Sunday, May 28, 2006

Oh Hail!

After having a fun morning at the Kollowitzplatz open-air market and lunch with Lexy, I realized late yesterday that my wallet was missing. Oh hail! Where could I have lost it? I turned the apartment upside down, but then remembered that I had it out on the subway to show the ticket checkers. Could the wallet have slipped off my lap without me noticing?

Regardless, I ended up spending the better part of the afternoon putting holds on all my credit and bankcards and submitting a lost property claim with the Berlin transportation authority (which is of course not open on the weekend.) I spent the evening learning about replacing my drivers license, train discount card, insurance card, etc… which were also all in the wallet.

If I may, let me take this moment to share an interesting tidbit I learned about German law. The DeutscheBahn website states that “in accordance with Sections 978ff” of the German civil code, good Samaritans who return lost property in Germany are entitled to 2.5% of its value, up to 500 euros (and 1.5% over 500 euro.) WHAT! That is whacked on two levels! On a capitalistic level, if you are going to get a reward, chances are that it will be more than 2.5%-- I’d rather take my chances at getting a big reward than having the GOVERNMENT sanction what I “deserve.” Of course on a more important, moral level, returning lost property is just a good thing to do. I think it falls in the “do unto others…” category. I highly doubt we have such a thing in the States!

But I digress… Like most good Erin adventures, this story has a (mostly) happy ending. Last night a guy called my cell phone to say that he had the wallet! I met him this morning and got the wallet back minus my monthly subway ticket and the cash that had been inside. (And gave him a more than 2.5% reward!) As I wrote after I lost my cell phone (I know, it’s been a bad month,) Germans ROCK the honesty meter!

I lost the wallet in the middle of the city; the guy said his girlfriend found it down south in Zehlendorf and it was returned to me way out in western Charlottenberg. In the meantime, Visa tells me it made a stop at a music store! From the condition of the inside of the wallet, it looks like it probably stopped in a few other districts around the city too!

So now it’s raining, HAILING, and windier than heck outside. But my wallet and I are happily inside—back in sleepy Wilmersdorf to enjoy a QUIET Sunday.

3 Comments:

At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my goodness I am soooo happy that you got your wallet back. Erin I am worried about how you are losing things though, is everything ok? I often misplace things when I am stressed out and distracted. Hope that all is ok. Take care,
Anuradha

 
At 12:54 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Thanks! You are not the first person to question the frequency of these little incidents! But I promise that in my 26 years of life I have never before lost my cell or my wallet, and am usually strangely careful about such things. Maybe I am distracted or maybe it was just about time. Looking on the positive side, I can add these stories to my "new things to try once in Germany" list (but with a star next to them that once was enough:-)) In any case, I will be guarding my passport and camera extra close this week!

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger Pritilata said...

I guess if you are going to lose your wallet, Germany is the place to lose it because everyone is so honest!

 

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