Viadrinicum presents
One bridge, two banks, five nights
How does nightlife of the borderland look like:
the case of Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice

MONDAY. Football vs. emptiness

St. Mary Church's bells announced 8 p.m. It is time to start looking for nightlife. I'm walking in the center of Frankfurt, where young people are supposed to be hanging out, but my footsteps echo loudly. It's empty. Roaming the pretty warm streets, I do not meet people. Just Annalena Baerbock and Tobias Dittrich, who are smiling on campaign posters. "I'll do everything for you," the last one promises. "Ok, herr Dietrich, tell me, where is your electorate now?"

And then it dawns on me, electorate is watching football! Today, World Cup qualifying matches on air, Germany vs Norway. "Definitely, everyone is in bars," I decided. And I was wrong. Steak House, City Kebap, greek and indian restaurants, big and small bars are open, but there is not more than one person in each one, and the TV is off. Even Irish pub with the promising name 'Lord of Drinks' is closed. Why, Lord?

I do not give up, and fate rewards me. In the place of WG-bar, where also quite empty, four people still follow the game. Actually they are not true fans. Germany scores the first goal, the second one, the third, the fourth, but nobody screams and applauds. Well, perhaps, the dream team supporters are allowed to be such cool-blooded.

The first half comes to an end, and I run across the bridge to Poland, not spoilt with big football victories. They play with Kazakhstan at the same time. Evening Slubice looks livelier, here the sound of steps is drowned by the fountain murmuring and Polish cussing out. The men near restaurant Anka are dissatisfied with the fact that Poland scored only a goal. They are really true, came in national-colored suits and scarves. Fortunately, in the second half, the Poles scored twice more. Happy fans drink to the health of forward Robert Lewandowski and quickly go home.

23:00, Slubice is deeply dead. Anka is closed, so are Biedronka and Zabka, localy-known markets. The picture is completed by bus 983, which carries the empty space to Bogaterow Plaz. On the other hand, Monday is Monday, basically not the best weekday to explore nightlife.
Tobias Dittrich: I'll do everything for you/ Frankfurt
TUESDAY. Bright side of dark

"You're right, dude, there are more people in Słubice in the night," agrees 30-year-old ukrainian Sergei, who has been working for two years in kebab Nazar on the Polish side. "It's simple: in Frankfurt they are used to earn money, here to spend. In Slubice cheaper alcohol, cigarettes, as well as clothing, hairdressing, auto service and much more. For this, they come here not only from Frankfurt, but also from Berlin. Personally, I have no nightlife, because I work from morning till night."

And what about those who work at night? In Słubice, these are mostly tobacco shops and currency exchange offices. "Hours from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. are the deadest, and I often doze", says the woman, who asked not to be identified. "But by mid-September the flow will be more, because students are coming in Słubice, and in Frankfurt as well".

In Frankfurt, I met only a police patrol as round-the-clock workers. The policeman, who introduced himself as Thomas, said that the city in the night was usually quiet. "It happens that someone drunk goes directly along the roadway, or some company sings loudly. Thefts and murders, thank God, are rare."

Midnight, on the German embankment of the Oder only a couple of Poles. Peter and Anna live in Słubice, but regularly go to sit on the opposite bench. The reason is unexpected: "The Polish side just shines brighter. And we prefer to look at the light more than to the darkness."
Currency exchange office/ Slubice
WEDNESDAY. Kitchen or Berlin

It is rainy and windy on both banks of the Oder, but this weather allows you to draw conclusions. In the places of Słubice — Pyszna Chata, Irish pub, Lavie, Province and others — there is no lack of people. In Frankfurt, life abounds near McDonald's.

The 27-year-old Jonas, who moved here from south Germany, says that another kind of night-time entertainment is popular in Frankfurt.

"My friends and I often meet in someone's kitchen. Atmosphere is nice, close friends nearby… And it's cheaper! I'm used to the fact that nothing really happens in the city, but I even like it. In Berlin, on the contrary, every day there are so many things and you always have to choose. If I want, I can go there, it takes about an hour."

Viadrina University students have the opportunity to travel to Berlin for free, so many of them live and hang out in the German capital. Until 2005, says Jonas, they didn't and stayed in Frankfurt, that's why the nightlife was much more lively, more interesting.

Wednesday walking did not suppose to be extraordinary thing, when suddenly Slubician NightClub33 appeared in front of my eyes! Go-go girls' silhouettes on the facade looked appealing, and I had no doubt about where to spend next night.
Night Club 33/ Slubice
THUSDAY. "Good mood and unforgettable experiences"

"Do you wanna fuck her?" — abrupt asks the man who sit next to me. He has in mind a showy girl who squirms on the pylon and deserves my look. I naturally did not plan to retire with her, but I conduct the dialogue for the sake of experiment.

- How much is it?
- 100 euro. But for you I can arrange for 50.
- You're too kind, guy, thanks. But I don't want it.
- And then what the fuck did you come here?
- For drinking in a good place.

The interlocutor looked at me incredulously and started to whisper with other harsh guy. They had reasons to distrust me, because I sat for about 40 minutes, sipping 0.3L bottle of Tyske (I would buy ten of them in a supermarket for the money spent on it here!).

To preempt the conflict, I hurried out. Of course, I was not my pleasure. The club is kind of a hangout for the local elite and/or mad visitors, where you are guaranteed "good mood and unforgettable experiences" in kitsch interiors and loud vulgar music.
One of dozens 24/7 cigarette shops / Slubice
FRIDAY. Silent beauty

Pizza delivery manager Tuncay stopps for a smoke break. It will darken soon, and he guesses a lot of orders. Tuncay says, on Fridays in Frankfurt it's always like that. This fact fits well with the above 'kitchen' point of the locals, because the situation in institutions, parks and squares on Friday did not change.

"You were late, lad, you should have come earlier," says the bartender of that Monday-closed Lord of Drinks. "Two hours ago (at 7 p.m.) there were a lot of people here, and now I would be lucky if one visitor in hour comes. Go to Poland, the nightlife is there. And we, look there, Silence Beauty, hah.

The barman pointed to the beauty salon named 'Silence Beauty'. Name, that is suitable to these places. You know, it's better than 'silence ugliness'.
Silent Beaty of the borderland/ Frankfurt
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