A Kiwi, A Brit and a Wedding in Spain

Excerpt from E-Book  –  “A Kiwi, A Brit and a Wedding in Spain”.

To be released later this year.  All excerpts and images that appear on this blog are copyrighted.  K Powell 2011

Chapter 14:  A Frankfurt Special

Colditz Castle

Our tour of the prison started at 10am and having listened to Roger’s stories about the prison, my curiosity was piqued.  Roger had learned about Colditz as a child, along with probably every other British schoolboy.  Names such as Pat Reid and Douglas Bader were in a sense childhood heroes from the war for him, but it was all quite foreign to me.

We started our tour in the courtyard of the castle where our guide entertained us with story after story of successful and failed escape attempts.  The figures were staggering.  The English were by far the most persistent and inventive, creating a wireless, a wooden sewing machine and even a full sized glider that was hidden in the roof.  Unfortunately their success rate was not high, while the French seemed to get it perfect almost every time.  We even discovered that aNew Zealand doctor had been imprisoned here during World War II.

Next we went down to the prisoner’s exercise area – a walled section on the edge of the woods just a five minute walk from the castle gates.  More stories of attempted escapes entertained us and we found ourselves laughing out loud at the brazen attempts of the prisoners.

Roger escaping Colditz.

At the conclusion of the tour, I carried our backpacks while Roger performed one last escape attempt by crawling commando style under the main gates – until his bum got caught on a wooden shard at the bottom…and he got stuck.  Dropping our packs I grabbed his feet from behind and dragged him back into captivity.  Then we threw our packs on and lumbered back down the hill to wait for the bus where I consoled Roger on yet another failed British escape attempt.

Having returned via bus and train back to Leipzigstation, we boarded a fast train for Frankfurt(we clocked it at 172km/hr) and made our way through the German countryside.  Roger kept myself and the other passengers in the dining cart entertained by singing Elvis Presley’s “Frankfort Special” with full gusto, while at the same time cramming German Frankfurter sausage meat in his mouth.  He was forced to stop when a stray lump of sausage became lodged in his windpipe.

As we exited the train station we could see the sign of Frankfurt Hostel just ahead of us about a minute’s walk away.  Now that’s good planning we thought.  But as we crossed the road we noticed something was really off – and it wasn’t Roger farting.  All around us men were loitering, leaning, swaggering, and looking, all in all, very bloody dodgy!  We felt like we had walked onto a reality TV set for “So You Think You’re A Drug Addict.”  They looked to be waiting for something – as if the methadone clinic on the corner was about to open.  And here we were.  Fresh-faced tourists, easy pickin’s with mug-me-if-you-want emblazoned on our foreheads.  Thankfully the hostel was so close that we just put our heads down and charged straight for the door.  Bursting inside we slammed the door shut behind us and glanced dubiously at each other.

We checked in and from behind the curtains in our room we peered nervously down into the street watching an inebriated drunk spinning round on one foot and playing air guitar, while the meth-heads watched on.  Before we could blink, he had shoved both his hands into his pockets, lost his balance and fallen face first into the pavement.  He rolled onto his back, blood all over his face, arms and legs flailing around like an upturned ladybird, with his wallet wide open in one of his hands.  We could see the whites of the eyes of the meth-heads, like lions watching a gazelle struggle in a muddy pool.  Oh my god, we thought.  This guy is done for.  At that moment ten of Frankfurt’s finest (not the sausages!) sauntered into view and proceeded to pick him up off the floor and lead him to a police van.  With a puff of their chests and a menacing hand-on-holstered-gun look, the meth heads quickly dispersed.  Where the hell had we come to!  We decided we weren’t all that keen to go out, so we asked the reception dude where the washing machines were – our clothes were filthy and we thought we would take the opportunity to get them clean, and avoid going out of the hostel.  You can imagine our faces when he told us that the washing machines were out of order, and that there was a Laundromat two blocks down the road.

There was nothing for it.  Unless we wanted to smell like a couple of sewer-rats for the next two days, we were going to have to go back out there.  Armed with two plaggy bags of stinky clothes and a pocket full of coins, we nervously stepped out onto the pavement outside the hostel and headed in the direction of the Laundromat, trying desperately not to have to take our maps out, or make eye contact with anyone.  We had walked no more than a couple of metres when it was confirmed for us that there was indeed something ‘off’ about this area.  Our first clue was the pink neon sign above our bedroom window that read “Live Virgin Girls Every Night!”  Our second clue was the shop situated next to our hostel called “The World of Sex”.  And our third clue was the group of scantily clad females standing in a shop doorway between two burly bouncers at the end of the road.  Well done us.  We had booked our accommodation in the heart ofFrankfurt’s Red Light District.  Travel Tip:  Never leave home without your “Lonely Planet” guidebook!

We found the Laundromat and were relieved to be off the street in the company of a group of normal looking men doing their laundry.  As we sat gazing through the glass dome of the machine on its wash cycle, nothing seemed amiss.  The odd stray sock littered the floor, Abba crooned quietly in the background and a forgotten pair of spandex boxer shorts eagerly awaited the return of their owner.  The obligatory magazine rack offered some boredom busting reading so I grabbed the nearest publication and began casually flicking through it.

As Roger reached for his own magazine, it became very clear to me exactly what type of reading material this was.  I looked up in horror as he returned to his seat about to open the cover.  And then everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

“Nooooooooo” I shouted, flinging my body across the box of Persil, squashing it flat and scattering soap powder particles all over the floor.

