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Lost in Frankfurt

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posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 05:17 AM
After having to leave my home, I was in a position where I could only get so far...and that was Frankfurt.

Upon arrival I had very little money and spent a few hours in the main airport chatting to two very helpful information desk people. One of whom was from Australia.

I was enquiring about employment and places to live and emergency help for the meantime.
These guys were a great help. Thumbs up to you two.

They informed me that I had to jump on the next train to Frankfurt city centre (which you jump onto without buying a ticket if you so desire, but if you see a blue shirted inspector get on, then you gotta get off. Each carriage is a unit in itself so you'll know if an inspector gets on your carriage. You can't walk the length of the train.) Many people use this method. As much as there are scary messages about fines for not having tickets, there are very very few ticket inspectors at the stations, platforms or trains...

Once in Frankfurt I had to go to the Bahnhofs mission which is basically an office for the homeless or weary travelers or the needy to pop into and get help. Here, you can get a free tea or coffee (though restricted on top-ups), sit around or have a chat. It is situated next to platform 1 of the main train station.

The mission will give you a lot of information, some helpful, some not.
They will provide you with a map and list of helpful locations.

These include;

Free breakfast; lunch 0.50€
Gutleutstrasse 20
mo, tu, wed, thu 7.30 - 16.00
sun 0.00 - 16.00

Teestube Jona
0.20€ upwards
Pforzheimer strasse 7
Fr, Sa 16.00 - 21.00
Thu 14.00 - 21.00

Lion of Juda
Food for free
Niddastr. 49, 4th floor
Wed, Thu, Fr, Sat 17.00 - 19.00

My time spent in the Teestube Jona cafe was wonderful. I found it amazing as to how many local businesses bring in the excess food/drinks they do not need any longer. The majority of food brought in was after the days shops were closing and was all really good fresh food that would have been wasted otherwise. Fresh cakes, breads, pastries, fruit and vegtables were spread over several tables and it was a fre-for-all, but amazingly, you don't see any greedy swines swiping as much as they can.. very civilized behaviour for some who were there. Most impressive.

It was in here that I just happened to introduce ATS to several people who were basically left dumb struck with the amount of info i passed their way.

I wish to extend a big thank you to everyone in Teestube. You helped me out big time. I hope everything is still going well for you all.

As for having somewhere to sleep, you have a few options. the list provided by the Bahnhofs mission tells you where these places are. Bahnhofs can arrange for you to stay at any one of these places. the most common is the one way over at Ostpark.

You're going to need a tram for this place (just jump on it..jump off if you see inspector) Ostpark is a long walk from Bahnhofs mission. You need tram No.12.

I spent 6 nights on the streets, but was fortunate enough to find a block of flats being built and slept in the underground car park for most nights, so i was out of the wind and rain. i was also out of the way of any prying eyes (police...not that they were much of a problem anyway.. so much of a different attitude to which i am accustomed, ie. UK police).

The homeless shelter at Ostpark is paid for by the government, and ultimately, it is the social services who decide if you can continue to stay there or not. i was there for three nights whilst my claim was going through. It was refused on the basis that i was English and was sent back to hte Bahnhofs mission to claim a 79€ coach ticket (paid for by the government) to get me back to the UK (15 hour journey). I was not allowed any financial assistance, work or housing. Kicked out basically.

got a nice sun tan though..

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 05:39 AM
I have to did you come to be in Frankfurt in the first place?

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 05:42 AM
i was living way over the other side of the world...had to leave due to certain things happening...main one was my visa running out..but Frankfurt was as far as I could afford to go...not that i actually wanted to go all the way back to UK in the first place

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 05:46 AM
Frankfurt is a lovely place to be lost in though...such a civilised place where they even had cigarette vending machines on the street corners (when i was last there)....and unvandalised too!

once you get used to the feeling of 'free-fall' of living on the streets its almost enjoyable in a feral kind of way

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 05:56 AM
They still have those cigarette machines there... all over the place.
You can openly drink alcohol on the streets too...

not like the UK, where you can get nicked by the plod for such matters.

frankfurt is a bit like being in a theme park in comparison to UK.
was quite an eye opener.. took a ew days to adjust to th fact that nobondy really cared...

