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Saturday, November 20, 2010


After returning from a night on the town in Frankfurt around 1:30 AM, I went straight to bed.  I slept just fine until about 2:45 AM when I noticed the lights were on and I heard someone digging around in change.  After that I couldn't really get to sleep and I heard that a man was speaking to Yvonne in the bed kiddy corner from mine.  He was speaking a language that none of us would understand, Yvonne tried to speak to him in English and German  to no avail.  He then got up, turned the light off and said, "Schlaf gut (Sleep well)".

Yvonne immediately jumped out of bed and asked where her phone was, and she could not find it.  She went out into the hallway and luckily the man was still standing there.  She asked him in both languages for her phone, but instead he showed her an iPod, Maria's iPod.  He had taken that from right next to her pillow.  Yvonne took that and returned to the man and again asked for her phone, instead he waived MY student ID card in her face.  She grabbed that and returned it to me.  I then was worried and looked through all of my things to see what was missing.  It turns out he had emptied my pockets, that was the noise that we had all heard and assumed that he was just taking off his pants to sleep.  He had also taken my phone.  Thankfully, he did not seem to look through my jacket that had my camera, iPod and wallet in it.  However, Braden's jacket was missing and so was 15 Euro from his wallet.  So, Yvonne went back into the hallway to ask for her phone, but instead was presented with mine, she responded, "This does not belong to you, this does not belong to me," and gave the phone back to me.  Braden then went out into the hallway and saw that his jacket was on the floor next to the man's red plastic bag and grabbed it from the floor.  He returned to the room, threw his jacket on the bed and said that he was so pissed he was shaking.

Braden went down the reception area to ask them to call the police and the man and Yvonne followed him down.  I threw my pants on and followed because I did not want just Braden to have to hold the man if he tried to run.  Thankfully, the man at the desk was capable and fairly level-headed.  He called the police and the man sat at the bar.  Braden and I were guarding the door with our arms crossed looking like proper security guards.  This made the man upset and he became very aggressive.  He started to come up into my face and mocked me with my arms crossed and balled up his fists repeating, "boxing? boxing?"  I am not going to lie, I was terrified and shaking, but I did not let it show.  Yvonne returned from upstairs and immediately got out of the mans, and harms, way and sat in a chair.  The man started yelling and calling someone on his cell phone.  The man at the desk had to grab him and repeat "Tranquillo, tranquillo," and the man seemed to understand that.

And now a description of the man.  He had a swastika on his earlobe and devils horns on his forehead going up into his scalp, he was very much a skin head.  He also kept waiving his Romanian passport.  He was shorter than Braden and I and smaller, but also intimidating.  We still have no idea what he said, at all.

He started to get really angry after about 5 minutes and made for the door to leave.  The reception was on the third floor and he would have to go down three flights to make it out, so he wasn't exactly right at the door out of the building.  But, the worker, myself and Braden all tried to stop him from leaving.  This resulted in Braden getting punched in the face.  He broke through us and started going down the stairs.  The receptionist followed him down the stair and then so did the three of us (Braden, Yvonne and I).  I was closest to him and he started up the stairs a few times when I got too close to him like he was going to attack me, but he never did.  He then got to the exit and the receptionist held the door shut, but the man opened it anyway and went out into the street.

I was right behind him with the receptionist.  Thankfully, there was a police van right outside the door for an entirely unrelated reason (though the police had been called about 10-15 minutes ago).  The receptionist and the Romanian went to the police and the receptionist explained the situation.  The Romanian did something to the policeman (i'm not sure if he pushed him or spit at him), and soon he was in cuffs and led to the police van.  Yvonne and I then went out to tell the police the story.  We had no shoes on and the sidewalk was SO cold!!  We waited by the van and while we were waiting the man spit in the face of the other officer and tried to run away and he got punched in the nose.  He tried to walk away again and got shin kicked and tackled.  When more police came, he tried again to escape and (this is from April's point of view in the room, I think) he was hi-kicked in the chest.