I knocked the magazine up into the air where it spiralled across the room landing face down in an empty laundry basket.

“What the hell are you doing?” Roger mouthed.  I quietly explained to him that the magazine contained pornographic material, and not the kind that he would be interested in gawping at given his sexual preference.  I wiggled my eyebrows at him in a do-you-get-my-drift kind of way.  I hastily retrieved both magazines and returned them to the rack, while Roger squished his bum firmly into the back of his seat and stared awkwardly at the floor.

We made our way edgily back to the hostel hoping that things would look better in the morning.  Unfortunately the hostel bar and balcony were directly above us and the noise from here combined with the sounds of the red light district (which I will not attempt to replicate here) meant we didn’t get much sleep.

Chapter 15:  The bull’s brass balls

In the light of the new day things actually looked much different.  Where the meth-heads had loitered the night before, now tables, umbrellas and chairs stood creating a beautiful and lively café scene.  We filled up on a good (and free!) breakfast and found the nearest internet café to sort out our accommodation and travel to Paris.  Then I attempted to drum up Roger’s enthusiasm with a walking tour of Frankfurt.

Frankfurt Stock Exchange

It was another stunning summer’s day and the city itself was quite pretty, particularly the old buildings that provided many scenic photo opportunities.  In desperate need of a toilet stop, we found the public restrooms which went down under the pavement and cost me 50c to use.  But when Roger tried to pay on entry, the very friendly male toilet attendant shook his head, smiled broadly and said “Peepee frie,” at which point Roger turned on his heels and bolted back up the stairs thinking that the attendant was going to electrocute his wee in some sort of sexual fetish!  Unable to bear him walking cross-legged through the streets, I dragged him back down the steps and explained that he could ‘pee’ for ‘free’, and that the male attendant was simply being friendly.

Further down the road we came across the Frankfurt Stock Exchange where we sat in the shade of the enormous buildings licking and slurping at our fast melting Calypso ice-creams.  Just along from where we sat were two huge bronze statues of a bear and a bull that appeared to be positioned in some sort of fight or stand-off.  A group of female tourists were taking photographs of the bull’s testicles, and then shrieking with laughter as they all rubbed their hands around the enormous bronze baubles.  We thought perhaps it was good luck to rub the bull’s balls; but we didn’t rub them.  We thought it would be better if Roger leapt onto the bear’s back for a photo.

Bronze bull & bear outside Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

So we waited and waited until an opportunity arose.  Quick as a flash, Roger pulled his shorts as high as they would go, grabbed the bear’s buttocks and leap-frogged onto its back.  No sooner had his bare inner thighs touched the statue when an agonizing scream erupted from his mouth.

“AAAAAAAACHTUNG!!”  People froze, birds scattered, I was startled, and Roger was burnt.  It never occurred to us that since the bronze statue had been sitting in the direct sunlight all day it would be scorching hot.  I quickly snapped the photograph, peeled Roger’s thighs from the hot metal and helped him limp away into the shade where he clamped our Calypsos firmly between his thighs, which were now burning hotter than a stable boy in a Mills and Boon novel.  It was a long walk back to the hostel that afternoon, Roger’s legs spread as wide as he could get them.  I shudder to think what people must have thought as he John-Wayne-swaggered back through the red light district.

Having spent the last few days living off fast food, we decided to follow the hostel’s directions to the local supermarket to pick up some bits and pieces to make ourselves a proper meal.  It was starting to get late and we noticed that the people on the streets around us were beginning to morph:  the businessmen of the area were fast disappearing, and in their places trench coated men with narrow darting eyes appeared, staring appreciatively at the sex shops and strip joints and the scantily clad women leaning seductively on the street corners.

We quickened our pace, finding the supermarket quickly, however, again the hostel had let us down.  The shop was bare and it looked as if the store was in its last days of closure.  We scanned the streets around us.  The witching hour was fast approaching and we wanted to get off the streets, fast!  Sod it, we thought.  We made a dash for the golden arches, inhaled a Big Mac, large fries and a coke in one breath, and then scurried back to our hostel.  As we clambered in the main door we noticed that the meth-heads were back, as were the local constabulary.

Again we sat people-watching from the safety of our room for the remainder of the evening.  Roger felt the need to turn a simple observation into a military reconnaissance mission – tracking, spying, tailing.  His objective for the night was to monitor the comings and goings at the sex shop across the street.  I left Roger happily in position, dunking German biscuits into his English Breakfast tea and went to take a shower, all the time receiving stat reports from the next room.

“Alert, alert.  Man with briefcase approaching, easterly direction.  He’s slowing, he’s slowing, he’s looking, he’s looking….wait….wait….on my command.  Nope, he’s clear, he’s gone.  Wait…wait…He’s back, HE’S IN!  The target has entered the building, repeat, the target has entered the building!”

Honestly, what had I married?  When I finally emerged from the bathroom, there were biscuit crumbs everywhere and Roger had discreetly wrapped himself into the fabric of the curtain…just two little eyes peeping out and walkie talkie (mobile phone) in hand.  It was definitely time to get out of Frankfurt!  And what better place to be heading than beautiful Paris.


3 responses

7 02 2012
Angela Salvia

Love it! You’re a woman of many talents. Can’t wait for the next Chapter! Miss ya heaps! Ange xx

19 02 2012

You are such an incredibly talented woman and a fabulous author. Please, please, please let me know when I can tell my friends that I know a published writer 🙂 xxx

19 02 2012

Thanks for your kind words Cathy. 🙂

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