Monday, March 12, 2007

How to catch a taxi in Frankfurt

It was a nice warm summer night in Frankfurt's famed redlight district. I was looking for a taxi after having just dropped my girlfriend off at the Hauptbahnhof so she could catch a late train home. We had been out with some squad mates for a night of drinking after being in the field for a month. Long excercises tend to make a growing boy thirsty.

I was walking along, enjoying the lights on the cathouse signs, smelling the food in the Greek place with the killer gyros. Being as it was about 1 A.M. or so, I was also getting tired. The redlight in 1985 was not really the nicest place to be when you're alone, half drunk and tired, and an American soldier. Terrorism was not so much a common occurrence, but things did happen. I once saw a Sergeant get hit by an Audi driven by someone associated with the Red Army Faction--but that's another story. Still, the redlight was full of all kinds of people you wouldn't want to hang around with if you could help it. Druggies and dealers, thieves, and any other miscreant you can think of tended to congregate there. I needed to find a taxi and unass that area of operations.

I rounded a corner hoping to run into a cab, but the night had other plans for me.

The streetlights were not working on this block, as there was a construction site on the other side of the street. Some office building or whatever being built at the time. Since the lights weren't working, it was quite dark on that street, only the lights from the new building and the glow from the next block allowing me to keep from running into anything.

I could see the sillouette of a girl leaning against the wall several meters ahead, casually smoking a cigarette. Getting closer, I saw she had a rather short dress on, and stiletto pumps. Both were red. One of the redlight's famous hookers.

The laws in Germany allowed for prostitution, but the girls were supposed to be inside the cathouses, and not on the street. All newbs arriving in Europe were told not to partake of hookers soliciting outside of established whorehouses, as they were far riskier for diseases, and could very well be thieves, having partners hiding in the shadows, waiting for young , stupid G.I.'s to clip.

I strolled on by the girl, not saying a word. Didn't even make eye contact. I wasn't looking for company. Like I said, I was looking for a taxi so I could drink with my friends some more.

She had other ideas though.

I heard the clicking of her heels on the pavement. I tried to step out a bit more smartly, but she caught up to me anyway. In a rather smokey voice she said to me, "Come in my room, funfzig mark, good fuck!" I told her no thanks, and tried to go about my business. She hooked her arm in mine and, more emphatically repeated herself. "Funfizig mark, good fuck. Let's go in my……."

Like I said, I was tired. Not looking for sex, just a cab, my buds and more booze.

I was also irritated at that point that she would grab my arm.

Before I go any further with this little tale, I should tell you that her voice was more than smokey. It was rather deep. She was also taller than me, and I'm 6'1". Taller by several inches. I was not looking for sex with a woman, let alone with a man dressed like one. And now my personal space was just invaded by a tranny.

About the time he was finishing his sales pitch, I grabbed his arm, spun around and slung him against the brick wall he was leaning against. He kind of bounced off of it, and slumped down rather ungracefully to the sidewalk. The heel of his pump had snapped, throwing him off balance.

He yelled out something in German I didn't quite understand. I just started walking away, looking for a goddamned taxi. A million taxis in this town, and not one anywhere in sight. Never when you need one, eh?

I heard some commotion behind me, and turned around to see five or six more trannys running after me. Big German Trannys in Fishnets. Fucking hell, this is not gonna be my night, is it? I'm in jeans, and leather soled boots which offer no kind of traction on pavement. I'm also tired and half lit, remember?

I'm thinking to myself I have to get the fuck out of Dodge. Now. I start running as fast as I can. I slide around the corner, where at least the lights from the brothels let me find a possible escape route.

Theres this cathouse called the Eros Center. It has three big glass doors. Inside, it's kind of a maze, and is built with what looks like polished marble. The girls that work there sit on barstools in all these corners and you normally walk around til you find one you like, and go upstairs with her. Well, I'm running as fast as I can, on polished marble in the aformentioned leather soled booties, slip-sliding around this marble maze with twenty hookers laughing at me while being chased by six guys in drag who want to kick my ass.

Having frequented this particular establishment in the past (young soldier, remember?), I recalled that there was a stairway that went up to the second floor, and another stairwell that went back down to an exit back on the street where I was sniffing souvlaki on the warm summer breeze.

I haul ass up the steps, make a right, down the hall and steps, out the door.

Lo and Fucking Behold! The gods do have mercy once in awhile.

A taxi where one wasn't not five minutes before, sitting on the curb idling away, and nobody in the back seat.

I dive into the taxi and yell at the driver to get to Sachsenhausen in a goddamned hurry. He looks back at me with his big goofy 80's Euro mustache and tells me, "It's no problem for me man!" He hits the gas and we clear the curb just as the Tranny Gang are busting out the door. I hear them yelling some obscenities as we barrel down the street.

The driver asks me what happened.

I tell him, "Nothing, I was just looking for a taxi."

--Mr. Thel