That night we accidentally stayed in a red-light district and didn’t die

Aka the scariest* night of my (stable middle class coastal US) life. I mean, our arrival started off well. We were doing a 12 hour layover through Frankfurt. We were excited to see a sign at the airport that said du hast (we pretended it was related to the song), and our minds were blown on the train from the airport to the city (it was the most high tech train I’ve ever seen! Complete with arrival times and cushy seats). As soon as we left the train station, though, things got unexpectedly weird.

The moral of the story is to look into the area you’re staying in, even if you’re just there for a night….

Once we got off the train, I took in the cool, crisp, late night air. Having been in hot and humid Greece right before, this was delightfully refreshing and familiar to the weather back home. This area had a mix of handsome older stone buildings close by with modern high rises poking out in the distance. We were giddy as neither of us had been to Germany before and wanted to get to know for our few hours another country that had so much technological and cultural influence in our westernized lives.

As we walked towards our hotel, we passed by a group bundled up and huddled closely. “Must be the cold,” I thought to myself, seeing something glowing- perhaps a fire to keep them warm, and nodded and smiled at the group. One turned to me, and I saw… THAT THEY WERE SMOKING CRACK. ACTUAL CRACK COCAINE. WTF. I totally won’t judge if you liked normal cocaine, but you should never do crack. It is an actual bad drug.

I quickly got over it though- I mean, this was a new big city, and there are crackheads all over the world. So a bit startled, but now calmed down, we eventually reached our hotel and were on the hunt for food. There were a few brats places nearby that we wanted to try, but they all closed at 10!

We wandered down now a couple of streets away from the hotel. In this two street trek, we passed by probably six police cars, just patrolling. “Maybe Frankfurt has a really well funded police department,” we thought. Anyway, we ended up getting food at a McDonald’s in an area containing a bunch of foodless bars.

On the way out, as we waited to cross the street, we looked diagonally at the merrimakers enjoying beers both indoors and outdoors. “Must be fun, but we’re tired,” we told each other. And then… one guy ran outside and slammed a glass bottle over another guy’s head!!!!! His screams were so scary- well I guess of course, he was a(n innocent?) person getting his head smashed!!!!!!!

The guy who started it quickly turned his now broken bottle into a shank and started shanking his target, who was now trying to fight back. WTF. Who attacks other people like that?!

The people around them ran away or stared and watched, and thankfully the police came by extremely quickly. Now very much disturbed, we quickly and carefully walked back to the safety of our hotel.

On the way back, I remember seeing a 40 year old women with long black hair and full cheeks, holding a prepaid 90s style cell phone. “Why does she have that phone?” I thought to myself. “It’s so old!” Anyway, we made it back to the hotel, ate our food, and realized our room was facing another busy road.

This road looked like hooker street, and it was busy! We watched for a bit- we saw people getting picked up, people getting cornered and forced into buildings, and one person getting hit and then robbed. It was weird, and I really didn’t want to watch anymore, so I went to bed.

Boyfriend woke me up maybe 20 minutes later because a crowd was forming around a building, and he wanted me to watch. “WTF. This trip is so weird I don’t want to see more,” I thought, as I went to see more.

And it turned out to be burner phone girl about to jump off a building! OMG!!! The police were there too, and I think trying to talk her down (in German). After an hour of coaxing (?), she finally climbed down with the officer, and everyone clapped, and it was strangely beautiful.

And that concluded our night in Frankfurt.

*I’m sure scarier things have happened to people, but this is my weird story. Also I’m 110% sure Frankfurt is a way nicer place and we were just in the wrong area at the wrong time, so don’t let this stop your trip! Instead, just make sure you’re in a safe area, wherever you go.

Street in FrankfurtPeople also curious about the attack. Photo was taken by boyfriend as I was pretending we lived in a more peaceful world.

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