Here ' s a tip for all you ladies as you are traveling. Make sure that your bag doesn't have a huge hole in it before you head off for a full day of European adventures. You might just lose your keys. Yes, the curse of Tara being locked out of her apartment has struck Germany as well. Let me just go over both the high and low points of the adventure.
I was getting ready to leave a friend ' s house (late at night it should be noted) and in the midst of packing up all my things I sensibly decided to check and make sure that I had my keys. I don ' t normally do this but luck was on my side for once . Not because I actually had my keys but because I hadn't ridden on the train for forty minutes gotten to my apartment and then noticed that my keys were missing. After searching my friend ' s house high and low (we searched places I hadn't even seen before) the problem was pretty clear. My bag had a hole in its seam. We had known this before because as we were walking from a Tram to a bus that afternoon my umbrella had fallen out of it. Now my umbrella is pretty small but that still should give you a mental picture of what my bag looked like. I think I handled losing my keys fairly well. I only had a mild freak-out when my friend went to buy me a toothbrush. If the whole world could tell that something was wrong, hey, that couldn't be helped.
I should mention that I actually had four sets of keys. One was lost to the wilds of Germany and the other three were safely locked behind my door. Still there was a bit of hope. Perhaps my landlord (who lives below me) had a spare key? No, that was not to be. He was gone (I think to France) for the whole weekend. My other neighbor (only three of us live in the building) works in a little store across the street. She was gracious enough to unlock the bottom door but couldn't help with the rest. She did however know a locksmith. My friend (who is German) called and as luck would have it he was in the area. There was still the chance that the whole thing would be very cheap. If the deadbolt wasn't locked , then the whole thing would be very simple.
It wasn't simple. Not only had I turned the deadbolt but I had turned it twice. In essence "superlocking" my door against my well mannered and completely benign neighbors. The locksmith blew a breath out as if asking for patience and calmly went downstairs to get his heavy duty " I am breaking into this apartment drill " and assorted other tools. I was a little appalled at how quickly he was able to get in actually. So was he , I think , because he assured me that he would be putting a much better lock on my door than the one he ha d just broken. Putting the lock in took forever. Probably because I was staring at him willing him to be finished already. To pass the time I took some pictures. He drilled, he hammered, he measured, he balanced and in the end he made a mess! He also chatted with my friend in German and occasionally with me in English (of course). I found out about his children, wife, and that he had changed my neighbor ' s lock as well. Somehow that made me feel better.
And in the end? I had a new lock, three new sets of keys and no one to blame but myself. Now come s " the part you do not like so much " , he told me. The bill.