We were waiting to talk to the police and Braden was holding the hostel door open.  People from every window were looking at the scene and the balconies were filled with people.  Of course, none of the other people in the reception helped when the man ran for the door.  However, we were waiting and explaining what was going on and the police officer said we needed to get our IDs.  We went back to room 502 and got our IDs and SHOES!  We filled in Maria and April what was going on and went back down to the police.

Yvonne told them the whole story and he took down all of our information and what was taken and returned. He then told us that Maria also needed to be interviewed because she had an iPod taken and returned.  This took about 45 minutes and then he told us that Yvonne needed to go down to the station and give an actual written/spoken statement. (Remember, this was all happening in German).  I was not going to let her go anywhere alone so I volunteered to go down to the station with her.  We walked over to the police van (the Romanian had since been taken away by another police car) and looked inside to see more than a little blood on the floor and the seat.  They had put a mask on the man either because he kept spitting or because he nose was bleeding everywhere from having been broken.  A woman, I think the girlfriend of one of the officers, was talking to us and helping where she could, she was very nice.

I got into the front seat and Yvonne sat in the back with the blood and another officer.  The officer in the back examined his fist and shook it in pain.  We arrived at the station and had to sit in the waiting area while they discussed what needed to be done about us.  We were, after all, exchange students and our German was not perfect.  We got seated with a woman in the precinct and she took Yvonne's statement (with some embellishment from me every once and a while, of course). We were at the station until it was past 5 in the morning.  I had only had about an hour in the bed and had not really slept.  We then had to walk back the 5-6 blocks to the hostel.

While we were at the station, Braden sent me a text informing me that they had found a 10 inch knife in the bathroom on our floor and said, "we need to leave."  And leave we did.  As soon as we got back to the hostel.  We went first to the reception so the man knew we were back and took look for Yvonne's phone.  While we were down at the station, an officer who had searched the man gave the battery from her phone to her.  She was very sad because that was already her second phone since being in Germany having lost one already.  We thought though, that since he only had the battery maybe he had hid it in the reception area.  Sure enough, Yvonne found her phone outside on the balcony behind a potted plant.  Wonderful.  We went upstairs and reunited with everyone and we shared our different perspectives of the nights proceedings.  Apparently there was a second man and while the four of us were with the police, April had been terrified that he would come to the room while she was alone.  Braden had met a man from England who was very nice and helpful and another person who said their stuff had been gone through earlier that day.

Overall, we were just exhausted from the entirety of the night and felt much safer going to the train station and being in public.We went to check out and told the man about the knife and he said, "Oh, don't worry that's mine."  That. Was. Enough.  The Romanian had left his room key in the room, and that was a 5 Euro deposit, so Yvonne was able to get 5 Euro out of the deal.  I was expecting him to comp our room and I think I will write an e-mail to them asking for one.  We were in the room for maybe an hour before we were terrorized by an Eastern European Skinhead Neo-Nazi.

We then went to Hauptbahnhof and got some items at the bakery.  While there, a man came up from behind Braden and slapped him fairly hard on the back and started to make sounds with his mouth.  He was mute, and I think asking for money.  We were all just like, really?  Yvonne dealt with it and we just stayed together as a group until we could leave that God-forsaken city.

We were then on a train for over 5 hours and finally got to Erfurt to say goodbye to Braden.  While in Erfurt, the police in Frankfurt called me on my cell phone and asked, "Do you remember being in the police station last night?"  I was like....of course.  They wanted me, Maria and Braden to come into the station and give our statements now.  They could have done that last night, but they only asked for Yvonne's.  I also think it would have been funny to all go to the station and leave April alone at the hostel.  And, by funny, I mean terrible.  I told him that we were already in Erfurt and on our way to Jena and he said he would call me back.  Still waiting for that call.

When we got to Jena, I never thought I'd be happier to see the Maxe-Kade-Haus, my aparment, as I was when I got off the tram.  Now, I think I will finally sleep.

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