Luxembourg, 6 September.
For those of you that still don’t know about car pooling, there is a web site for organising that stuff called mitfahrgelegenheit.de. It’s very popular among German speaking countries, but there are french, czech, english versions among others.
As we started doing a 900 km leg from Luxembourg to Bled, it apparently was a good idea to take some passengers to spare some gas money and be more ecologic and so on.
So I posted the ad in all possible networks for car sharing and waited. After a week of receiving calls for potentials car poolers, I was already exhausted. The call was always like this.
- -“Hello, I call you for the ad, to go from A to B, do you have place?”
- -“Yes, it’s showed online”
- -“Can you make a reservation?”
- -“No, only online with credit card booking”
- -“Ok, I see, thanks”
And never again.
Luckily, I got contacted by Mihir and Teresa from Heidelberg, very awesome guys that did the trip from Mannheim to Bled.
But unfortunately, I got contacted by Christian. This guy first called me to my office landline (where did he got the number from??), only speaking german on the phone. So I was missing big part of the details but still doing fine.
He wanted me to take his teenager daughter from Luxembourg to somewhere in Austria, next to Innsbruck so her mother could pick her up. He called me, and in german he started with the dialog already mentioned. I said, ok, do the electronic reservation and it will be fine.
This guy called me 5 times, to ask me if it was everything ok, and my answer was always, “DO THE ONLINE BOOKING”. So, the last possible day, the last possible hour, after Misir did his reservation, this guy calls angry on the phone.
The trip is already booked, there is no more place!!! he screamed in german from the other side of the line. “Tut mir leid” I replied, but the rules were the same for everybody, online booking, first arrived first served. But not, I had to take his daughter anyways, she had to start school on monday.
Ok, for such an emergency, I could take her, and give her a place on the back of the car. I said, “Ok, morgen am Bahnhof um 8 Uhr”. Set the meeting point, and made clear, no luggage or just a backpack. We would be 5 on the small car!!!
So, 8 hours, in the main station in Luxembourg, here I was. Then I saw her, with her huge suitcase that used all the trunk, not even place for my tiny backpack. But where should I drop her? I asked the big guy? We open up google maps, he pointed a place, in the middle between Salzburg and Munich. I wrote it down, “Pfrauendorf”
So, we went (the teenager girl and me) to Mannheim to pickup Misir and Teresa. There was no room for their luggage, so I had to drop on the trash container the cover for the trunk. We accommodated one of the guys luggage on the back seat, and we went to pick up Nastya in Stuttgart Airport.
After picking up Nastya, the car almost exploded with luggage and people. It was 32 degrees, the guys on the back seat were with backpacks on their laps, and Nastya with a suitcase in her legs. Of course the back windshield completely covered so no back mirror, just using the sides. We typed on the GPS: Pfrauendorf, Bavaria. Ready to go, 340 kilometers and it would be fine.
We arrived at 17 to Pfrauendrof as expected. But…the place was weird, a very tiny town, with 2 seniors waiting for a bus in a wooden shed. We asked for the main station, but that was the main station. The teenager didn’t have any credit on her phone, no money, so just used my phone and called the mom. Well, she was also in the main station, but….we were on the wrong Pfrauendorf. 2 towns in the same state with the same, exactly the same name.
And here the drama begun. Calls from the mother, the father, “Wo bist du?” she screamed from the phone, “I don’t know”, I replied, making her more angry and desperate. So, we open up google maps again, using roaming internet and some maps, we figured out where we were, and how to go to the real Pfrauendorf. But now there was another problem. This lady couldn’t stay waiting for us, because there was no more train, she had no car, and this teen had no money to take a train. Call in, Call out, we decided to drop her in another town, near the border with Austria.
The funny detail about communications is that her mother was from Argentina, so we might suppose we where talking spanish, but no. She refused to talk to me in Spanish, by replying in German all the time. So, I explained several times, that my german on the phone might be misleading but it didn’t help. She kept speaking German to me. Then I found the way, I just started speaking German, as bad as I could on the phone, so she was saying that it was impossible to understand me, until she switched to Spanish 🙂
In the end we drove 350 extra Kilometres, and we delivered the kid to her annoying mother.
At 11 pm (after 13 hours of road) we arrived to Bled, then I looked to the counter and I had driven 1200 km in a single day.