I am in Germany attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. I attend the Book Fair every year or two for business. I will spend from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in back-to-back 30 minute meetings with a half hour break for lunch. Today I spent over half of my lunch break in line for the restroom and then wolfed down a small sandwich and a Coke Zero in the remaining ten minutes.
The real fun began when we rushed to catch the train back to our hotel. When we got to the platform we deciphered a German sign informing us that all of the trains were running 50 minutes late. This resulted in a loud crush of people mulling about the train platform, making me feel fairly claustrophobic. After 40 minutes of waiting we caught the S4 train to the next stop, hoping to transfer to the S6 train which would take us to our usual stop. The S6 was not running in the direction we needed (or at least it was very late) so we consulted the train schedule and rushed to another track where a different train would get us the right city, but the wrong stop.
We got off the train in Bad Vilbel, one station past where we needed to be. We debated whether to walk, catch a cab or try a bus. We did not see any cabs and were not certain which bus to take. Since we knew the general direction we needed to take we decided to walk. Before we could get very far a kind German stopped us. He noticed that we were foreigners and that we were a bit uncertain how to get back to the area of the city we needed, so he called a cab company on his cell phone and instructed them to pick two gentlemen and a lady at the north train station. 20 minutes later or so the taxi pulled up and brought us safely back to our hotel. Phew!
And here is the best part – it is rumored that the train workers will go on strike tomorrow or possibly Friday, so things could get much, much worse. We’ve reserved a cab to drive us to the Book Fair tomorrow morning, but are not certain how we will get back to the hotel. There will probably be a very large crowd of folks trying to catch cabs at the end of the day and traffic will likely be congested with the influx of people forced to hire cabs or drive themselves. I am planning to wear a much more comfortable outfit tomorrow and will pack a few extra bags of peanut M & Ms, just in case!