I am sitting in Frankfurt, Germany, watching a nun in hiking boots chase a second nun (footwear not readily visible). Nun One knows that their flight is boarding. Nun Two is speedily on her way to the restroom, far, far down the concourse in the opposite direction. Nun One wears a cape-like coat in addition to her hiking boots, which makes her look like a fancy bat as she gains speed. Nun Two must be stopped!
A sinfully attractive gate attendant is waiting for Nun Two, as well. He is holding the bus to their flight. (Can you really in good conscience strand not one, but two nuns?) He is precisely what I like about Germany. He is tall, dark-haired, and wearing a tailored overcoat. He also keeps smiling and nodding. Whether this is part of his job or not is of no concern to me. He looks happy to be here.
I am now, too.
Have you ever seen Legally Blonde, The Musical?
There’s a little ditty entitled “There, Right There,” where the characters debate a hilarious new-age quandary:
(“They bring their boys up different in those charming foreign ports; in shiny shoes and tiny shorts. Gay or European, the answer could take weeks! They say things like “Chaio Bella!” as they kiss you on both cheeks…”)
I’ve seen it staged, and it’s rousing, if a bit offensive. (“You are so gay, you big parfait, you flaming one-man cabaret…”)
As it turns out, the man in the musical is…
Gay AND European.
As for the gate attendant, I don’t think the nuns are going to be much help with this one.
They made their flight, in case you were wondering, while gate attendant laughed softly and threw his hands in the air in a victory salute.
At any rate, he is much-improved over the pissy security force I encountered on what was a cross between a passport check and customs (what WAS that?). At least I got to keep my shoes on. (No wonder the women here are all wearing fabulous footwear and I am wearing chucks.)
Other things I did in Germany:
Spruce up in the duty-free shop. After all night on the plane, I look like a trainwreck by American standards. This means that most European folks are appalled just by having to sit near me. I put on some perfume, some bronzer, and called it a day. It’s like my own Sephora. But in Euros. And with whiskey.
Not buy coffee. I don’t really care for espresso as-is, and that seems to be the drink of choice. Tiny cups all around. Very different than the Starbucks slurpee gulp-sizes I’m used to seeing. ( Smaller cup = improvement, I say. No one needs half a gallon of swill.) I’m sure that something on the menu is coffee incognito (or just in German), but I’ll spare myself the embarrassment. And the $5 once I convert it.
Notice how tall all of the women are. And that they’re all wearing amazing boots. (Kudos to E, whose insistence that I bring boots made me do just that.) The prize goes to the nearly six-foot gal in the over-knee boots (the ones you have to have a knee cut-out flap for), and the giant camel-colored knit poncho. On me, it would look like a sweater factory swallowed someone from the Emerald City. On her, it looks like she stole Heidi Klum’s M.O. (Heidi’s German, after all.)
Not drink water. Well, kind of. There are no drinking fountains. None. Am I missing something? I saw a girl walk into the restroom (according to the sign, the “toilet” – how crass?) with a small white cup, which looked to be freshly procured. Again, I saved myself the embarrassment and am still beyond dehydrated. No bottled water that I’ve seen anywhere in my concourse, either. COME ON! I did the cup-your-hands-at-the-sink deal for a few seconds while no one was around. Thirsty, dammit!
Clean up after myself. Folks are prone to leaving their empty beverage containers on ledges, and a janitor in too-tight aqua pants (the whole ensemble is aqua, poor thing), picks them up. There’s a TRASH CAN RIGHT THERE, PEOPLE! (I thought Naples had the trash problem this week?)
Not look at myself in the restroom (toilet!) mirror. The mirrors are, kid you not, gray. German women are so pretty; is this just a random airport restroom thing? You couldn’t see your face well if you were standing in the sink.
Notice all the cool shoes. And bags. And just about everything else. The entire airport is gunmental gray and silver; dark and sort of militant, really. But folks, for the most part, have on neutrals with great splashes of neon or white. The guy sitting next to me in the terminal has white glasses like nothing I’ve ever seen not on Star Trek. …If I watched Star Trek. Exception to coolness: Shiny puffy coats for dudes. Looks like shellac. If this were Project Runway, I imagine Michael Kors saying something like “it looks like you put latex on a beehive!” Or something clearly much funnier.
Lose hot gate attendant guy. Must have gone one break while I was in the gray restroom looking at my grayer reflection.
Let’s hope he went to install a drinking fountain.
Edit: I am an IDIOT. (You knew this.) Origin of the small cups? The free coffee/frappe/anything you like machine across the concourse! I’m now drinking a tiny cup of café mocha. The power of observation.
Also observed: free newspapers.
What the hell?!
Thanks, Germany. Faith restored.