The liangze sleeping soundly in his cocoon. This five elements hostel is the least hotelie place we’ve stayed in, a semi-cheap hostel in the middle of the sketchy district of frankfurt, but otherwise pretty well located between the train station and the city center. we had to put the sheets on our beds ourselves! they only come in to remove the trash every day. and we had to pay a deposit for the sheets and the towels in case people run off with them. bathrooms are shared, but cleaned 3 times a day because they are shared, so that part was okay. i didn’t like bathing like i was in some public toilet at the public swimming pool though. the hostel is thoroughly a youth hostel, with pub crawls and free pasta night and even a kitchen for people to cook together. the pictures on booking.com looked so much better i didn’t know i should expect such a hostelie place. it wasn’t even that cheap. but hippie people like my brother would probably enjoy it quite a bit.
here’s the train station at 5pm when we reached frankfurt. it was the last light of day and everything was glowing very prettily, all gold and mauve.
we found pretty good bubble tea here! unlike the one in singapore, you can actually opt to have it hot! which is great for the winter. the tapioca pearls were well done (much unlike the hungarian bubble tea which wasn’t even tapioca at all) and they even have exploding pearls filled with lychee juice or the coloured jellies that some people opt to put in their bubble tea. you know, the little cuboid jellies that are red and yellow and white and translucent and made of coconut gel. we had a taro flavoured bubble tea from this boutique which was very good, not too sweet. the boutique also fully exploited the palette of bubble tea colours and was all done up in pastel with curlicue fonts, retro stripes and polka dots. don’t know why bubble tea shops in singapore don’t seem to care much about presentation. there are plenty of bubble tea shops around the hotel, so it looks like it’s quite popular in germany too (we also saw a bubble tea shop in bonn).
there was this shopping center done up with glass triangles like a geodesic non-dome. very modern, looks a bit like iluma (the result is that i started craving ramen the entire day -.-) also made me feel right at home because of the modernity and the shopping! i didn’t buy anything although i did find a very deep purple/blue coat in mango that i liked. it was on offer too, 45 euros, but the coat they had in my size looked a bit worse for the wear, like some of the threads were coming loose. going to try to find it in the mangos in vienna/budapest, not sure if there’s on in prague! we’re in the train on the way to prague now. apparently there is no connection between the germany rail and prague, we are to detrain at nuremberg and take a bus to prague. they call it an express bus but i have my doubts on how express it can be if it’s a bus. only 15 minutes to make the connection from the nuremberg hauptbahnhof to the bus station, hopefully this ICE train runs on time.
we finally had our english breakfast! not for breakfast though, for lunch. the bubble tea was for breakfast because when we went to the irish pub in the morning, it was closed! looks like their english breakfast is not intended as a breakfast. it only opened at 12pm, so we went there for lunch. there was this completely adorable irish waiter there who upon hearing that we were from singapore, totally flipped out. he said he loved the place (he visited last summer for two weeks) and said it was so much better than frankfurt, it was so clean and cool, etc etc everytime he brought us food or cutlery he’d tell us what he did there and what really attracted him about the place. he loved lau pasat and the singapore sling, lol. i’ve never had it. we told him to open an irish pub there and he said there’s already one near raffles hotel! i’ve never been to a proper english pub in singapore, he said it wasn’t full irish either, just half irish. i wonder what that means. he was our age and really twitchy and adorable so we tipped him a lot. wish we got his email address though, so when he comes to singapore again we can take him around and show him where the really good food is. we already promised shandy and rodney to take them around and buy them a huge seafood dinner cause they refused to let us pay for anything in rotterdam! the english breakfast was not bad, no black pudding, the sausages and bacon and eggs really hit the spot. they ran out of baked beans though so he gave us an extra sausage lol.
we saw this floating truck in the old town in frankfurt. all the buildings in frankfurt are really modern (like singapore’s CBD) except this really hidden away pocket of old traditional german homes. there was a cut down christmas tree in the middle of it, and this floating truck! not sure why it’s floating.
liangze found a euro store here that sold all kinds of old currency that was made obsolete by the euro. we found some really old hungarian coins there. the standard unit of currency in hungary is the forint, and in the past the forint was so strong that they needed a ‘cent’ denomination, known as the filler. we found 20 and 50 filler coins in the coin box and bought them! a 50 filler coin is now worth 0.002 USD lol. we also found a huge english penny and old austrian groner, french francs, spanish pesos, italian lire, surprisingly we didn’t manage to get any marks. it was really interesting seeing all these artefacts that will never be used again. well, except maybe the lira :P