Monday, October 27, 2008

How to Lose and Recover your Purse in 24 hours

After having a most wonderful weekend with my family and friends, I definitely had some drama and it is all the fault of a weird German show.

See here...I don't get as much sleep now that I have a Baby Bird. So, usually deciding when to sleep is not difficult for me. I turn back into Cinderella at the stroke of 22:00 joining the Murder She Wrote crowd.

On Saturday night the most bizarre German show came on and honestly I wish I could tell you what it was about because it would make a very hilarious post but I couldn't figure out what was going on. Frustrated that I couldn't understand it, I stayed up way late (ok - not late to cool people but late for me) to try to see if I could eventually understand the German.

I never did and was very tired on Sunday. On Sunday evening I joined a bunch of lovely Moms for a Halloween party and walked home.

Somewhere between walking home and the train station, my purse flat out disappeared. I was holding Baby Bird's diaper bag, pushing a stroller and holding my purse among other things.

As soon as I got to the U-Bahn station, I realized it was gone. I ran back the way I came to look for it and called the Scientist to come collect Baby Bird.

I searched for a long time and asked at any open business but I knew it was gone. I went home defeated hoping a good Samaritan found it but knowing that the words of one business owner that "a lot of junkies are around here" was probably more true.

Around 11:30 pm, our doorbell rang. 2 Polizei came upstairs and told me my purse had been found!!!!! Yea...except that its current location was near the Schönefeld airport. (What?!?!?) For those of you who don't know Berlin Geography, I live in the Northwest. Schönefeld is in the Southeast. We don't have a car and it is about an hour train ride. EGADS!!!! Here is a map so you can get an example. I live in Charlottenburg near where it says Tegal. See Schönefeld? It is OFF THE MAP folks!

Evidently a good Samaritan HAD found it but was running late to catch a plane and dropped it off with the Polizei there.

So, I trekked to Schönefeld this morning. I did find out there is a Regionale Train to Schönefeld that leaves from the Zoo stop.

Regionale Train = Ganz Schnell!!! (fast) It cut the time in half to 30 min.

The zoo stop is just a few stops away. Since my monthly train ticket was in my missing purse I had to buy a ticket to go just a few stops. I paused at the machine and thought "well-I do OWN a pass and rarely get controlled here (the trains are mostly on the honor system here), maybe I shouldn't buy a ticket. Luckily that thought passed since I was controlled!!!

I finally arrived and walked in the pouring cold rain uphill both ways to the Police Station where I encountered some snarky polizei officers who thought I was a bit..umm...daft.

Polizei #1: This your purse?
Me: Yes! I am so lucky!
Polizei #2 - Yes you are...(insert snarky laugh here)

After collecting my belongings and realizing shockingly, that my belongings were all there, including money and train ticket, I went back to the train station.

To make a long story short, the train, that I basically guessed was correct, was leaving at 10:55 but was still there at 10:56 so I hopped on as soon as I could crossing my fingers that it was the right train (I was still crossing my fingers at the 1st stop it made hoping it was towards Berlin and not away). The next one left one hour later! I ran over there and someone saw me and opened the door. PHEWWWWW....

At that point, I was controlled again. However, the Controller said my "extension" ticket was only valid for 2 hours and I would be getting back too late for it to be valid. Holding my breath, I asked what I could do. She just asked for 1.40 Euro. Hmm...maybe the regionale trains are different? I was expecting a 40 Euro ticket.

Morale of the Story?
  1. For every negative thing that has happened (which really are not many), there will always be my mysterious kind stranger who helped this very busy, stressed out, tired foreigner Mom by doing a random act of kindness. I will try to keep this in the back of my mind next time I feel like telling someone off in my half German/English grammatically incorrect language which they probably don't even understand.
  2. Guys in uniform always look good no matter what country you are in. :)
I honestly do not know what would have happened in the US since I have never lost my purse (except left in a restaurant once) but I would guess the police probably wouldn't get involved as much as they did here. Americans tend to take a more "Do it yourself" approach and would have tried to track down the owner themselves. I am not saying either one is better. Obviously, however you get your purse back, is all good with me!

Thank you again, random stranger...I don't even mind the train ride!

Have you lost your purse or something important? Did you get it back? I am actually pretty curious if anyone else has had similiar stories although as readers of my blog, you are probably all smarter than the average bear. :)


Cap11C said...

I left my wallet and cell phone on the rear bumper of the ladder truck once. I found the cell phone flattened in the first intersection we turned through. A couple of weeks later, I got a call from a highway worker who had my wallet, intact and with a lot of sand from lying along I-5 for 2 weeks!

Alyssa said...

Another teacher at my school accidentally left her purse on a bus in Kleinmachnow. She got it back the next day from the lost and found for the VBB (I think that is the "BVG" out there). Everything was in the purse too!

So Smrt said...

I once left my wallet on top of my car and drove away. I got a call a few hours later that somebody found it, and I got directions to their house to pick it up. No police involved. :)

I also lost my piano book (value about five bucks) and someone handed it in to public safety at my college. To retrieve it, I had to describe it and fill out a bunch of forms. I can't lie...I was grateful, but part of me was like, Really? Rifling through a cardboard box is just as efficient. :)

J said...

Things sure are different in the east than west.

I probably would have ridden without a ticket due to the fact that I've never been checked for one on a U-Bahn or S-Bahn in any city in the western half of the country or even regional trains within a city.

My guess is that you didn't have to pay 40 E due to the fact that you had a ticket, just not one that went far enough.

I'm delighted that it all worked out for you.

Diane Mandy said...

That is quite the story!!!

I am constantly losing things and getting them back. The most memorable was when I lost my purse in an unmarked taxi in NYC. Apparently, the next person in the cab was in town to hear the Dali Lama and tracked me down using my hotel room key and drivers license. When I got to my room (after a night of salsa dancing at the Copa Cabana where I spotted Marc Anthony, Puffy Daddy, and Donald Trump), my purse was waiting for me with nothing taken. What a night!!!

Kathryn said...

I haven't lost my purse yet(crossing fingers) but I'm so glad you got yours back and all in one piece!!! Yay!

Sunday was fun! :O)