In my book, the way to conquer jet lag is to fight day-of-arrival zombieness with the push to stay up all day until late, which we successfully did Thursday. However, we somehow managed to sleep in until 11 am Friday, which completely threw off my body clock that night, feeling wide awake until about 1 am. In any case, it didn’t matter much since Stehling had taken the car in the night before to figure out what was causing the fuel starvation problem and it would not be ready until late in the day Friday.
We had agreed that Stehling would call me to provide an update. After having lunch at around 2:30, he hadn’t yet called so we cabbed it back to the Meilenwerk where we found him. He explained that the mechanics were working on it at their offsite garage and the car would be delivered to us by 7:30 that evening. Now mind you, this is Friday evening in Germany and I have a pervasive feeling that these guys are not going to be thrilled to be working that late and that they will disappear, not be seen again or reached by any means known to man until Monday morning, so this fix better work. This was 4:30 pm and the occasion called for an espresso and some baklava in the nearby Lebanese neighborhood.
Having a few hours to kill we strolled over to a large BMW dealership nearby where I once again felt incredibly fortunate to be living in the US of A. The prices on most BMW models were simply out of this world. How about a middle of the road 5 series with a base price of 45,000 Euro with 30,000 Euro in options? for those of you not up with the Forex page of the WSJ, that’s over a 100 large. Yes, they do get all the “cool” cars we don’t here, but is a 5 door 116d inherently cool or just so because it’s unobtainable to us?
Just around the corner from this dealership is the most famous building of the industrial architecture of Berlin and Germany, the AEG Turbinenfabrik designed by noted German architect Peter Behrens. Some French tourists were even looking for it and asked us for directions. We of course pretended to know all about the post-war Bauhaus mobius artistic influx of the modernistic architects, complimented them on their walking tour choice and pointed them the right way.
Along the way we bumped into a classic BMW CS coupe in its natural habitat and also in its normal state of disrepair and general dishevelment. Why are so many of these handsome classics so beat up and dumpy?
Another curbside classic seen around the neighborhood was this E30 station wagon. These will soon (4 years) turn 25 and will therefore be elegible for importation with no hassles. I’d like one…
The 1800 showed up at around 7:45, driven by the young wrenches who had worked on it and I was satisfied they had done a good repair in ridding the tank of its newfound internal rust. Never mind Stehling had said they repainted the interior of the tank a few weeks ago; I’ll write it off to something lost in translation… They also cleaned the carb and for good measure installed a mongo gas filter the size of a soup can.
We drove the car back to the hotel but stopping along the way for some location shots of the Brandenburg gate and the Fernsehturm, Berlin’s iconic TV tower built in the 1960’s.
Following this, we headed back to the hotel safely parked the car in the underground garage and headed out for a quick and late German dinner at a nearby restaurant. We’re hoping the 500 km trip tomorrow goes without incident but the car felt very good tonight so I’m confident it will perform.