Today’s adventure started with my phone alarm waking me out of a drooling sleep at 0400. It is dark at that time in the morning; just thought I should mention it. I should get up promptly but it took two warnings before I dragged myself out of bed and got organized. I did manage to get out of the house by 0500 and to the train station in plenty of time to score a cappuccino and a bretzel (don’t ask about the combination – not good. A croissant would have been a much better choice.) The rain was just enough to make our stairs slippery with slugs and require the use of an umbrella.
It was quiet, walking in the dark and I chose the overland route rather than visit the trolls under the bridge. It would have been most likely that they were wrapped up like mummies in a row on their mattresses in order to keep out the glaring pathway lights. But still. It is early, I am older and don’t feel like jogging in good clothes.
Once on the train I discovered once again why, when I can afford it, it just might be worth wasting the extra 6€ more on a first class ticket instead of 2nd since my bahncard covers both. It is not that the seats are more comfortable or the passengers all that differently dressed.Admittedly, that difference today bought an all day pass on Frankfurt’s public transportation network.
Where was I? Oh, yes. In the train car with the people who just wouldn’t shut up. At 0600 in the morning? I guess when you are the one expounding to your fellow traveler and raising your voice so that everyone else can hear how important you are [not]; you don’t hear how obnoxious and annoying you are to the people around you. If it had been just two people nattering, it would have been one thing, but when it is 6-8 different sets talking to each other or on their cell phones about traffic getting to the train station or the content of their suitcase…. I would plug in and drop out if I could.
Which leads me to my next issue – lack of electronics. The US Embassy was very specific – no electronics inside the Embassy and no storage lockers. Specifically this meant no cells phones, computers, iPad, iPods or electronic games. Now I have real books and knitting so I am not completely lost – but ear plugs would have been wonderful.
What also would have been wonderful would have been updated instructions on finding the place on their website. There was this slight matter of construction on the U5 meaning that you had to change to an Ersatz bus to get the rest of the way. Not having a GPS (see no electronics above), I meandered along for a couple of blocks after the streetcar dead-ended. Managing to finally get information out of one of the bus drivers – I took the long way around to what turned out to be 3 blocks from where I had started.
The Embassy opens promptly on time. As it turns out, to get inside you have to have an appointment. Once you have an appointment, then it is first come first served as long as you are not late. End result? I was out of there by 0830 for a 0930 appointment.
What was I doing? Getting new pages sewed and glued into my passport. Some places (read South America) want you to have a whole page just for their Visa. Since I was down to only two blank pages, there was no way I was going to make it to expiration in 2021. Now $82 for 48 sheets added or $190 for a new passport? Duh!
So there I was, back home by noon and ready to tackle more chores: books, cleaning, kitchen, knitting…..