segunda-feira, 17 de março de 2014

How I lost my wallet at the second largest city in Germany and I got it back intact

Se você quiser ler este texto em português, clique aqui

Before of everything, congratulations to Germany.

Ok, there wasn't money in the wallet, but even so, it came back with all cards and my little papers.

The worst two things that can happen in an interchange period is: 1) get sick 2) lost all your documents. Really, I don't wish this even to my enemies
My wallet.  

Everything began in a really wrong day in Hamburg

Last Friday I went very early to Hamburg with three objectives: 1) to buy something from a woman whom I've found in ebay; 2) to take pictures (because during the two weeks before the weather was great and I was feeling bad of missing it); to meet Anita and the other girls and finally get to know the famous night at Reeperbahn, St. Paulis. 


1) The woman didn't appear. I stayed for one hour at the tram station until she said that she didn't know that I'll be there (as far as I know, even with my poor german, freitag means Friday). 

2) The day dawned so ugly, but SO ugly that it was even foggy. Nevertheless, I tried to take some pictures. 

3) The girls got too long to go out home and as I had walked all day (I did'nt buy any subway ticket), I reached the conclusion that I was too tired to go party and I decided to go back to Bremen at 23h38 (the train's departure). 

Hamburg in a really ugly day. And yes - I am a photographer and I use Instagram.
I'm completely in favor of it and this is another discussion, xoxo

So that was when the shit happend. I was so tired, SO tired, that I forgot my wallet on the cashier's desk at the supermarket of the central station. And I didn't even noticed. 

I just realized that I had lost my wallet when the train's employee came to ask my semesterticket (here in Germany you don't have to show you ticket before you get in the train, you show it during the trip). Then, the guy called the central station and they confirmed that my wallet was there at the lost-and-found section - or Fundbüro. He was nice, he didn't charge me any penalty (he noticed that I was telling the truth) and gave me a number to call the next morning. 

When I arrived in Bremen, at 2:00 a.m., I realized that I couldn't take a bus to go home because I would have to show the goddammit ticket. So I had to take a tram that dropped me more than 1km far away from my house

When I though it couldn't get worse, started to rain a windy rain and a guy started to follow me. I got scared (I've already heard about people who were stolen here in front of their houses!) and I accelerated the pace. The guy was almost running behind me - at 2:00 a.m., under the rain, in a deserted street. He started to talk with me. I ignored him. He spoke again and started to do a lot of questions. I invented all the awnsers. For a moment, I thought he would follow me until my house. Then he turned in the corner and disappeared. 

In the next morning, at 8:00 a.m., I called the number that the guy gave me. 1) the employee on the phone didn't speak english. 2) He told me that there wasn't the right place and I had to call another number. I got so frustrated - I thought that everything would be solved in that day. 

Then I found the number of the central found-and-lost of Deutsche Bahnn. I waited at the line for 5 minutes listening to an annoying music. When they finally talked to me, the girl didn't speak any english and she transfered the phone call to another person (I still asking myself if I was a tourist that didn't know any word of german, how I would manage it, really). And then, pff. The call went dead. The credits of my celphone were over. I acessed my online bank account and inserted more 20 euros. When I already had given all my personal data and only still missing my celphone number (in case they've found the wallet)... the connection fail down again. I inserted more 15 euros. Then I realized I could do that online and I wouldn't have to pay almost 3 euros/minute in that call. On the Deutsche Bahn website they say that it is 0,59 euros/minute, but it's a lie. Conclusion: I spent 40 euros in a call that didn't worth anything (I was too desperate).

I discovered that another found-and-lost centre existed in Hamburg and the place should be there. However, I would have to wait until Monday to call and asked for my wallet. But I sent an email. I got stuck all saturday and sunday at home meditating freaking out.

Today (Monday), when I woke up, the first thing I saw was the email with the awnser of the found-and-lost centre of Hamburg telling me that they werent responsible for the missing thing in trains/stations/subways. I almost had a heart-attack. I was so sure that was there.

I figured out that after some time they send the things to another centre, in Wuppertal. Where the hell is it? Good question, I had to google it - and it is in the west side of Germany. And after 10-14 days, they throw the things away

But it couldn't be. The guy in the train called the central station and they even confirmed the color of my wallet (thank god I bought a red one). It just could be there! And it was ¬¬ There was my wallet. And again - the guy didn't speak any english. Sometimes I didn't understand a word. But I've understood the main thing - the searching number. 

