|From Berlin we took a train to Frankfurt, where we were to meet up with Ellie before heading to Norway with her for Christmas. A really nice guy at thetrain station helped us find the hostel Ellie was at, called 'Stay and Learn'. He laughed when he heard the name, and said it sounded a bit suspicious. We agreed. Nevertheless, he tracked it down on his palm pilot and gave Sonja and I his work number in case we ran into any trouble while we were in the city. I was really taken aback and pleasantly surprised by his kindness to us.
When we got to the hostel, Ellie was right there in the common room and we all hugged and celebrated. The roomies were reunited! We somehow managed to get a room for just the three of us with a bathroom inside, which is an absolute luxury when you are travelling and staying in hostels. We all caught up on our trips thus far and got ready to go out. We went to another Christmas market (I'm telling you, the Germans spread these things like wildfire...they even have one in Nottingham!) But this one was even better tha Berlin *because* there was an American playing live music in the middle of the market and he had attracted a huge crowd. He started singing 'Brown Eyed Girl', and we sang along. However, we were the only other three people in that crowd that knew the song, so he knew right away that we were American and pointed us out in German to the crowd, who all turned around and looked at us. It was pretty funny. We waved. The best part, however, is that apparently Germans are OBSESSED with John Denver. Yeah. They kept requesting songs like 'Country Roads', 'Leaving on a Jet Plane', 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy', and others. And they knew all the words. And sang them in their cute accents. It was priceless.
We came back to the hostel, changed clothes, and stopped for a few beers in the common room before going out on the town, since they were cheaper at the hostel than any bar in the city. The next thing we knew, some guy sat down at our table and started making small talk with us. His name was Latvi, and he worked at Stay and Learn. He told us that the hostel is also a dormitory for students from all over the world who travel there to learn German fluently enough to pass college entrance exams to study in Frankfurt. He also had a thing for me. (Don't get too excited, he was about 40, short, and balding.) He therefor took it upon himself to escort us to our nightclub. Well, all of the clubs were either closed or wouldn't let us in with open-toed shoes, so he then took us to 'his bar', which was a forty-something hangout and really cheesy. So, the girls made ME break it to him that we basically wanted him to leave us alone for the rest of the night (I put it a bit more diplomatically than that). He was understanding, but apparently couldn't resist one last attempt to woo me by saying he was part owner of the Stay and Learn and made alot of money. Oh, Latvi. I'm not THAT much of a gold digger.
Cold, disappointed, and HUNGRY, we marched our stiletto heeled selves back to the train station, where we stuffed our faces with McDonalds and called it a night.