Terms of Engagement: Of Frankfurt and Facebook

December 2009
by Florrie Binford Kichler

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Florrie Binford Kichler


Terms of Engagement: Of Frankfurt and Facebook

For more than five years, our IBPA home at the Frankfurt Book Fair has been a small basement apartment in the three-generation house of the Abraham family. Although the commute to the convention center is long (a quarter-mile walk, one streetcar, and two trains), the cost is about 75 percent less per night than the average hotel in Frankfurt, and for a show that lasts six days, that is a significant saving. Sure, the convenience of a standard hotel might have trumped the expense, and I’ll be the first to say that by the end of six days straight of 10-hour workdays, cutting down on transportation time was looking more and more appealing.

But would a hotel proprietor have met us at the door with a big smile, an embrace, and a “Welcome back,” as Krista Abraham did when Lisa and I arrived?

Would a hotel have stocked the apartment kitchen with water, fruit, bread, cold meat and cheese, coffee, tea, orange juice, eggs, and my new personal favorite, Nutella (which is great on toast)?

Would a hotel have invited us to enjoy liquid refreshment with the owner’s family?

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