Now, part 2: how could I go to Hamburg from Bremen 1) without my semesterticket 2) without any money since all my bank cards were in the wallet ?

First I thought about to ask Anita (my friend that lives in Hamburg) to pick it up, but it didn't make much sense because someone should bring it to Bremen. Then I thought about to ask my friends here to pick it up for me, but most of them don't know german very well and I didn't even know if somebody could pick it in my place. I thought about to borrow some money, buy the ticket and go there. But then I decided to risk myself and count with the goodness of people. So I took my passport (because, yes, I'm not so dumb of walking around with it, so my passport was safe at home) and my university enrollment to prove that I had the semesterticket. I stayed half of the trip really nervous waiting the employee to ask my ticket. I barely needed to explain the situation and the guy said "it's ok". Great.

I arrived at the central station of Hamburg and I discovered that they have a place called Gepäckcenter (or something like that) just next to DB Information Center. I got there and the first thing the guy asked me was the searching number. I showed my passport. Signed a paper. And there it was, kept in a plastic bag, like a criminal evidence. I opened it to see if everything was ok. It's true that the wallet was totally messed up, but every single card and papers were there. I almost cried.

I can't even imagine how would be the confusion to get a new Visa Travel Money, to pay another for another bank card, to go the city centre and ask for another identity - and had to pay for it too, the healthy insurance card, the credit card from Brazil... It would be a really hard work. And without the Visa Travel Money I wouldnt be able to pay my bills here and I'd have a negative balance in my bank account. 

So, that's it... Germany should be congratulated - for the people from the supermarket who gave my wallet back, for anything that did'nt disappear, for nobody had charged me in the trains. I wont only congratulate the people who didn't speak english and that call that costed me 40 euros (really, I could have payed two tickets to Amsterdam).

Ps.: My day in Hamburg wasn't completly lost: I visited the Haus der Photographie - a gallery settled in an old  warehouse -; I bought a lot of new books for only 1,5 euros; and I discovered a very cute and nice cinema next to the Rathaus called Kino Passage (pretty obvious, huh?) and I watched 12 years a Slave in german (by the way, they charged me 50 cents more because the movie was longer than the normal ones. What?). 

Ps2.: Really, repeating, I don't know how somebody that doesn't speak any word of german would manage a situation like that. Attention, tourists.

Ps3.: I was really stressed because it NEVER/NUNCA/JAMAIS/NIE happend in all my life. Even with all those parties, all those travels, even with that new year in Berlin... I NEVER lost my identity card, bank card,  student card, documents, keys, etc. Then in a sober momment, in another country, in different city where I live, happens something like this. And just in a weekend, just to let me anxious for two intire days.

Ps4.: I'd like to thank Anita for all support in this hard moment. 

Tips for whom pass through something similar: 

1) S-Bahn Hamburg Fundsachen (found-and-lost of the central station)

Phone: 040/39182857 (the exactly number that the employee gave me)
Fundsachen der S-Bahn HH in der Wandelhalle. Nach 1 Woche geht die Fundsache nach Wuppertal 0202/352442
(translating: after one week they send the things to Wuppertal: phone number: 0202/352442)

2) DB Station & Service AG, Zentrales Fundbüro
(lost-and-found centre of DB in Wuppertal)

3) Hot line number of found-and-lost of DB 
+49 9001990599 - atention: there was when I lost my 40 euros. Instead of what the website says, the call is much more expensive than 0,59/min.

And it is useless because all the atendent do is exaclty what you can do online here:

In other words, to register your loss:

4) And finally, the found-and-lost centre of Hamburg (in Altona):

It is the place that I was sure that I would find my wallet and I got frustrated when they responded. They aren't responsible for lost things in trains/subways/stations, etc.

Words I wont never forget anymore:

1) Geldtasche/Geldbörse = wallet
2) Fundbüro = Found-and-lost
3) Verlieren = to lose 

Just for the record:

Today, one weekday after I've made my online loss registration, I received a letter from Deutsche Bahn saying that my wallet had been found and where it was. Which means: the thing really works! (but instead of an email warning me, they sent a letter ¬¬ everything here is solved through letter).

Link for online registration again:

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