Stocking-up on US Dollar Cash and Flight to Istanbul
When packing the backpack for my next trip to Central Asia I discovered that my first-aid kit disappeared. I remembered I have packed it in Santiago so probably it got lost somewhere on the way to Germany. While most stuff in the kit can be replaced easily by visiting a pharmacy the Malaria tablets require a prescription. I don’t need Malaria tablets for my next trip to Central Asia but later on this year when returning to Africa and South America. As I only will be home for another two days by the end of August and one of these days is a weekend day I thought I’ll better go today and see a doctor to get the required prescription. It basically took me all morning to get it but in the same step I’ll got my Hepatitis B refreshment injection as well.
I spent the late morning in the largest outdoor shop in town stocking-up on equipment such as a fixing kit for my ripped rain-trousers, a fast drying towel, a water bottle, a waterproof bag for my camping equipment etc.
On the way back I stopped at Deutsche Bank to get US Dollar cash for my trip. The bank refused to provide any cash to me and all other customers in the bank since the computer system of the bank was down in all of Germany. They only said I can use the ATM to withdraw the daily maximum amount of 1,000 EUR but I will definitely not receive any US Dollar cash. It was already 2pm and I will need to leave for the airport in two hours. Somehow everything went wrong today.
Luckily I have another checking account with comdirect Bank, a direct bank of the Commerzbank Group. So I went next door to get the US Dollar cash from Commerzbank. Since I’m a customer with comdirect Bank and not directly with Commerzbank it wasn’t enough to show my identity card but they needed my comdirect Bank account number as well which I didn’t had with me. So I reserved the US Dollar cash I needed for one hour and went home to get the account number. In the end everything went well and I got my supply in US Dollar cash.
Back home I quickly packed my stuff and went to the airport. Since my apartment is located between the city center of Duesseldorf and the airport it took me only seven minutes by interurban train to go there. When checking-in I noticed my flight is delayed by 1-2 hours and I used the time to have some dinner at the airport.
The next thing which went wrong today was the security check. While taking my camping gear (tent, mattress, sleeping bag) as hand luggage to the plane wasn’t an issue on my flight from Germany to South America and back the inspector at the Duesseldorf airport refused me taking the tiny picks for my tent to the cabin. Unfortunately the check-in time was already over so I couldn’t check my tent in and I also wasn’t keen to leave my picks behind since they are special lightweight picks and probably not too easy to replace. However, I went back to the check-in counter hoping to find a solution. The staff from Turkish Airlines was friendly enough to make an exception and took my picks in order to give them to one of the stewards who will hand them back to me when leaving the plane in Istanbul. After successfully passing the security check I boarded the plane. While boarding the staff member, who had taken my picks, came to hand them back to me. He said I should better take them myself so they don’t get lost. I promised him in return to not harm anybody with them.
During the flight to Istanbul I met a friendly Turkish business man and had a chat with him about Turkey and my planned travel in Central Asia. We exchanged business cards when leaving the plane and maybe we’ll meet again one day. My flight arrived with a two hour delay. After seeing immigrations I quickly changed some money and took a taxi to the Orient Hostel which is my home for tonight and the meeting point of the Dragoman group traveling to Beijing.
It was already after midnight and the people in the dorm I was put in by the receptionist were sleeping. So I searched my luggage for my flashlight to not disturb anybody when entering the room. While doing so I heard somebody locking the door from the inside and I knocked on it. This made the same person to get up again to open the door for me. However, there was an issue with the lock and whoever opened the door for me needed to try it for 3-4 minutes until it finally opened. When I entered the room everybody was in their beds and I didn’t even saw the person opened the door for me. So I quickly found a space for my luggage and went to bed.