How I Met the German Transit Authority

Two days in Germany and I already broke the law. There we were, midnight, filming a short skit between trains. A train had just arrived so we stopped filming and waited. I was on one side of the tracks, my colleagues on the other, when two transit authority officers stepped off the train on their side. They looked at them, they look across at me, and then slowly began to make their way to the end of the track to cross over to my side. Everyone tried to look busy, tried to look innocent, tried to look anywhere but directly at them. They approached me. “Was maschst du?” (which is actually a simplified version of what they said…not that I actually know) I’m smart enough to assume they asked me what I was doing so I told them we were filming a short student film. They asked if I spoke German I said no, they asked if my friends spoke German I said some. FINALLY one of my colleagues came over and talked to them. Apparently it is illegal, without permission, to film or photograph on transit property. So we packed up, while they watched, and finally they got on a train and left. No major trouble, but now we know! You live, you learn.

After, at about 1am two friends rode the train home with me. Frankfurt at night is very quite. There are one or two people out, but not many. Everywhere you go there is silence. It’s quite nice actually. I feel safer on the streets of Frankfurt than I ever have anywhere in the US. I could live in Frankfurt and be very happy.

My favorite part of the day is my morning commute to Konstablerwache, which is a central square in town. There is  Starbucks and loads of shops, and a huge mall, home to the world’s second longest elevator which I had the privilege of riding. I like my commute because it’s one time of the day that I don’t have to be an American. I don’t have to be just another tourist, because as long as I have my headphones in, I know which train to get on and off on, and I don’t speak, no one knows. It’s nice to just be a fake German commuter for twenty minutes every morning. At least until I order coffee an butcher every word.

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