I think it’s fair to say I travel more than most people. A quick check of the ol’ passport shows that I have very few blank pages remaining. Our annual residence permits for Germany take up two pages each, per year, meaning 6 pages (and counting) alone devoted to Germany, and I’ve got stamps from:
- my travels into and out of China (via Hong Kong, which yields additional passport stamps)
- Romania (coming up this week, yet again)
- the occasional EU entry stamp from Amsterdam or Frankfurt
- entry stamps to the U.S. from Chicago or JFK
So, when my passport is full, I can’t travel anywhere requiring a passport stamp anymore, right?
In an effort to pre-empt a problem in this regard, Sarah and I planned a day off for me (yay for comp time) to visit the only place we can take care of it — the consulate general in Munich.* This page shows that they’re available 5 days a week (sounds great so far, right?). Read a little closer and you find out that that’s only 3 hours a day. And not on the last Wednesday of the month, on German *or* American holidays. And Sarah found out via email exchanges with the staff that the passport service is actually closed to the public all day *every* Wednesday, not just the last Wednesday of the month, like it says on the website. So we carefully planned the trip for a Wednesday and then also adjusted it to today (Thursday) after she learned of the Terrorist-Infuriating Secret Wednesday Hours Plan.
And we thought we had all bases covered.
We arrived just fine, underwent the airport-like metal detection, probably got bomb-sniffed without our knowledge, took a number and waited patiently. When they called our number, guess what? The machine that prints additional passport pages was broken.
So we resigned ourselves to returning sometime after Christmas. Sarah even had to remind the clerk guy that he’d be closed on the Wednesday directly after Christmas. What a pain.
But we were looking forward to consoling ourselves at the 1. Schwabinger Kartoffelhaus, and that almost did the trick. All would have been right in the world again, had the new-looking Starbucks in the Munich central train station been open to serve us the Frappucinos we’d already set our hearts on. We’d noticed it upon on arrival, and decided to try it out on the return leg of the trip. But as we approached, we saw it wouldn’t open for like another two days or so.
Things were just not working out today. We decided to console our minds and bodies with an invigorating and relaxing round of sauna and steam room at the gym and are now pooped and ready for a good night’s rest before my triumphant return to the office for one more work day prior to another week in Romania.
While we were waiting for the *Altstadtbus* to work its way through the throngs out on Bismarckplatz, Gesandtenstraße, and Neupfarrplatz (and who could blame them — it was a nice night to be out enjoying the town), I used the tripod Sarah gave me for my recent birthday to snap these night shots of the Dom. Turned out better than I expected.