Day 94 of 96 – Today is going to be a learning experience.

20 Dec

As you are all aware I have a very ambitious schedule planned for today. It’s supposed to go something like this

  • 09:30 – take tram to Baumarkt
  • 10:00 – pick up window, purchase some wood to protect it during travel, wrap everything up
  • 10:30 – get to the airport
  • 11:45 – drop of the window at the left luggage counter
  • 12:00 – get to Pottsdammer Platz
  • 12:30 – have lunch with Eva
  • 13:30 – get back to my apartment, pay my rent, hand back the second set of keys, pack up a parcel to ship to Canada, ship said parcel
  • 15:11 – collect my buddy Stephen and his sister Sandra from the main train station

I should mention that the airport and the Baumarkt are at almost opposite ends of the city. This truly is going to be a stress test for the Berlin Public transportation system.

I manage to make it to the Baumarkt just after 10:00 – when I get there I notice that they open at 08:00 and not 10:00. Oh well, next time. I grab a cart and go pick up the window. I ask the dude if he can cut me two pieces of wood 82 x 62 cm. The lesson from this exchange is to check the local cost of the merchandise. I’d been planning all along to use some plywood to protect the window. At the Home Despot in Canada I would have simply gone to where they have the saw and grabbed a couple of scrap pieces for about four dollars. But this is Germany so dude sells me two pieces of 8 mm plywood that cost – get this – twenty-one Euros. Unbelievable. This window purchase is quickly climbing into the non-profitable zone.

But I forgive him because his last name is Sandmann.

So I get through the cash, and of course they have a workbench set up for customers to wrap all their gear. I use the last of the duct tape and then finish with the packing tape. It looks terrible but it should do the job.

Pack station!

I head out across the parking lot catch the tram. The package feels really heavy. I start to wonder if I’ve broken the twenty three kilogram limit. Lesson: next time bring a scale.

When the tram arrives it’s 10:48 – almost twenty minutes behind schedule. I get to the S-Bahn and I have to wait another ten minutes for the S43 to show up. It’s 11:30 by the time I make it to Brüsseler Strasse where I have to catch the bus to the airport. Just when all hope seems to be lost, the bus shows up just as I get to the stop. Five minutes later I’m at the airport. It takes about three minutes to drop off the window at the left luggage counter and three minutes after that I’m on a bus heading to Hauptbanhoff where I have to wait another three minutes for the next bus to take me to Pottsdammer Platz. I start out thirty minutes behind schedule and I arrive fifteen minutes early.

The rest of the afternoon goes by without a hitch (too soon?). Stress test passed.

There was an added bonus – the last bus I took was a double-decker and I got to sit up top at the front and I took some great pictures of the Reichstag and the Bundes-something-or-other.

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