Berlin, Germany 18:00 Tuesday afternoon (delayed post)
My friend Mark, who's an American working at my company's office here in Berlin, calls me and wants to get together. I don't have any sessions to present at until early afternoon, so I say "Hey, great! Pick me up at the hotel and let's go shopping!"
Mark picks me up at around 9:30, and takes me to a store he's sure will be less expensive than the place I went to yesterday. The place he has in mind is a large department store called KaDeWe. I'm sure that's an abbreviation for something, I'm just not sure what. The store is located just inside what used to be West Berlin, and the commies from the other side could actually enter the store and get demoralized by seeing all the stuff they couldn't get. Retail as a propaganda tool.
Well, it didn't take me long to become a bit demoralized myself when I started looking at the prices. To make a long story short, I come out of the store with a pair of Dockers, another light-weight wool pullover and a pair of socks. Total: 155 euros. God bless capitalism.
At around 11:30, Mark drops me off back at the hotel, and as I walk in to the lobby past the concierge desk, the first thing I see is my bag, festooned with numerous airline tags marked "Rush!" and "Expedite!". Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, my bag is here! And nearly $200 of clothes worth $60 can go back to the store.
I steal a quck look at one of the tags to see when it was sent by Delta. Sure enough, Delta, to their credit, did send the bag out on Saturday for arrival on Sunday. It just took Deb's persistent phone calls to both airlines to get them talking to each other and get the damn bag out of customs.
At least I was able to properly dress for the presentations I had in the afternoon, and won't have to pay extortionist's prices for more clothes.