Thursday, March 5, 2009

Peter Pan, why is Frankfurt so sleazy?

All,

I have shamed myself into writing a new blog post. I didn't realize it had been two months. It's been so long you've probably forgotten I even have a blog... I know I did.

There's been a lot going on, but I'm going to stick to one story at a time.

Enter Peter Pan.

Okay, so as most of you know Valentine's Day was about three weeks ago. Being the much-too-clever for my own good kind of girlfriend, I decided to give Nate something we could BOTH enjoy...tickets to Peter Pan, the British musical.

Now some of you may be thinking something along the lines of LAME, but we like going to see musicals so you can uh...stuff it.

Anyway, the musical was showing at an English theater in Frankfurt so I booked tickets to the show and a hotel for the night. The only time we hang out in Frankfurt is when we're going to or from the airport so I thought this would be a good opportunity to see the city. Did I mention I'm much too clever for my own good?

So fast forward to the end of February and the day of the show. Our goal was to get up early and spend the day walking around Frankfurt, but we still haven't mastered the getting up early part. There's something about getting up before 10 a.m. on a weekend that just doesn't settle right...

We finally leave around noonish and make our way to Frankfurt. Check in is at 2 p.m. so this really works out perfectly. Nate volunteers to drive, which is probably a wise decision. I know my driving makes him nervous - he probably wouldn't admit this, but since he refers to my car as a "coffin on wheels" it's probably a safe bet that me behind the wheel gives him some anxiety.

Anyway, he gets left to the task of navigating a new city - lucky me - but he manages to get us to the hotel using the GPS. Unfortunately, there isn't any parking in front of the hotel so we miss the building and do a loop around the city.

This is loop one.

We make our way back and there's an open spot in front of the hotel. We check in and haul our bags up to the room. The room is nice, but definitely more modern than what we're used to. There was mood lighting so you could change the colors to orange or blue and the shower was half the length of the room with glass walls. Interesting...

After dumping our stuff, we head back downstairs to find the parking garage. The front desk clerk tells us to take the first left and we'll come to two garage doors. We should put the key in the left door and it will open.

Hmmm...

We follow the directions to the tee. We make the first left, come up to the doors and Nate tries to put the key in. Key word being "tries". The key doesn't fit.

Thinking we had the wrong garage we get back in the car and make the next left. This leads to another loop around the city.

This is loop number two.

We call the hotel and ask for better directions. They tell us the exact same thing they told us before.
They think we are stupid.

We come back to the hotel, make a left and go back to the original garage doors. By this time, Nate is not a happy camper. He's been driving all over the city in lousy traffic and has deemed my planning skills "poor". He gives me the key so I can try the garage door.

I put the key in the slot and the door opens.

Yes, the exact same door we tried earlier now works. Must be a woman's touch...

Fortunately for me, my boyfriend has a sense of humor.

Fortunately for him, we could walk everywhere and wouldn't need to stay sober to drive. We head to the bar.

The next few events are well...uneventful. We visit an Irish pub and have a beer and watch a rugby game. The Scots were playing. Funny, they didn't look like any of my romance novel covers.

Then we headed down the main shopping area and grabbed sushi for dinner. It's also probably worth noting that we were a crosswalk away from the red light district. Which essentially means, we were rubbing elbows with the sleazier part of town.

Peep shows, sex shops, men in trench coats, potential pimps and a bonafide cat fight in the middle of the sidewalk.

Never let anyone tell you Frankfurt is anything but class.

After sidestepping the drug dealers we made our way to the theater. It's been ages since I've seen any version of Peter Pan so I was super-stoked for the show. We were a few minutes early so we grabbed a few drinks at the theater bar.

This is when things got a little weird.

Red flag number one - there was a bake sale on one side of the bar. Not only were they selling pretzels and cookies, they were also selling tinkerbell wings. Hmm...Now this could be explained because we thought a lot of kids would show up for the show...right?

Red flag number two - The theater was bursting at the seams with kids. Not just one or two, but LOTS. Hmmm...well, Peter Pan is a kid's story...right?

Red flag number three - The back of the program has a photo of all the castmembers...and they're all under the age of 17.. Uh oh.

As it turns out, in my excitement to purchase tickets I didn't realize the show was being done by a kids drama school, not a British touring group.

Oops...

Lucky for me, my boyfriend is tough. Despite the fact that he sat next to two little girls the entire time and despite the fact they kept touching his leg and spilling cheerios in his lap, he still had a good time. Despite the fact that the acting left something to be desired and the adults next to us gave us dirty looks when we didn't stand up and chant "we believe in fairies", he still kept a smile on his face.

No, really - I jest, but we had an amazing time. I mean come on - your girlfriend buys you tickets to a musical thinking it will be a romantic evening out on the town and it turns out the musical is actually a student play and you're surrounded by kids for two hours with your tipsy girlfriend who chugged two huge beers at the bar when she realized she didn't plan very well -- you can't plan memories this great!

Anyway, we both uh.. took advantage of the bar and really enjoyed ourselves.

Afterward, we went back to the hotel and passed out. We woke up in the middle of the night, but couldn't figure out how to turn the lights out. It gives the "how many people does it take to screw in a light bulb" joke a whole new meaning.

The next morning we had bagel sandwiches and tea close to the stripping zone. Talk about a wake up call :)

And since nothing in Germany is open on Sunday (seriously, when do these people get anything done?), we went back to Heidelberg and spent the afternoon walking down the hauptstrasse and up by the river.

Final outcome? Frankfurt: 0, Jen's planning skills: 0.5, Musical: 6, Overall memory? 10 :)

Cheers!
Jen