Frankfurt/Main – From the Central Station

Imagine a world without drug dealers, junkies, whores, crazy people or dirt. Then take a walk through the clean world of the Frankfurt/Main train station. Find out where the elements not fitting into this clean world have found refuge.

 The Central Station of Frankfurt/Main has more than a hundred platforms. It looks like a huge vaulted grotto, through which shafts of light shine from south west. Because of the big rush of trains the shunting of trains appears to be a big technical problem. Therefore the underground and the metropolitan railway, which cross here, are dealt with in two underground levels.
 During the rush hours it?s quite tight in here. The people arriving hurry single-mindedly into the gigantic station concourse. There the most modern service facilities are waiting for them: fast food stalls, hotel agencies, cash dispensers, car rental firms and travel agencies. But many travelers immediately continue on their way and down good oiled escalators they hurry into the underground levels.

 In the last years the climate in the Central Station of Frankfurt has become more mild: prehistoric men, the homeless, junkies and dealers are no longer allowed to use the terrain for their workplace nor for their domicile. Only some years ago hollow-cheeked men and women were scrounging money from you. Or a stranger would pluck at your sleeve and hiss at you: ?Speed, coke?? In spite of all warnings quite a lot of people got stuck here for some time and were spending the nights in various corners and niches or on the benches.

 The good old benches you can sleep on were replaced by new benches, which are suitable only for sitting. And the corners and niches are kept clean now by patrols of security officers. The security officers wear dark blue uniforms, red caps and black truncheons. In the underground and in the metropolitan railway they don?t only take care of the law and order, but carry out ticket controls as well.

 But some remains of prehistoric times can?t be suppressed even in the most modern facilities. You may still see a guy rushing by with two plastic bags and a pointed chin, chewing in a strange way. But most of the unpleasant elements have adapted to the new circumstances like chameleons. In the course of the human evolution the number of different outer characteristics is decreasing more and more.

 Now the junkies and homeless people don?t stay in the warm belly of the station concourse anymore but on the station square. It?s difficult to pass them without looking away. They stand at the railings of the underground entrance and when they look at you they seem to be mentally undressing you. Beyond the roofs of the houses, which stand around the station square, you see the towers of the skyline.

 The first foothills of the skyline are in the red-light district, which directly adjoins the station square. The skyscrapers temptingly glisten in the sky. Who wouldn?t like to touch them? Next to the huge lingam of the Dresdner Bank, which is dominated by security cameras, in the side streets of the red-light district you find exquisite recreational facilities: erotic shops, peep shows, a cabaret nightclub and amusement arcades.

 Next to the usual passersby and those bank employees who don?t leave their workplace through the underground car park, you meet bizarre characters: an old man with a red neck wearing a hunting hat with a feather of a duck, prostitutes with their punters, diverse gigolos with golden necklaces and a man with an enormous mustache, the way Nietzsche wore it.

 Apparently unnoticed amid this business activity there?s a drama of misery happening: two junkies are sitting on a blanket and one of them has a crying fit, a confused old man with an empty plate is walking around on the pavement and together with an old bald head a tall blond is dragging herself to the Central Station.

 If you go in the opposite direction, you reach the European Central Bank. From close up this silver rod seems to be unreal. Directly beside stands the City Theatre. Those who are fed up, can go by tram back to the station square.

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