Somehow I never run out of commuter adventures or key nightmares that happen within 75 minutes. Two days ago, I left for work, locked the apartment and jumped into a cab for work. When I reached the office and pulled out my keys, I realised that there was one missing, and it happened to be the house key. Holy Guacamole.
Stay calm
Stay very calm
Don’t panic.

IMG_0259 (2).JPGI called the taxi dispatcher to contact the cab I had been in to search the key, but nothing turned up. The dispatcher was kind enough to stay on the line with me while the driver turned his car inside out, which I appreciated in spite of the fact that it was a futile effort.
Stay calm
Stay very calm
Don’t panic.

To compound matters, my dear neighbour who has my additional key (the same one who took me in when the cat locked me out) had just left the day before on holidays to Italy, so I had no access to that key either.
Ok, can’t stay calm anymore.
Start panicking.

The third key was taken by a recent house guest by mistake and is sitting comfortably out of Berlin, roughly a four hour drive away. So at this point I called the locksmith who had rescued me before when Champagne got us locked out. Click here to read that unforgettable adventure. When he picked up the phone and I introduced myself his first reply was “Oh it’s you, did the cat lock you out again?” I quickly explained the situation and he groaned, saying that it was going to be a very expensive situation because I would have to also call the building management to change the lock and then everyone else would have to change their keys as well. Seeing no other option, we agreed to meet at 3:00pm later that day.
Calm? Don’t understand the meaning of that word anymore.
Major alarms!

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
Then I remembered that last year, when I first moved in, I had insisted on giving my landlord a key in case of emergency. I figured this certainly qualifies as one so I called him, which I almost never do. He was vacationing in France.
Now I really panic.

Damn it all to hell!
This is the disadvantage of living alone with no other family member who will come home later in the day with another key. It would be cheaper to jump in the bus and retrieve the third key out of town than pay the locksmith! Not to mention the insurance bureaucracy I would end up dealing with. I wondered about my cats and those of the neighbours whom I am cat sitting for, and figured that they would all survive 24 hours without me, but that was not a situation that fancied..

Landlord to the rescue! He had mobilised his mother to retrieve the key and she in turn called me once she had it in her safekeeping. I brought her a large bouquet of flowers when I met her later that day and probably would have hugged her as well but she was definitely not the hugging type. Off I ran to another locksmith to have a copy made and drowned my sorrows in mango gelato.

How did the story end? I got into the apartment, fed all the cats, and found out that the newly minted key doesn’t work.

PS: I called the building administration this morning to report the lost key and ask what locksmith they use. Only then did realize that I need a written consent from them with a special security code to have the key copied. As the old saying here in Germany goes… warum einfach wenn es kompliziert geht (why simplify when you can complicate matters).