Splette's Travel Blog


As usual (during traveling in general / me traveling in particular) unforeseen things happen. My plans change on a daily basis but then again that’s part of the fun…
First, my almost new laptop broke which is why I am mostly offline for the moment, relying on the occasional free wifi to go online with my trusted Android. Getting the laptop picked up for repair would deserve a blog post on its own… In short, I spent much time on the phone with some nice but clueless kid in a call center somewhere in India. The phone connection wasn’t good and after endless spelling of my not-so-short surname, address, serial number of laptop, model number, date of purchase, phone number, etc… the guy suddenly asked: “You are from Germany. May I ask you a question, sir?” That’s after he asked my a dozen questions, so I was confused. “Do you know a band called Rammstein?”. I reply yes and what follows is another half a dozen questions about their popularity in Germany now and back then, their songs and especially the lyrics (“Du hast…”, “Du hast mich…”, “Du hast mich gefragt…”). Remind you, all this chit chat on a hotline where conversations are randomly recorded and reviewed for quality control purposes. Anyway, the laptop will be gone for a few weeks which feels like cold withdrawal to me…
Second, my U.S. SIM card doesn’t work in Canada. Pretty harmless, especially since I rely a lot more on wifi (that’s easy to find just about anywhere) than texting/phone.
Third, my credit card. When I shipped off the laptop at some FedEx, I forgot my credit card there. I realized that about an hour later. Thankfully, someone gave it to the manager and I got it back. Lucky me. However, since that incident the card is declined wherever I try to use it. No good. Did someone go on a shopping spree with it? Need to call VISA and find out…
Four, might have some bigger impact on my plans. My visa waiver for the US is expiring sooner than expected. I got a three months waiver when I entered the United States. But I was hoping when I leave the country and go to Canada, then come back to the US I would get a new waiver valid for another three months. Apparently not. For certain administrative purposes the US and Canada count as the same. Now I have two options: cut my trip short and move on to Mexico (skipping Chicago, Vancouver, California etc.) or to leave the country by plane for a short ‘vacation of the vacation’ and then come back to resume the journey.

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