Question: What do you do during a seven-hour layover?
Answer: Get on a train, duh.
Monday afternoon I boarded a Lufthansa flight from Chicago to Frankfurt. Eight hours in the air passed rather quickly, and with not much more than a short nap, because I was seated next to a rather chatty guy. I hardly ever made eye contact with seat mates in the past but being away from your home and your community for so long can be rather isolating if you refuse to talk to strangers. So, throw elementary school caution to the wind!
We touched down in Frankfurt ahead of schedule, at about 5:45 am local time. Great. Early. Just what I needed with a layover that was already scheduled at 6.5 hours long. Somewhere over the Atlantic I had resolved to break out of the airport to burn some daylight while I waited for the Mumbai flight. It appeared I would now have even more time to use up and precisely during the hours I would typically be asleep back in Chicago. Challenge accepted.
The airport was creepily empty and I soon felt like I was in a bad made-for-TV movie. It took me about 40 minutes to locate a full exit and not just a terminal-to-terminal security pass. The guy in Customs gave me a classic German smirk when I proclaimed I was planning to stay in Germany but six hours and wanted to go see the sights!
“Zee shops are closed and do not open unteel eight ohhr nine zho I don’t know vaht you ahhr going to doo. But eeef you vahnt to, go ahead.” Smirk.
Yes, I do want to, thankyouverymuch.
I wandered around on a pedestrian mall for a bit and eventually found myself standing in front of the opera hall.
“Yah, zaht is zee cherry tahhrt but you cannot have eet becauz I have taken zem all.” Smirk.
Well, okay then. I’ll take the apfel.