Friday, June 1, 2012

Evening in the City

Life is exciting after work.

I found a Russian grocer's near the Zoo. With my luck, I got there six minutes after closing.That's okay though...more time to shop tomorrow!

The real excitement came when I went back to the Hbf. I decided to go back to the taxi area to look for the taxi driver who knows the other taxi driver who has my pillow. This has been an ongoing thing for me.

Since the first night I arrived, this one taxi driver has had my pillow. I put it in his cab, then we realised that my two gigantic wheelies, computer bag, Army backpack, and plastic bag would fit. We had to switch cabs, me on my own to tend to six pieces, not including myself. I had been counting my pieces all night; this was the first time I didn't have everything.

So after going to Fundestelle (Lost and Found) in Hbf (mainstation) once each week since I've been here and talking to all the cab drivers, I've finally put my foot down.

Today, I walked into that taxi parking lot demanding John, from Eretrea. He was my driver who told me he would hang onto it, even drive it back to my apartment for me. Yes, I waited up for him that night...

Cab drivers in general are kind of gritty. Not only are these guys gritty, they don't speak English. They think they do, but they don't.

One guy just tells me to walk around and look for him. So I did. Of course, gritty, non english speaking men were talking to me in German or who knows what language. Some of them I brushed off quite rudely because of their tone of voice (This is a red light district, you know).

I was frustrated. My contacts were dry. I had to use the toilette. The sun was in my eyes. It was all just really an uncomfortable encounter, so I took desperate measures. As gritty men congregated around me, one of them got John on the phone. I speak with him for a few lines, then the other Eritrean translates...gah.

While he is translating, I search my bag with determination for a pad of post-its and a pen.

"Well, I guess I'm just going to have to call your boss then." I scribble down the phone number and email address on the cabs. And the there was silence, like such never heard before in Germany. One man wet his pants, probably. I'm intimidating.

John should be leaving my pillow at Fundestelle.

"You really like that pillow, then?"

I walked to the sidewalk and this was my greeting, a German guy, about 24. Dirty blond. We chatted for a bit and I took my leave. No exchange of contacts even though I found out he's from Frankfurt; no exchange in names.

And that is how I almost had a date tonight.

But due to a serious cultural misunderstanding (I'm serious), neither one of us took that first step. Shame, huh?

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