[edit on 30-9-2008 by Extralien]

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 05:59 AM
reply to post by citizen smith

i think most of gernamy is actualy a nice place, i have a lost on my own in berlin story , wasnt sleeping on the streets, but nearly at the airport

i was playing (live dj set) at last years "F#uck parade" (that is actualy the name of the parade
, dam swear detector, its in context so is allowed
) im not swearing for the sake of it) in berlin, i was playing at the parade and one of teh after parties, i missed the parade due to my flight being late though.

when i got to berlin, i sent a message to teh promoter, got no reply so i sat about the airport eating currywurst (highly recomended) and watched the dudes who walk about picking up all the recycables (they trade it for money).

a few hours went by, and i still had not been contacted back, it then dawned on me that i might need to try and find this place myself and the mission begun.I asked help deck where "this" street was (showed them the name on the flyer) , they said get the bus from the station (bout half a mile from teh terminal) , got to the bus stop but it had been cancelled, had to get a train, asked a few locals what was happening and they were all brilliant and helped within a second ! (and being german you KNOW all the directions were spot on)

i ended up on a total mission through berlin, a city i had never been to, trying to find a club that was very hidden away.

at teh end, thanks to many many helpful gernam strangers (and someone with a record box and a logo i recognised) i manage to find the club and played

was then i found out that loads of people were getting worried as they could not get through to my phone, as it had no call time in it
, by the time i got to berlin centre and got to a phone to speak to teh promotor, he was at the airport looking for me.

i learned a few valuble lessons that day.

1. i can get anywhere if i put my mind to it.

2. germans are not nasty at all like tv and films would have you believe, they were friendly and really helpful with DAM GOOD DIRECTIONS!

3. if you go out of your home country, make sure their is money in your mobile phone or noone can contact you!! (thats basicly what happened to me)

4. NEVER be scared of an unexpected adventure, the mission to find the club in berlin was teh best part of teh trip for me

[edit on 30-9-2008 by boaby_phet]

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 10:59 AM
Yeah I remember Germany from my army days.
I had my car, fuel coupons and used to put the pedal to the metal!

Once off the autobahn it was so different being in the cities of Germany to the UK.
Parking is usually cheap or free (the ticket usually gets written off if your car isn't Germany registered).
Sleeping in a car really is quite comfortable once you get used to it. I saved bombs this way. I'd get clean in the leafy and sheltered yet plentiful rest areas that line the autobahn (oh why are we Brits still prisoner to the Service Station!). Then it was a nice morning ride into the city.
I did Prague this way, very smooth, very interesting.
Almost all of them had a peaceful vibe and an air of calm and order. They were usually clean and anti-social types were in very short supply (thankfully).
Yes I noticed the cigarette machines out there.
When I returned to the UK on my first leave the disallusionment soon set in!

We in the UK have a lot to learn.
But that is interesting the Germans sent you back to your home country.
Being an EU state you'd think they'd be obliged to help relocated you into Germany if you offered to work.
I know in Ireland some homeless folk drift there and get put into council housing! So there seems to be a country by country policy on the relocation thing.
Can I ask what country it was that you were living in 'around the world' as I suspect that it may of been Thailand. As this has recently changed its visa rules for single guys doing visa runs. I know a few folk who have had to leave.

[edit on 30-9-2008 by WatchRider]

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 04:27 PM
The social services just laughed at me when I said i was looking for work.
They then told me I would get no assistance, no food, money or shelter and I was to go see the people at the Bahnhofs mission to get a ticket back to UK.

I did meet some wonderful people, but I also met a few rather nasty characters.

One particular woman I met had stopped to help me. I was looking at my map and was trying to work out my exact location on a road. I had my full rucksack on my back, guess I hadn't shave for three days either.

She stepped up to me, all smiles, asked if I needed help. I told her i was just working out my position and she then butted in and informed whcih direction the train station was and where the city centre was. We were both smiling and being polite an discussing where we were. She then asked me where i was trying to go after I explained I was walking in the opposite direction she was pointing me.

As soon as I pointed to Oste park (homeless shelter area) she propped herself up, the smiles stopped and stormed off saying "oh, i thought you were a tourist".

Good riddance to her (hope she's reading).

Du to the vast area of the city, I found I was walking up to 20 miles a day to get to places for the handouts and other bonuses. But then again, rather that than resort to what some of the 'down and outs' do there.

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