Frankfurt Book Fare
Fifty Shades of Schnitzel:
an excerpt from the forthcoming Frankfurt diary of
Thursday - Day 3
Fuelled by a largish mound of crispy bacon, I sprint across the footbridge to the back of Hall 8 like a crazed and ungainly leopard late for a parent-teacher meeting. My contact is late, and I think mistakes my silence for disapproval – I’m in fact just trying to catch my breath. The coffee is still so bad it feels punitive.
Many appointments later, my boss Vanessa has also given in to the Frankfurt frankfurters (did I mention you get a pair, with a hard roll?) and brings one pair over for me after getting a pair for herself. There’s a cunning lit
tle hole in the roll, filled with mustard! My mouth is busy pitching our extraordinary range of fiction and non-fiction, but I hope the gratitude in my eyes does not go unnoticed.
Dinner at a traditional regional eatery called Zum Grauen Bock… The beautiful, pencil-slim agent seated next to me and I (pleasant-enough looking, I guess, decidedly not slim) both want to try a bit of everything so agree to share our starters. In the event, we could easily share them with a small refugee camp, as the pickled herring turns out to be a traditional, regional ENTIRE HERRING, soused in vinegar and loung
ing languidly in a lake of sour cream, caressed by fronds of pickled onion rings and wearing a decidedly come-hither look. My companion’s starter of liver dumplings could nicely feed a garrison emerging from a castle under prolonged siege, long after they’ve eaten all the rats and horses. The main courses begin to arrive like a pageant from a medieval bestiary: roe deer stew, suckling pig, knuckle of wild boar, roast swan, unicorn pie, schnitzel in cheese sauce…
Scanning the happy international faces around us, the bare wooden tables and the democratic condiment trolley, it suddenly occurs to me that context is all – for all we know we’re in the German version of Aberdeen Steak House.
How do you say tant pis in German?
On the flight back, however, Lufhansa produced it
s own frankfurter; even the mashed potato sweated in fear...
(Oh my, the pickle is bigger than the sausage. In this context, a very good thing, Christian)