A Taste from page 53:
From the back cover:For all intents and purposes, Frankfurt is a mixed breed, a German jungle, if you will. More than twenty-five percent of it's population is made up of foreign born residents. For most of my time in Frankfurt I've been oblivious to its varied nature. Until, of course, I wandered off on a solo journey through the city, where I came across many different folks, freaks, frauds and fun-loving Frankfurters. If there was a time to feel like a vulnerable white bread American, then this was it. From the moment I stepped out of the train station an extra special air of foreignness hovered over me. I was a stranger among strangeness. That was my judgement, at least.
In the spring of 2006, David Conte suddenly decided that he would move to Frankfurt, Germany, so he could save his relationship with his now-wife. He was, and still is, a bit of a romantic. But when he later found himself having to relearn life in a very different way - at the age of thirty - that's when the crankiness set in.
In this collection of essays The Frankfurt Files: Tales of an American in Germany, Conte recounts his colorful experiences of living as a "stranger in a strange land."
Being introduced to nudism at a German spa, transporting a six-foot couch up two flights of stairs alone, and making a compelling case against the Germans' flagrant misuse of cream cheese were just some of the things that had him convinced he had undergone some type of farcical psychological transformation. As a discerning idealist turned maladroit idiot among foreigners, he relates the good, the bad, and the in-between of his offbeat encounters as an expatriate.
If you are interested in what it is like to be a stranger in a strange land, this book is a great place to start. It is a collection of vignettes - a snapshot of life as an expat in Frankfurt, Germany. When I was about half way through the book, I thought to myself 'This book reads like a blog.' So I checked it out and, sure enough, it was originally David Conte's blog about life in Germany.
The Frankfurt Files isn't uproariously funny but it was interesting and I did have to smile from time to time. It is well written and flows nicely which, added to the blog entry format, makes for a quick read. David Conte's book is what I would call a 'nice read'.
Character Development 5