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I have not been able to change clothes or post anything for the last two days because my luggage was imprisoned in a Viennese hostel locker. To tell how it got there and why it was stuck I will have to start a bit earlier. It started with an email.
“You will go to the Meininger Hostel tonight at 20.00 where you will be greeted by a friend.” The Philadelphian.
When I arrived at the hostel, I was indeed greeted by an old friend and roommate, named Yu. I haven’t seen him in about 3 years, during which time he’s been in school in Japan. This week he moved to Vienna.
So we caught up and planned out some things to see and do and went to get some dinner and drinks. I locked my luggage in the locker with a nice, strong lock designed to resist a shim.
We got back to the hostel and I realized that somewhere I had lost the key. I searched my pockets but to no avail. The key had vanished like a David Copperfield trick. No real trouble, just cut the lock off and be done with it. It happens a thousand times a year in hostels the world over, I’m sure.
Except there was a problem. The hostel had no way to deal with a well-made lock, they were only equipped to cut off the poorly made ones like those they sold. (Hey, a locked storage space like that is only meant to deter casual theft not a determined attacker.) We could always force the locker open by wrenching the locked piece, but that would break it. And their handyman wouldn’t be in until Monday to figure out a way to get it off without breaking the locker.
Stranded. Without phone. Without clean clothes. Without toiletries. Without laptop.
So finally this morning the handyman arrives, grabs the pliers and wrenches off the lock and I have my bag back.