Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Berlin Day 3 (Finale) - Pick a train, ANY train!

Well, I get there, snapped off a few pictures of a sand scuplter contest I guess, and I had about an hour to spare before my train came. So, I didn't want to come up shorthanded for the family back home, plus I wanted to grab some "lunner", seeing that I missed lunch. So I shopped in the local giftshop, and went down and had 2 slices of cheese pizza from Pizza Hut (Yup, they had one in the train station). Does anyone see a problem with this little arrangement? Yup, me eating quickly. :-/ I get down to the train tracks at 5:26pm or something like that, the train left at 5:22pm. I COULD SEE THE TRAIN! I was thinking "OMG! Not again!". I was kicking myself now for ESPECIALLY not having a watch by this point. Oh, but it gets better folks! I gather up my stuff and head back to the ticket window. It comes to find out that the ticket that was sold to me earlier WASN'T a refundable ticket! OMG! AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! Well, another 74 euros, and I get myself another ticket.

Totally frustrated by this point, I walk to the platform and WAITED for the train this time, figuring I wouldn't miss it this time. So I have a seat, where I could find a seat (there were a few people waiting) and wait for the train. So it comes along right on the minute, opened up its doors to let people start getting on. I gather up my stuff and start walking when it starts to close its doors! I was thinking "aw shit, I'm going to miss another one, so I rush forward, hit the button to keep the doors open, and climb on board. I find a seat and have a relaxing trip home, or so I thought.

There were two things that were nagging me, when the train came not a whole lot of people were getting on board, and second, after a couple of stops the train was practically empty. So I ask this elderly couple that was sitting in the aisle across from me if the train was heading to Hannover (that being the stop that I could switch trains). Well, they didn't know english, but they told me that we weren't heading to Hannover. This one lady who was down the aisle (who knew english) informed me that the train was heading elsewhere (Austria I think). So the lady suggested that I stop at the next stop and catch a train back to Berlin. So I did, and got off at hicksville. It was a small depot station (can't remember the name, too frustrated to remember to take a picture) and so I waited. It wasn't all that busy from the looks of things from the train tracks because only one train passed. So I hop on the next train, asking someone at the depot if the train was heading to Berlin (wanted to verify) and it was. So I get to the train station, and go RIGHT back to the ticket window. Thankfully I had someone that knew english. So I explained to them, that I train that I boarded came at the right time, the right track, but WASN'T the train that I needed. And he was all, yeah, that train was a bit early (or was it late, eh). Whatever. Just that there wasn't a whole lot of warning, but whatever. The ticket agent was wondering why my ticket that I had was for a train two hours prior, and I told him it was because of the fact that I had to actually GET BACK to Berlin. Well, I get another ticket (free of charge), and head on home. No problems with the train, or the ride back. I was tired, frustrated, and just wanted the day to be over. Well, it wasn't, not quite...

I get back to Bremen fine, no problems there. But I was thinking in the back of my mind that Mrs. C (being the way she is) had come to the train station to pick up the bike that I left there and took it home. It probably would have been better if she did. :-/

Come to find out, someone had tried to ride off with the bike, with the lock still attached. It was one of those coiled locks, and well, the GENIUS who tried to ride off with the bike COILED the lock around the wheel nut and the wheel itself. It was locked in tight, I couldn't pull the cord from being pinned. I needed to actually remove the tire itself to pull the lock off. But I didn't have the tools at the time, so I unlocked the lock and made sure that it wouldn't really interfer with the front tire too much. And I started to walk the bike with the front tire in mid air, kind of hard to do with splash guards on the tires themselves. At one point in time the front wheel came down, and it spinned fine. I thought, okay, I'll ride REALLY slowly, and see how that would go. It was better than walking all the way. Well, I biked home REALLY slowly, and made it home around 1am. I left the bike so that I could work on it in the morning (which I was able to get it fixed, lock still works too), and hit the sack. I was damn tired.

And THAT was day 3. What a trip huh? ;-)

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