By Nicole Brewer

Hello globe-trotters and Happy New Year!! I hope you had a Fab New Years celebration across the globe. I recently returned from Barcelona, via Frankfurt for New Years and am now back in Bochum preparing for finals this month.  I decided to take a quick study break and update you all. I’ll post about Barcelona soon enough, but coming fresh off of New Years in Frankfurt wanted to share some details of my journey with you all. I ventured to Frankfurt upon my return from Barcelona in order to renew my passport at the American Consulate there (hey a globe-trotter has Got to keep that up to date right ;-).

Well in preparation for my consulate visit I made sure to review the nifty tip email that they sent to me on several occasions before my visit to ensure I had everything I needed (passport sized photo, app filed in, DHL brief for return).  To my dismay they noted that they do Not have a place to store electronics so one should leave there cellphone, etc “at home.” Umm…well as a foreigner and my first time in Frankfurt needless to say I didn’t feel to comfy with this idea.  I told myself, they’ll have to figure something out, I need my cell in case of emergency lol.

So once I get to the Consulate and the guard asks me if I have any technology on me, in particular my phone (they know reading is fundamental and many people don’t do it lol). I said why yes I do, can I give it to you to store. He looked perturbed like uhh another one lol. He stated legally he could not hold it.  So his “solution” was to walk back up the block from the consulate and leave my phone for a small fee at the small local flower shop on the corner. Umm, you’d think they would come up with a better solution like having a store room at the security desk of the Consulate people!!

That’s how they did it in Korea, oh well…to each there own. I jokingly said to the cashier while paying for my service that it will be a tad bit strange to walk around for weeks without my passport here in Germany. He said “just don’t get arrested, that’s all.” I went, well that means one tame NYE party tonight hehe. At least in the end it all worked out. Furthermore, I should have my passport back in about 2 weeks, compared the up to 8 weeks it’d take to get processed back home in the States…winning! :-)

After spending my NYE morning at the consulate awaiting my turn for over 2 hours, after having an appointment for a service that took 5 minutes, I went on my merry way to take in some sights of this gorgeous city…which I would like to share with you below. Just FYI American globe-trotters, if you have a consulate visit, be prepared for a strange little trek to take care of your technology if you go here in Frankfurt ;-). Enjoy!

NYE Fireworks from friend’s apartment balcony