Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Frankfurt: How to Be a German for a Day

They say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". But let's not. Let's do as the Germans do!

Let's get out of the tourist trail for a while and pretend we're locals. Here are seven things you can do to, ahem, fool others that you blend in. Frankfurt has the highest percentage of immigrants in Germany (at 35%) anyways, so locals won't be able to tell if you're one of them or not. ;)

1. Scarf Down Some Bratwurst. 
In English, grab yourself some sausages. I had mine at some stall downtown. They serve it on a bread which, for me, was a bit on the tough side that I wanted to ask, "Are these for people or for birds?
Considering it's called "fast food", good luck eating it fast enough. If you think you'll have problems chowing down the entire thing in 5 minutes, then you better request them to slice your "wurst" in bite size pieces. They'd gladly serve it in a paper plate for you.

my rindwurst on a really tough bread

grilling those mouthwatering sausages

2. Earn from plastics.
Yeah, you know if there's one thing that Ilocanos and Germans have in common, it would be frugality

Unwasteful. In Germany, you could even convert your trash into cash! Whenever buying softdrinks in the grocery, keep an eye on those PET bottles with an icon of bottles with a curved arrow pointing to the left. Purchasing these specially marked containers mean that you have "topped up" 50 eurocents to it. It therefore encourages you to return or recycle the bottles to get back your fund. 

look for this refund icon

A trip to the recycling machine is also an amusing experience. Once you put the bottles in, the machine scans the barcode, and prints a receipt which you can show at the checkout counter. Your refund is automatically deducted from your total purchases. Hm, I forgot to ask if you can literally cash it in.

3. Own a cuckoo clock.
Sorry Switzerland, but you do not own the cuckoo clock. Word has it that the original was built in Black Forest (nope, not the cake!), Germany.

a more modern cuckoo clock

4. Save on communication. SMS, don't call.
For only 15 eurocents, your call can go a long way, erm, in short message sending. Public phones here not only allow you to make a voice call, NOW you can send your contacts a text message! 

public phones

yes, you can SMS in a public phone!

5. Bike your way to the mall.
If only to save more on transport costs, Frankfurt is one of the bike-friendly cities. They're so friendly you can even park them inside the malls! 

bike, bike baby!

park your bikes in the mall

6. Have wheatbread and emmental cheese for breakfast.
My hosts told me that local women who wish to shed off a few extra pounds polish off some wheat bread (vollkornbrot). They come in discs or squares and are compact and with a moist but crumbly texture.

the brot (bread) with some Käse

vollkornbrot = wholemeal bread
My guess is that pairing it with cheese will defeat the purpose. What do you think?

7. Pedal your way to a mug of beer.
Alright, so this is more of a touristy thing to do. Maybe the local thing to do would be to learn how to pour yourself a glass of beer.

pedal for a beer

In the next post, I will share a videoclip of my Filipino-American friend attempting and succeeding in pouring herself some ;)


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