What did I say? The Berlinbites Tech Team spared no effort, so the PayPal link works again. Our thanks to the toiling multitudes for their unstinting efforts.
Had a conversation with the Countess von Pfeil yesterday concerning the construction in the back yard. Actually, she lives in my building and is a friendly 20-something-year-old with a nearly Valley Girl American accent due to the years she lived in the U.S., but she was as concerned as I was about the noise, and discovered in talking to the construction workers that the land speculator who bought the building is insolvent, that the underground parking garage isn't going to happen as promised, and that they're just going to plant a bunch of grass in the area where the other buliding that would cut off my light was going to be. Of course, they also told her that this work would be over in a week, and that was two weeks ago. All I know is, if I'd paid all that money for an apartment in this building, I'd be pretty steamed by now. No wonder half the building isn't sold or rented yet.
As for their being a Countess in my building, there's royalty all over Germany, and it rarely means anything. There was a Baroness in one crowd I was running with when I first moved here, and I didn't know about it until I had to call her one day and picked up the phone book and saw that's how she was listed. "Oh, please don't bring that up with her," one of her friends told me. "She's really embarrassed by that." And then there's my friend Fred, the No 'Count Count, over in London, whose family extends to Texas and the plot against Hitler and lots of other interesting historical stuff. But he's got a day job just like loads of other people. As far as I can tell, there are very few titled people in Germany with any money or position, and having a title doesn't seem to help you, at least not with anyone who counts, although one does see little old ladies reading magazines devoted to some of the wealthier sorts and their loves, lives, and horses.
I suspect this is going to be a long day. Apparently a lot of my friends are going to a party sponsored by Vote 44, one of the innumerable expat get-out-the-vote organizations, not far from my house, and I'll be joining them there. One friend who won't be there is working the overnight shift at Deutsche Welle, the German equivalent of the BBC World Service, and boy would I like to be a fly on the wall there. But I guess we'll all know more by this time tomorrow. Let us hope for good news. And if you'd like to see it expressed more eloquently than I can at the moment, attend to words of the guy who's been running the Electoral Vote blog, another expat who would like to go back to living a normal existence instead of having to deal with seeming to represent a bunch of bloodthirsty, arrogant morons.