Sunday, 22 August 2010

Meine Pflanze fährt schwarz

My plant is skipping the fare

Yesterday I woke up at 0845 after my housemate advised we should get up early to have time to go to IKEA and the Wiesbaden wine festival. I didn't get out of bed until 0930 though and I was the first one up. She decided she didn't need to go to IKEA in the end, but me and my other flatmate still did. So I got myself ready and made a checklist of what I would need to buy from IKEA, and then I checked how we would get there:

table lamp, scissors, wastepaper basket, rug?, coat hangers, mirror, storage?

We made sure we knew where we were going and then set off. We felt we were sensibly dressed in our jeans and cardis, until we left the front door. It was 27°C. Nonetheless we proceeded to Grüneburgweg U-Bahn station (yes the site of my recent fright) and got the U2 in the direction of Gonzenheim (not Gonzenhem as I managed to write, above). Kalbach was the 11th stop. We discussed Germany's love of dubbing television programmes and films. They're dubbed well but we'd still rather watch the originals.

We got of the U-Bahn at Kalbach. It already felt like we were a long way out of the city. The skyline was on the horizon and there were fields the other side of the tracks. We went to wait for our bus. The carpark next to the station had a strange feel and parked right in the middle was a mushroom-coloured car that was at least 30 years old. It was a little too much like looking at a scene from a late 70s cop show and that car would explode at any moment. The 12 minutes until the bus arrived could not pass quickly enough.

Three teenage boys (let's say they were about 13) were also at the bus stop. They asked us if the bus went to McDonalds. "Keine Ahnung" was my response and they went back to studying the route map. Surely they could just go into town for a McDonalds?

We boarded the bus and sat down. We went round the semi-rural streets and stopped at the McDonalds. We got to Gewerbegebiet Nieder-Eschenbach and alighted. IKEA was obvious enough but the entrance wasn't so we just followed the other alighting passengers across the car park and hoped they had more of an idea than we did. We found the entrance and got our yellow bag and trolley and skipped the furniture displays.

IKEA is pretty much the same everywhere, as far as I can gather. The prices are in Euros in Germany though, and the lingonberry drink is fizzy not still. We got very confused by the self-service tills and I was saddened it would not accept my IKEA Family card because it was not German. Then I forgot to pay for my mirror so had to use the self-service machine again, and this time it did a different process with my bank card which was rather confusing. Next time, we are going to a proper till.

We went up the escalators to the restaurant and got our portions of köttbullar and lingonberry drink (as previously mentioned). It was a pretty scenic view for an IKEA as well (beyond the car park at least):

After we bought our Swedish godis (and I bought some plain crisps as I genuinely don't know where else to buy them in Germany as yet) we headed back downstairs to try and get out of the shop. We ended up walking half way around the Markthalle again and then had to show our receipts as we once again walked past the tills, to show we were not ostentatiously stealing two bags of homewares, a mirror and a plant. The lady told us to use the lockers next time. 

We waited in the baking heat for the bus. I used my mirror as a sunshade. Then we got back on the bus and couldn't work out which tickets you needed so decided to be Schwarzfahrerinnen (fare dodgers) for the short stretch to the U-Bahn, where we would once again acquire legitimate tickets back into Frankfurt. I was slightly terrified. We were hardly inconspicious with our outsized IKEA purchases and I started to convince myself this was the one day that the northern suburbs of Frankfurt would have a crackdown on those riding without tickets.

Die Schwarzfahrenpflanze
The fare-dodger plant

Of course, that did not happen and we got to Kalbach (the mushroom-couloured car had still not exploded), bought our tickets and resumed our journey back to Grüneburgweg. A lady sat next to me and commented on the sun. It was very warm. By the time we were back at Grüneburgweg we couldn't wait to get home and drink some iced water. Luckily we still had some ice left from my 'welcome party' so we got our iced water and then had a little rest. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Vicky,

    I hope all is going well in Frankfurt! :)
    From what I've gathered so far from your blogs, you seem to be surviving which I am very pleased about!

    Hope to speak to you soon,