Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Germany Day 3

Got out of bed at noon today...jet lag is fading. Tried to get in contact with AT&T about the data plan for the iPad, but that was fruitless...the international number was disconnected! Chatted with someone from who told me the account was 'invalid' to which I asked what 'account'? The credit card or the AT&T account? Here is the transcript:

(and no this isn't the first time I masqueraded as a woman on-line, geez it's what the InterPipes was made for!)

info: Thank you for choosing AT&T International Care a representative will be with you shortly. Please note: Protecting your personal information is one of our highest priorities; hence, you will be required to provide account related information to ensure whom we are working with. Data encryption is also enabled to protect your personal information during this chat session. For more information please go to or Please wait for a site operator to respond.
info: You are now chatting with Amanda Arellano.
Amanda Arellano: Hello! My name is Amanda Arellano and I am an International Care Representative. I’m reading your inquiry and I will be right with you.
Colleen Williams: Ok
Amanda Arellano: How may I assist you today?
Colleen Williams: I would like to know why my iPad won't connect to the local provider
Colleen Williams: But both of our iPhones do just fine
Colleen Williams: The iPad always displays "No Service" and there has been zero data usage since we arrived
Amanda Arellano: Did you add an international data plan before you left on your iPad?
Colleen Williams: Yes
Colleen Williams: 50MB
Amanda Arellano: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.
Amanda Arellano: To better assist you may I have you verify your 10 digit mobile number, the name on the account, and the e-mail address associated with this account, please?
Colleen Williams: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Colleen Williams: Colleen Williams
Colleen Williams: email address
Amanda Arellano: Thank you, allow me a moment to retrieve your account.
Amanda Arellano: Currently your iPad shows that there is no international feature active.
Amanda Arellano: In order to add one you will need to go to a WiFi location.
Colleen Williams: I have a confirmation email
Colleen Williams: And the device itself says i have a plan
Colleen Williams: Of course I am not at a wifi location right now
Colleen Williams: I can forward the confirmation email if you give me an address to send it to
Colleen Williams: You have purchased the 50 MB of data for 30 days for $59.99 international rate plan. The plan will become active on 09-20-2010 Midnight Eastern Time. Your credit/debit card has been charged $63.85
Colleen Williams: From: Subject: AT&T International Data Plan Purchased Date: September 18, 2010 11:34:10 AM MDT To:
Colleen Williams: Are you still there?
Amanda Arellano: The notes state that the plan was not added because the account was invalid.
Colleen Williams: What account?
Colleen Williams: The credit card account?
Amanda Arellano: I'll be right with you.
Amanda Arellano: All it states is Invalid Account Type.
Colleen Williams: That is not helpful to me
Colleen Williams: What am I supposed to do?
Colleen Williams: Are you a real person or a bot?
Amanda Arellano: You can try adding it through in a WiFI area.
Colleen Williams: Ok, I will check my credit card to see if the original charge is there first
Colleen Williams: But the confirmation email should never have been sent if it wasn't activated
Amanda Arellano: I apologize for any inconvenience.
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to at the end of your chat.
Colleen Williams: Ok, thank you

Note this 'chat' took 22 minutes! Just added to the frustration. I then 'chatted' with someone from for Bank of America, which took about 3 minutes and 'Zane' directed me to Deutsche Bank to get no fee AT&T is the fail here, not

So we head out to the tram, which we only had a €10 and €50...the day pass is just under €20 for two, so we ride it illegally for 3 stops to the central station(Hauptbahnhof) and go buy zwei Becks (Und Beck's!!!) to break the €50 and then realize we don't need to buy the 'entire network' day pass since we are only going to be traveling in one zone. So we could have purchsed that with the €10. Oh well its only €40 if you get caught without a valid fare.

So I also buy a Cuban cigar...(damn U.S. embargo!) and then over to Duetsche Post to buy some stamps for the postcards we bought the day before. The machine only takes coins or their brand of MasterCard, so Colleen waits outside with our Beck's(yea, you can drink in public...I am having a hard time justifying not moving here.)

Und back to the hotel because we forgot the camera.

Und back to Marienplatz to Deutsche Bank which is right by Alter Peter (St. Peter's church ) which we wanted to go back to during the day and get some pictures. This is the same area with the Apple store and Hofbräuhaus we were at the day before. We arrived at 5PM local time and the bells were going off and the 'figurines' were moving.

We are just kind of wandering around taking tons of random pics and check it out...we see a black Jeep Grand Cherokee....from a distance it looks like the SRT-8, but its apparently a European version. Jeeps are pretty rare here, but I think this is the 4th one we have seen, so not too rare. You know what is rare? Excursions and Hummers and the like. And almost all the taxis are Benz...we saw one 300M and one Prius taxi, but the vast majority are Benz. We also saw a G320 convertable...didn't even know that existed. And some funky little Ford thing, I should have snapped a pic. Either way mostly VW, BMWs and Benz around Munich. Its cool the states if you drive one of these cars its probably because you are a prick or have a little one(or most likely both) but here it is because they are built here and are just fine automobiles.

The tags say S Limited and CRD...also note the marker lights in the bumper. Very cool. I don't think it has a Hemi though. And I don't see the back up camera.
So we find ourselves back at the corner of Hofbräuhaus and Hard Rock Cafe(yuck!) Note the cream Benz taxis in the background. Its about 3PM and we are starving and sober-ish.
And we also needed to get a stein for Tom, so I text him to find out which kind and how much does he want to spend? Because there are glass, ceramic, pewter...lids, no lids, mugs...€10-€800.

But's all about the beer! Lets get to drinking! So we stopped at the Augustiner am Platzl.

Oh yeah, I guess some food is in order as well. Colleen got the cheese spätzle, which was good, just not as good as Hofbräuhaus.
And I got the boiled beef with potato salad. And after eating here for 3 days, I have to say I feel totally ripped off by the 'German food' I have had back in the states! I am not kidding, this potato salad was so good, I don't ever want to eat it at the Red Lion again!
We stopped at Hofbräuhaus to pick up some souvenirs since the little souvenir shop was closed when we left last night.

I love these cool open air markets that are everywhere here.
Und back to the hotel to drop off the souvenirs und we also go to the little grocery store to buy some stuff for breakfast and munchies...Colleen is craving German chocolate. And some Underberg and Spaten of course.

And then back to Oktoberfest Jå! Again, we opt to not go inside the main 'tent' because its after 8PM and everyone is hammered and its too crowded. So we grab a spot outside. Btw, I keep typing 'tent' because these are not tents, but huge wooden structures built to resemble tents. I was wondering how they could erect a tent to hold 20,000 people and now I know ;-)

Besides, I want to smoke this sweet Cuban and this is the first year you are not allowed to smoke inside the 'tents.'

And here is my Popeye impression apparently.

And our table friends last night...I think they were from the UK, but after drinking 5 litres, one 20 oz Becks and a bottle of Spaten at home...I am not sure. I remember the one blonde girl that was with them was from Australia or New Zealand...I think. Und Beck's!

And then we hopped on the subway, got lost and then grabbed a taxi who proceeded to take a very long route back to our hotel. Oh well, the price you pay for being a drunken foreigner I guess.

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