Ina Maria Vogel

It was the first week of August and the sun was filling the streets with a heat that was quite unusual for a German summer. People were obviously enjoying the almost Mediterranean feel of this very un-Mediterranean city and, the longer this heatwave lasted, became more daring, exposing body parts that might never have seen the sun before. The train station in the city center of Frankfurt am Main was presenting itself in all its neorenaissance glory and the reflection of the blazing afternoon sun in the large glass panels of the roof was giving off a warm glow. The building’s ornate façade reflected the summer heat like a giant brick oven, and people gathering on the steps leading up to the entrance were looking colorful and chatty. From afar, the building and the scattered groups of people looked mighty inviting. The giant male bronze statue that carried a globe on its shoulders was greeting the travelers from above the main entrance. The weight of the world combined with the apparent willpower to carry it made for a perfect metaphor for the sheer endless opportunities and new beginnings the train station seemed to promise. As soon as one ventured behind the impressive sand-colored façade, though, it quickly became apparent, that the building did not only stand for departure and wanderlust, but also for termination and final destinations. The premises were not only a magnet for excited travelers hurrying in but also a temporary, sometimes even permanent, home for the homeless, the hopeless, and the restless. After entering the building through the massive glass doors, the station’s appeal further decreased as one got swallowed whole by the noisy station concourse and overwhelmed with its harsh reality of sounds and smells of the most unpleasant kind. Businessmen in polyester suits who had spent the day in poorly air-conditioned offices were exiting crowded, stuffy trains and shared their body odor with the other passengers in the station while passing by. Chatter mixed with the squeaking sound of trains breaking, conductors whistling, and the loudspeakers added to the scenery with announcements about delayed trains. The voice coming out of the loudspeaker, a soft female one, yet with an underlying shameful and self-excusing tone, got lost in the general traffic noise. Passengers waiting on the platform were nervously trying to pay attention to find out, if any of the announced delays might be affecting their anticipated departure from this place that got increasingly uncomfortable by the minute.

My destination today was a supposedly unspectacular one, namely the Deutsche Bahn travel center. I had planned to visit friends in Cologne last weekend but was unable to travel due to a conductors’ strike. Annoyingly, I only found out about the strike, as I was already standing on the platform in my favorite vintage dress waiting for the train. The same soft and apologetic voice then informed me that the weekend I had thought to be spending with my friends on the banks of the Rhine river, a beer in one hand while dancing to music from the old-school ghetto blaster that my friend Jens called his proud possession, would not be happening. Well, at least not for me. My friends were kind enough to provide me with fun-filled pictures of their beer tasting with a crowd of new acquaintances. Hence, I was determined to get a refund from Deutsche Bahn, even if that was hardly a consolation for the incurred loss of adventure.

As I joined the line to the travel center, a pigeon that apparently lived high up in the metal beams spanning across the concourse flew by and barely missed my head. Contrary to its name, the travel center did not stimulate any lust for travel destinations and new beginnings. If anything, the gray, aging walls told the story of numerous dissatisfied customers who had probably entered reluctantly and left disillusioned throughout the years.

(…to be continued…)

Series – Evanescent

January: If Something Can Go Wrong…It Will – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)

February: The Planet of Pleasure – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

March: Evening with Jackie Chan – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

April: Vuvuzelas, Walkie-Talkies and Madiba Magic – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)

May: Remembering – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

June: 5-4-3-2-1 – Talia Stotts (America)

July: Getting Ready for Newborns – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

August: Regrets – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

September: A Hollow Pursuit – Diana Haidar (Syria)

October: The Test – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

November: A Life Rekindled – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)

December: Wanderlust – Ina Maria Vogel (Germany)

Special: Catching Water III – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

Background – Context

Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)

Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world


Cover photo: Frankfurt, Germany – At the Central Train Station – Little Adventures (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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