgetting.
Now when I go back I can feel comfortable walking around and finding my way easily. It was an action packed day with beautiful weather, I enjoyed Frankfurt as a city more than I imagined I would and I look forward to going back and spending an afternoon laying on the grass by the Main eating pretzel and watching people in the sunshine!
Thanks for a great day Thomas, see you in a few weeks!