November 15, 2014

Berlin + They Kidnapped Connie2

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Turns out that this sign DOES NOT mean it’s ok to park here after 1pm, it is actually 2 completely separate signs and the time limit only applies to the bottom of the two signs ..and that was why Connie was kidnapped; at the nearest to the police they told me it would cost 250 euro’s to get Connie back. The Road Trip’s budget is 5e/ week, so 250 was not an option, and the police officer’s reaction to my dilemma was “its not my problem. You must pay”. That night Henrik put on his super hero cloak briefly by noticing that there were 2 cars parked in the same place as Connie who had been given 15e parking tickets – this seemed a little unfair so I took some photos.

The next day I went back and spoke to another police officer, this one even less aware that his job is supposed to be helping people, and after that rude and slightly aggressive encounter I decided to head to the next place I could think of that might be interested in helping out a UK national in trouble; the British Embassy.

They were not impressed to hear that the police had taken and were refusing to return my home, my clothes and my food, leaving me homeless and stuck in Berlin (all true, except I left out that I had a warm, friendly couch to sleep on), and when I showed them the photo of others parked in exactly the same place being charged 15e’s they decided the situation was clearly unfair. One angry phone call to someone high up in the police and Connie was returned, safe and unharmed.

Lessons learned; Embassies are there to help you. Police in many place do not care if their actions leave you sleeping homeless on the street. Presenting your issues right can turn “i have a parking ticket” into “they’ve taken my home, food and clothes”!

Then I was finally free to begin connecting people and spreading happiness in Berlin with some really great Focallocal activities, meeting lovely people and old friends, and I also decided it was time for a few marathon session to completely rebuild this website – what do you guys think? :0)