Sailing Long Distances

A pickpocket and a fax

We walked to the famous castle overlooking the city of Palma, Bellver Castle. It promised lovely views of the surrounding area and is rich in history. All the ay up  wasn’t precisely a staircase to heaven, nevertheless exhausting.

We took some pictures when Beate yelled, my wallet has gone. Her backpack was open. A pickpocket took the chance and lifted the money.

We double-checked her rucksack, but it remained empty. Instantly I called the bank and reported the theft.

Beate said we should also report the theft to the police for insurance reasons. Well, I got a strange feeling, Houston, that might be my part, and so it was.

The police are called Policia Local, situated in a big modern station. On the long way, I had plenty of time to think of the best words and perfect sentences to say. To my surprise, the police officer in charge understood and did what was to be expected, asking questions in Spanish. Ups. He checked his computer, dialed a number, and spoke to me. To this day, I have no idea what he said. However, I interpreted the few words I understood and figured out this. Oh, your wife is a German double-O Agent. She was exceptionally successful in her time and still got three tokens for free killings of people of her choice. Wow, including politicians, and no state prosecution guaranteed. It would be best to speak to a special agent.

The person he had called answered. He handed me the phone. A lovely lady spoke to me in passable English and said she would be at home, but in the case of Beate, she would drop by in fifteen minutes. Can you imagine this? She had called it a day already but was willing and able to return to the office? Maybe, so I guess she was a double-O agent and wanted to have face time with a colleague. Anyway, she kept her word, asked where we were from and continued in German. No question, one more hint of what the ’00s are able to do. No kidding, she suggested I should have a beer or coffee while she wanted to talk to Beate personally. Beate didn’t tell me much about the talks, so I think they discussed the latest ammunition on the market and the dark web and rewards for the best killings today.

A day later, a German tourist called Beate and said, I found your purse on that staircase. Your credit cards and driver’s license are still there, yet the money is gone. We met the two holiday makers and had entertaining chats.
Subsequently, we requested new credit cards. Worthwhile writing about? When it comes to Germany these days, yes. The bank said either fill out a form and mail it by post – high-tech country – or send a copy via fax. Fax? It’s a joke, a wrote back, using hand-selected acceptable words no to say, idiots. The bank answered, a letter or fax or forget it.

Thinking of myself as brilliant, I went to the marina office and asked for a fax machine. First reaction – and it shouldn’t be the last one that day – a burst of laughter and comment, they had put the fax machine into the museum last year. Vale. Next trial at the post office station. Here not only the two staff members laughed, the customers too. Across the street is a hardware store – ferreteria – I asked the shopkeeper, and he replied, senor, please don’t speak about the devil; our machines are in a museum. The last chance I saw was a telephone-calls-all-over-the-world office. My question was entertainment for the young lady behind the counter. That day, I promised myself, for the sake of the reputation of a great European country, never to mention the words fax and Germany in one sentence. Would I say: soy de Alemania, I’m from Germany, and the Spaniard answers, Como? Pais de fax?

Eventually, I found a website that offers PDFs to fax. Good enough for the bank, who had provided us with pins, secure apps, and double-double temporary code numbers.

Best, we got new credit cards and Beate a rucksack burglar-proof.