June 15, 2004

keeping it real

(btw: I can't seem to reach my outgoing mail server these last couple of days, but can recieve fine. I owe many of you e-mails that will have to wait until I'm home).

So I get off the plane in Frankfurt at 6-something a.m., breeze through customs (my bag is checked straight through to SFO so I'm only lugging my daypack), follow the signs to the train, take the train to downtown Frankfurt, walk out of the station and start heading for the old part of town. I'm trying to sort out which way is which, while keeping an eye out for a good hotel with Internet connection, and looking forward to a day practicing German, when a girl walking by says something to me that I don't make out. So I stop and say (in German) "Sorry, I'm from America and my German isn't so good.". To which she replies (in English) "oh, do you want a blow job?".

Well, the answer to this question is generally a rapid: "yes". But this is obviously the wrong context so I'm trying to sort out my reply in German when she says "I do a good job, 10 Euros". Okay, so much for replying in German "No thank yo—" wait, 10 Euros? That's like $12. I mean ‘dinner-and-a-movie' back in the States is...never mind "No, no thanks. Later."

Quite a slap in the face after the land of Burkas -- it's been a while since I've seen a local woman without at least long sleeves, if not a headscarf, who would even remain in the room while so much as a tangential reference to sex was made. Anyway, guess I'll be practicing German in a different part of town (in fact I already have and am now typing this from a bench in a open stone plaza in the middle of old-town Frankfurt having fumbled my way through most of the morning with rusty language skills; no luck "wardriving", looking for free 802.11, yet but I'm still trying -- wait, got one, uploading blog).

on the web in Frankfurt

Which brings up the next topic, I've intentionally kept this Blog in the informal voice, and made no pretenses at professional airs, with the intention of keeping this as entertaining and informative as possible (in the vernacular: ‘keeping it real'), but there are a LOT of people reading it. The site has been averaging over a hundred visitors a day. It's also interesting to note the domains from which the traffic is coming, two of the top 15 most active domains belong to well known Bay Area venture funds -- so much for it not crossing over into my professional life. I guess I should leave out stories that involve things like German hookers.

Of course, now that I'm out of Baghdad, I'm sure most of you will get bored and wander off anyway -- at least until I do something else kinda stupid and crazy (... which, admittedly, usually doesn't take very long...). I just hope that I've only offended those that I meant to, and entertained the rest of you to your satisfaction.

I'll be posting some epilogues here shortly after I'm back. I made some observations in Iraq, and have a few stories left, that I haven't had a chance to post but that I think are worth sharing. I'll make the odd posting on life in general going forward too -- but before everyone disappears I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Your attention has been flattering and I won't take it personally as the traffic drops back down.


Posted by rick at June 15, 2004 12:06 AM