Archive for September, 2007

Europcar revisited

You probably remember that I expressed my hatred against Sixt and Europcar? All my nagging must have impressed the guys at Europcar so that send me a letter today, that they will refund me. The strange thing, however, is that why did they charge me in the first place for 8 litres fuel plus handling fees. If they did fill the car they would probably never recharge me, or would they?Anyway, what counts is that I have my money back and that I will concider reconciliation with Europcar, but no mercy for Sixt so far.

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He thinks I’m funny

Our son, recently with his second tooth, started to get up and touch everything he finds and even inspect it with his slimy mouth. Until quite recently he stopped when I said “Achtung!” with a strong German pronunciation. However (as mentioned earlier) now he finds it amusing and starts laughing. Nothing else seems to help showing him his limits. We tried speaking at different pitches (apparently speaking with a high frequency should help with babies), but he just starts laughing. The only thing which doesn’t make him laugh is when he touches the electrical heater or when he doesn’t succeed breaking the walls with his head. I start to loose my assumptions that babies, like turbulent flows, can be controlled by large scale modification, however more and more I think they are just randomly responding to our input. So there is maybe no “simple” active control mechanism? But if so, how did everyone else manage with kids? We have just one kid, we both have read something about them before we got one, and still nothing seems to work out for us. Normally I enjoy trial and error games, but I am starting to loose hope that there is anything stable which always works. I should have known that when I found out that he seemed to like white noise. Any ideas?

New hobby

Since I became father or since I lived in Italy I have a new hobby, namely complaining. You might say: wait, isn’t that already an inherent habit of Germans? Yes, you are right, but as a wannabe nerd you don’t really copy habits or your own people, you just take something from here and there. Anyway, writing complaints seems to be a good way to bundle my anger. I don’t know how many I have written within the last 4 month. Mainly I am writing in such a way, that the recipient doesn’t have an option other than ignoring my message. Only sometimes I write in kind words and then I get an answer. But in Sweden I even get for angry comments a polite answer and sometimes even a coupon. Anyway, I am not doing it for the glory or the money, but just to get rid of my anger. Its just about small things, like plastic items in frozen food, or diapers without the sticky tape, or other things which make me angry. I should start with sports again, but there is no time for that. So I will be updating this blog more often about the small things in life, which make you angry. Of course I should complain to myself as well about the many things I could have done better, but I am not as kind as Swedes.

PS: “Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.” by Benny Hill.

Deutsche Post á la Italia

To make my little Sister happy I sent her a packet from Forli, before we left for Sweden. So to be sure I gave the post office in Italy my Swedish address if – for some reason – they could not deliver the packages. I mean its possible, its Forli and its is far away for the guys from the postal services. The first week nothing arrived at my sisters place, so she went to my parents for a week and when she came back she got a letter, than she have to pick up a package until the days before that day. Time machines don’t exists. So she went there and ask where the package is. They said “Pech gehabt”; meaning “tough luck”, or even “Your problem” in my translation. Now, more than 2 weeks have passed and nothing arrived here in Sweden either. I tried to find a email address of the Poste Italia, but on their English webpage is no email address. I guess I have to ask an Italian for that. Its not the content of the package, its just a principal that you don’t send back package after one week and only one notice on your door. If that is what they call service, then you are not supposed to leave your apartment for more than 5 days.

Wodka nights in the Russian embassy

Spend two hours infront of the Russian embassy in Stockholm and was told that I spoke to a ghost. I called the embassy Sunday evening for an urgent problem and the two people I spoke to gave me hope and told me to visit the embassy the first thing in the morning. I was the first there and had my hopes up, but after telling them that I spoke to two people from the embassy (Ok, I didn’t speak to the first one, because he couldn’t speak Swedish nor English) they told me that that would be impossible because no one works on Sunday at the embassy. I tried to repeat myself several times, that I got the phone number from their webpage and that I spoke with them. But she repeated that no one would be answering the phone, because no one would be in the embassy. In short: Either I spoke to ghosts or to the cleaning or security staff in the embassy, or they are not remembering their Wodka nights Sundays in the embassy while listening to Curky Buchek:

Europcar

There is not much left on rental car companies with which I hadn’t had problems. Maybe I am the problem? So far I was quite satisfied with Europcar, until last week where I got a letter that they had to charge me some 30 Euros. Ok, 30 Euros is almost nothing compared to the few hundred Euros e-Sixt (I did mention that I hate them, or?) had to charge me. But this time I did every small thing I could have done to be a good renter. The last week in Italy I had a nice car with navigation system, so I was keen to refuel the car as close as possible to the airport where I had to return the car (I learnt from my previous mistake where the only gas station I found was some 15 km far from the airport and was charged afterwards again). So this time, I even had a Italian witness who told the attendant at the station that he should refill the car as much as possible. We did not need more then 3-5 minutes to find the return station for the car and left happily Italy. Two weeks later I found an invoice issued by Europcar with the mentioned 30 Euros, for 8 litre fuel and some additional charges. Wait a second! 8 Litre?! Thats enough for almost 100 km and we did not drive more then 3-5 minutes. So I send an email to Europcar in Germany (its much more fun to complain in German) to ask them how they managed to fill 8 Litres in the car. So far I haven’t heard from them. So from now on I am only satisfied with AVIS, but who knows how long.

Sixt again

Did I mention that I hate Sixt? Just to make me feel better I have to mention that I got an answer to my kind complaint. Namely they rephrased their terms and conditions and gave the impression as if they haven’t really read my letter. I sometimes wonder if they hire monkeys to do the paperwork?!


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