Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Friday the 13th Strikes! (Berlin Day 1)

Well, if you think that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, well, it was for me. I had major issues today that made me lose 64 euros. I had some considerable trouble with the one website that I booked the hotel through. They said that they would put up a link necessary for me to print out a voucher 24 hours after I made the purchase. Well, I signed on today thinking that I wouldn't have a problem with the link. However it still wasn't available. So I contacted the website (via email) and told them that its been 7 days since I purchased, it should be up and if they could fix the problem. So they replied that to print the voucher, I needed to click on the link...

Ha ha, pretty funny I thought, so I replied back that the link still wasn't available. Once again, they sent the same message. So seeing that I was running out of time and losing my patience, I sent one last email telling them that the LINK WASN'T THERE. They replied back for me to call their 888 number. So I went to Mr. D, asking if I could use his phone for the call to the states. He said no problem, so I contacted them. They verified my information and said that they could fax the voucher to me. So I gave them the fax number for my work. Well, the person said that it would take about 20 minutes, so I went to take care of a few more things. And so, I figured, I had about an hour to catch the train, 15 minutes to get home, and about 30 minutes to get the train station. 15 minutes was plenty of time to catch the train I thought. I had the ticket in my hand.

Well, I forgot about the voucher, it wasn't till I was halfway home (to pick up my things) that I remembered the voucher. :-/ So I continued home, but I didn't have time to check to see if the mail came (see prior blog post for the reason why), plus if it did come then Mrs. C didn't really let me know when I got there. So I gathered up my stuff, and took the 15 minute bike ride back to the University. I think I made some good time though, I was riding pretty hard there and back. So I get to the office, and Mr. D had already left for the day. So I asked Mr. F if he knew where the fax was, which was in the Secretaries office. Well, we get to the office (she was gone too) only to find that the fax was out of paper, so Mr. F went to get some more.

Well, voucher in hand, I figured that going back to the house would be the long way around, so I went in the opposite direction following Burgerpark because I knew that it would get me close... well, I turned too soon. Stupid me, I had looked at the map, and I knew that I had to pass the train tracks before turning left. But I turned too soon!!! Gah! I get to a familiar intersection, and start riding hard to the train station thinking along the way that I wasn't going to make it. Well, I get to the train station and eventually found a place to park the bike. They don't have any bike racks from what I could see, so I guess its park anywhere??? Well, I locked it up next to a light pole, and rushed into the train station. (I should have ran.) The gate that I needed to get to was gate 10, which was on the other end of the station. It was salt on the wound because if I didn't turn left, I would have gotten to the back entrance which would have been closer to gate 10. :-(

I run up the steps to gate 10, because I was at the train station at the EXACT MINUTE that the train was going to leave. I get to the train, and tried punching the button to open the door, but it was locked, and the train left RIGHT THEN!!! I was there!!! I missed it by 30 seconds!!! There wasn't anything I could do but to see about the next train, so after getting some information, I find the ticket counter. The ticket that I had bought was a discounted ticket and only good for that train. No refund, no exchange. :-(

So 64 euros later, I'm on a later train heading to Berlin. Here's hoping that the visit itself will be better overall.

P.S. There is more later, but things are a bit hectic around here right at the moment, so its taking some time to write up. I'm trying to get them done as soon as I can, TTFN

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