Within 28 hours of landing in Frankfurt, I found myself in The Red Light District. Perhaps you are shocked by reading this, but I would ask that you take a step back, think hard about what you know about me, and ask yourself:
“Is Ean the type of guy I would expect to make his way to a completely legal, socially-approved, taxable-income-producing Red Light District in a foreign country he’s never visited within the length of time he would typically spend working a grueling Residency shift?”
If that doesn’t seem reasonable to you, then perhaps you are putting this whole thing in the wrong context, as ‘H’, Allan, and I decided to learn some of the less obvious history of Frankfurt on the Free Frankfurt Alternative Walking Tour.
I suppose you may have thought I was referring to my partaking in the morally obtuse activities provided in any number of Red Light Districts throughout the world; alas, I have less regretful ways of spending my money.
Our guide’s name was Benjamin, a young and hearty German of Colombian ancestry who led us on a walking tour from the historic district surrounding the Frankfurt Train station to the one remaining Cathedral in Frankfurt over the course of three hours.
In between, we managed to learn about how Frankfurt chose to deal with their increasingly deadly IV drug epidemic, the legality and monitoring of the “sex trade”, the utility of keeping the enormous sculpture denoting the birth of the Euro, and more poignantly, the over 1100 discrete memorials to the victims of the Holocaust.
While Allan and H have been living in Frankfurt for several months, they had not yet been able to learn some of the socially enlightening details of their adopted home.
But in a short three hours under the scorching Frankfurt sun, while walking through several neighborhoods, and learning some of the finer points about Frankfurt culture, I couldn’t help but feel a kinship to its people and a newly discovered sense of its history, none of which was associated with its vibrant Red Light District.