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So, I did in fact miss my train, though I'm not stuck in Frankfurt. Actually, I never had it at all, as my ticket was from the wrong Frankfurt station (I wanted Frankfurt Flugh. instead of Frankfurt Hbf.) However, for about 30 Euro I got that worked out and got on a train that went where I needed it to. There have been some very nice views from the train windows.

Unlike the Frankfurt airport, the rail system has all signage, tickets, documents, etc. in German only, so it is proving considerably more difficult to navigate. I'm sure I'll manage, though. Also, like the airplane, the WiFi on the train doesn't work very well -- I got on long enough to make my previous post, and was unable to connect again for the next hour. It's a T-Mobile Hotspot, so it's not free anyway.

Once we got out of Frankfurt (a pretty standard-looking heavily industrial city), Germany looks... about like I expected it to look, really. Rolling hills, lots of small to medium-sized towns with many tile roofs, surrounded by pasture and farmland. We also passed a vineyard a moment ago. I like it, though it would be prettier a month from now when the foliage has all grown in; right now the trees are still pretty sparse.

I spent about an hour talking to a German musician on the train about our lives, differences and similarities between our countries, etc. His English was sufficient to hold a conversation with occasional playing of charades (and in any case vastly better than my German, which pretty much ends with "Guten tag" and "Danke.") It's kind of isolating to be in a country where you can't necessarily communicate with the people around you, and I'm finding it an interesting experience.


However, here's where things go sharply downhill. My train got in 5 minutes late, giving me only one minute to make my connection. So I ran for it, and got to the train just in time to realize... that I'd left my suitcase on the previous train. Suitcases on the trains aren't really stowed near where you sit, so in my hurry to get where I was going I forgot it was there. I immediately ran back, figuring I could always get another connection, but since that train was late already... it spent only 2 minutes at the platform, and had already gone on to Munich (2 hours away.)

This led to adventures in finding someone who worked for Deutsche Bahn who spoke enough English to understand what the problem was. No one in the Lost and Found office fit this description, but I finally found someone to translate for me, only to be told that the only people that can help me are the Lost and Found in Munich. They gave me the number for them, and I have called 45 times in the last two hours, but always gotten a busy signal. I've had no success in getting through to them, and am beginning to wonder if my phone will run out of power before I do. I can't recharge it, as the power cords & adapters are in the suitcase. As is all my clothing, my camera, my prescriptions, etc.

Basically, I have until 5:00 (about an hour from now) to get through to them, or I have to decide between going to my hotel without the suitcase, or going to Munich to try to retrieve it. This is a difficult decision because a.) my hotel is in the opposite direction from Munich, so if I'm going to go down there and retrieve the suitcase I'd be better off doing it from here, and b.) I have no idea how late the Lost & Found is open, so I might get on the 5:08 train, arrive down there at 7:00, and find that they're closed, and I don't know if I can get a train back to my hotel at that time of day. If I don't pick it up, they may be able to ship it to me, but I don't know... because I can't get through to them to ask. At the very least that would probably mean having no clothing, toiletries, adapters, prescriptions, etc. tomorrow and possibly even Monday.

The fact that I've been awake for over 24 hours now is not helping any; I really need to lie down, but if I go back to my hotel and do so I may not have any luggage for days, and pretty much spend the entire non-work part of this trip chasing down a suitcase. And of course this is all assuming that the Munich Lost and Found has the suitcase at all.

So, yeah, this kind of sucks.

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Oh my goodness. I don't even know what to say, except I'm over here crossing my fingers for you. GOOD LUCK!!

He managed to confirm that it's in Munich and is heading there now. :)

Oh good!! If anybody can keep his wits about him and solve this problem it's Grant, but to be dealing with this in a strange country that speaks no English on no sleep ... UGH! Poor baby.

I know, aww! Hopefully this will be his only snag, and the rest of the trip will be lots of fun, full of sausages and Riesling and the fun things one does in Germany. :)


(And what's with a German train being late?)

Wow, that's crazy.

I was thinking exactly what madbard said - it's shocking that the train was late.

Anyway, I wish you well, and I look forward to my next trip to Germany. I hope the rest of yours is better than it has been so far.

And, I'm shocked that you haven't found more English-speaking people there. In my several trips to Germany, I have found that most people under the age of 40 or so speak English.

It was only 5 minutes late, but since they spend less than 10 minutes at a station, that was enough.

And I've found tons of German people who speak English. Pretty much everyone under 40 who doesn't work for Deutsche Bahn, in fact. Though now that I think of it, that has not been a large group.

Er, I mean that Deutsche Bahn employees under 40 has not seemed to be a large group.

I'm glad I'm reading this a week late and I already know that things have turned out all right, or mostly so. What a hassle.

I once lost about $200 in an Italian train station on a long trip. Worst of all, someone came up to me to ask me if I'd lost it, and I said no - I didn't think it was mine. Only later did I realize I'd given away my living money for the next month. And I spoke the language. I can't even imagine being in your situation in a country where the only bits of the language I knew were what I had picked up from Hogan's Heroes. . .

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