Last Saturday was the most stressful and hectic day I’ve experienced since I got to Europe. It was cleaning and moving out day. Three groups were coming through the apartment from 7:00 am until noon. Everything depended on split-second timing.
The furniture people were supposed to come at 7 am. I was worried because the business owner didn’t seem too organized. He was quite late for our first appointment, when he wanted to take a look at what items he and his crew were going to take.
His business is a Brockenhaus – used furniture and clothes and whatever – perfect for disorganized people. It’s called the Brocki for short, with a long “o” as in “broke.” It’s on two floors and there is very little order anywhere. Not very Swiss. But there is another one (different owners) in Zofingen that looks even worse!
So, yes. They were late! I yelled at him on the phone and said he should get over ASAP!!! Then, I started picking up chairs, the small table, and a large number of odds and ends.
About the time I got almost everything out, the cleaning crew arrived – four minutes early. They were cheerful and efficient and moved the rug and dining table/desk and camp cot out for me. The wonderful owner came with them and I paid her before we both had to leave.
The Brocki guys finally came. They were in and out in 15 minutes.
Next, I had to go to the post office, market and hotel while the cleaners were working. I wanted to ask at the hotel about Internet access and luggage. I suspected there was no elevator and at that excellent price, the room would be just under the roof. Right on both counts.
When I got to the hotel abour 10:30 am, the woman in charge said, “It’s a good thing you came now. We’re closing the restaurant and hote tonight at 5:00 pm. I’ll give you a key that will get you into the hotel and your room. I’ll show them to you now. Oh, and I’m taking off 8 Swiss franks per day, because we’re not serving breakfast either.”
Breathing a prayer of thanks and a sigh of relief, I asked if I could bring my luggage so someone to take it to my room. “Oh, sure,” she said. “Just take them across the alley way here and someone will bring it all upstairs for you.”
She showed me the breakfast room: automatic coffee maker and fridge full of butter patties, jelly packets, yogurt and orange juice. The only thing I’d need to get was bread!
With one last thing to mail, on this very stressful Saturday, I stopped at the post office to pick up another box. It was about 11:15 when I went in and noticed the info on the door – closing at noon, plus closing at noon on Monday, they only available day to mail the pkg back to Oregon. So, more luck there!
One place where I’d given up entirely was my long-awaited package from Italy. It had taken a complaint to American Express to get any action from them at all. As I walked toward the apartment, I noticed a guy with a package.
“That wouldn’t happen to be from Italy, would it?” I joked, in my execrable German. Confused, he looked down and tried to pronounce . . . “McIntyre!!!” Yep, it was my package! Half an hour later, I had no keys to the letter box and my name tag had been removed. He would have had to have sent the package back to Italy.
I went back to the train station and hopped on the train to Baden to see my friends for the last time on this trip. When I got to the town where I had to change trains, I walked to the correct platform and sat down to wait.
There was a train already there, but there was plenty of time for it to start to its destination before my train pulled up. But. Guess what? It WAS my train! I didn’t catch on until it started out on the exact minute “my” train was supposed to leave. No worries though. The next train came by in half an hour.
After that we all had a wonderful time. I got back to the hotel quite late, but after I had staggered upstairs (from tiredness!), I found all my luggage there. I collapsed into the warm, comfortable bed and didn’t wake up for seven hours.