“The Art of Waiting”
Frankfurt, July 20, 2012
I don’t recommend flying from China to the United States via Europe, but if it must be done, Frankfurt is a great place to have a layover. After being sure to get as close to 8 hours sleep as possible on the flight from Beijing to Frankfurt, I had six hours to kill in Germany. I don’t speak any German, except sprechen Sie Englisch?, which happened to be enough to get around, because everyone I asked said “a little” and then proceded to speak to me in quite fluent English. The one exception was a man from Italy with whom I ended up communicating in Spanish—I love that I can do that!
Frankfurt has an amazingly accessible train station attached to the airport, which makes taking a 15 minute train to Frankfurt center for a quick layover meal very easy.
The best parts of visiting Frankfurt:
- A delicious pastry for breakfast
- Bratwurst (I think that’s what it’s called) and mustard for breakfast
- Handmade amazing chocolates for breakfast
Yeah, I had kind of a dream breakfast that morning—I figured, why not? I’m not in Germany every day, so a little indulgence won’t hurt. I didn’t regret it one bit; everything was delicious!
Actually, thee very best part of Frankfurt was getting out of the train in the underground station downtown and smelling the fresh air as I began to ascend the stairs. The air tasted so fresh and sweet I wanted to bottle it and remember that sensation forever. When I did reach the top of the stairs and emerged from underground, the blue sky spotted with the fluffiest whitest clouds I had ever seen seemed like a dream—granted, this was after almost two months in eastern China where the sky is rarely blue (I never saw it as blue as that German sky) and the air is full of toxins. What a welcome feelings to my lungs and my soul! This is not to say that I don’t like China, only the sad reality that the air quality in the most populated areas in China is very poor.
If only I could appreciate breathing the fresh air every day of my life as much as I did on that beautiful morning in Frankfurt.
While eating my pastry, I saw a sign in English that was far enough away that I couldn’t quite tell what it said, and I thought it said “The Art of Waiting.” I smiled to myself and thought, “Yeah, that’s exactly what this is.” Turns out the sign actually said “The Art of Writing,” but my misreading it made for a moving moment of reflection. Waiting, indeed, is an art that takes a lifetime to master, and that morning was a taste of what mastery of it could feel like.