And so it came to pass that a consortium of Berlin bloggers purchased Jim's Adlon gift-certificate for the full price. I took possession of the cash on Sunday.
And then I did an incredibly stupid thing: I put it, and some money I had in my pocket, in the bank.
Monday I got up, wrote a transfer-slip to the Obergerichtsvollsieher, and took it to the bank. On a whim, I checked my balance. The €220 I'd deposited twelve hours before had turned into €150 and change.
I hiked back home, picked up the receipt for the deposit, and went back to the bank. €74 and change had been taken out that morning, the woman told me. A few more clicks on her computer disclosed the culprit: Deutsche Telekom.
I have no idea how this happened. I have never authorized them to do this. I'm not completely sure how they got my account number, although it's been the same since before I moved here (I got it when I did a short-lived "Letter From America" for the late Radio For You station here).
So I was still short.
Fortunately, this morning, a notoriously undependable magazine I write for deposited $300 in my American account, so in a few minutes, I'm removing more than enough to pay this guy when he shows up on Thursday. I'm not taking any more chances.
And today I picked up three hours' proofreading work on a newsletter and brochure from a German sausage-seasoning company. Not what I want to be doing with my time, but it's work.