If It’s Friday It Must Be Frankfurt

So I called my wife at nearly 10pm here in Germany and it was still only 4pm there. Wow, that’s weird. Maybe not as weird as when I was in Australia and I would call and it would be an entirely different day in Ohio. But still weird enough.

Notes on the day:

1. Despite sleeping a little on the plane, I pretty much passed out once I got to my hobbit-sized hotel room and slept until 2pm. Now it’s a bit past 10 and man I am so ready to collapse again. Apparently, Germany makes me tired.

2. While I was awake I met Carolin, my handler here in Germany, who will be accompanying me through the country so I don’t take a wrong turn and end up in Austria. Given my discombobulated nature at the moment, this is very important.

3. I met some of the folks at Heyne today, and they are lovely. It’s great to be published by these folks.

4. Holy God, the Frankfurt Book Fair is huge. As in, you could take all of BEA and it would fit in a corner level of huge. I walked an unspeakable amount.

5. Despite the immense immensity of the fair, I just happened to run into a friend of mine, Lawrence Schimel, as I walked into the International room. Coincidence? Or fate? Well, probably coincidence. But a nice one.

6. My big event of the day was a reception hosted by the American ambassador to Germany, Philip Murphy, who was nice enough to include me in his prepared remarks to the crowd. I also had a nice chat with his wife Tammy, and met some of the Consulate staff who brought me over here in the first place. Made me feel like a big shot, it did.

7. And then off to dinner with folks from my publisher; we went to a place serving traditional Frankfurt cuisine, and before you ask, no, I did not have a Frankenfurter. Really, now. I did have Apfelweinbratwurst, however, and it was fantastic.

8. And now I can feel the food coma coming on. Night, all, even those of you for whom it is still afternoon.

32 Comments on “If It’s Friday It Must Be Frankfurt”

  1. Sounds cool! My grandmother’s from Frankfurt (back before the war) and it was only last year that my father went back and connected with our family there. Looking forward to when I can visit.

    For the ambassador thing, were you wearing a tux? Am picturing Secret Agent Skalzi!

  2. Sounds like too much fun.

    A tux would be to obvious. After all the Bond films, they’re always suspicious of people in tuxes at ambassadors’ receptions.

  3. It would be awesome if you were to take some pictures of the food you eat and share them after the trip (yes, you’d look like a dork, but would that bother you?). I’ve had beer brats, but an Apfelweinbratwurst sounds pretty amazing.

  4. You really want to blow your cultural mind? Have them take you to a restaurant which has been around since 1300 or 1400 or whatever. Always educational to eat in a place which has been around since before the Americas were even rediscovered by the white people.

    plus you really only need to learn 2 or 3 things in german
    “nach ein Bier bitte”
    “Danke Schoen”

  5. And while the Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest, it isn’t the only one. Leipzig has one that is almost as large and think there are a couple of others. Most of them go back a few centuries.

    On the food front, it’s Frankfurter (as in sausage from Frankfurt), not Frankenfurter (as in Rocky Horror). And remember, try the Handkäs mit Musik, ’cause, you know, fart joke and all.

  6. Just got back from Cirque de Soleil in Berlin to tune in and see how Frankfurt was: I look forward to hearing more about the Bookfair and hope it’s intriguing enough that I may skip BEA next year and aim for that (or Leipzig) instead.

  7. “so I don’t take a wrong turn and end up in Austria. ”

    C’mon, it’s Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick ’em up, we zip right out again. We’re not going to Moscow. It’s Czechoslovakia. It’s like going into Wisconsin.

  8. 1. Liking the new list format.
    2. Things to do:
    3. Check out Lake Constance down south (on border with Switzerland)
    4. Go fast on the Autobahn!
    5. Try many Kabinetts (a varietal white wine)

  9. Everybody I know who’s regularly done Europe USA trips insists that the jet lag after flying from the USA to Europe is far worse than flying in the other direction. So feeling zonked-out and weird after flying in that direction is normal. Well. Kinda, sorta normal. Ish. Maybe. (Personally I could never tell the difference.)

  10. Its a hot dog, not “hundwurst.”

    And avoid Walldorf. SAP lies there, dreaming in its fastness.

  11. My suggestion is drink wine in Frankfurt. The beer is ok. The wine is excellent. Save the beer for Munich.

    TW: there is no Czechoslovakia any more.

    MVS: yes. yes. yes. In fact, skip Munich. Go to Switzerland!

  12. Good luck with your jetlag! Take care of yourself and rest when you get a chance. (Sounds like you’re pretty busy though!)

  13. Seconding what Bob says, jet lag is generally worse for west-east travel than vice versa.

    Anyway, enjoy Frankfurt and the book fair.

  14. “Handler” makes it sound like you need someone to keep you from touching things.

    You’re in a foreign country, you should touch as much as you can. :)

  15. “Apfelweinbratwurst” – is that like a brat steeped in apple cider? Totally do not speak German…

  16. Having a handler, going to a consulate dinner and being mentioned by the ambassador, and generally being treated like a big shot – I don’t get why you are stuck in the hobbit room. It seems all kinds of wrong to me.
    “Apfelweinbratwurst” – I think there should be a limit on word size in Germany. At some point it should be required that to separate it into two words or even three words.
    Imagine being a child and having to learn to spell words that go on for several miles.

  17. @Sara: In German there is no limit to the length of words. Try:


  18. Holy Hofbrauhaus, there’s something BIGGER than BEA? That was &^%$#@! huge!

    OK, you’ve boggled the brain. Thank you, I think.

    Have a great and safe trip.

  19. Hi everyone,
    It was “Stripes” and the next line is, “Well, I got my butt kicked in Wisconsin once”
    I was in Frankfurt 7-8 years ago on my way to work in Koenigstein (sp?) close by.
    Loved both cities and the food, Sauerbraten was my favorite thing followed closely by a white asparagus in a light cheese sauce. You can gain a ton over there so be careful John.

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