By TGV from Frankfurt to Paris

For our weekend get-away to Paris, we had decided to go by train when the Deutsche Bahn (DB) had one-way tickets for just euro 39.

We were really glad to have chosen Paris by train and not Mallorca by plane (we had briefly considered it), because the day of our departure, Frankfurt Airport was on strike all day.

We  boarded the S-Bahn from our newly rebuilt train station in Oberursel to the Hauptbahnhof (21 minutes).

Oberursel train station

Oberursel train station

I enjoyed a few minutes under blue skies near the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof exit, while my husband was across the street trying to locate a machine to charge his mobile phone. We could not find a place within the train station.



It is quite an adventure to travel by TGV (French: Train à Grande Vitesse, high-speed train). At times, it almost feels like you’re on a flight. Also, once you get onto French soil, the speed really picks up. When other trains pass, your ears pop afterwards. The train conductor makes announcements like any captain on an aircraft would do.

TGV leaving Frankfurt

TGV leaving Frankfurt

And yes, after four hours of high-speed traveling, your legs might buckle a bit when you get off the train.

Then it was off by car, with a little tour through the red-light district Pigalle.

Pigalle, Paris

Quartier Pigalle, Paris

Here is my favorite photo, which captures the spirit of Quartier Pigalle on a Friday night.

Moulin Rouge, Quartier Pigalle

Moulin Rouge, Quartier Pigalle

We finished off the evening with a bottle of wine at my brother-in-law’s home in Suresnes. Paris, here we are!

Review for iPod Repair at Store in Frankfurt

Our son’s iPod had a partly cracked iPod screen, so he decided to do some comparison shopping for the repair. Instead of using the Apple Store in Frankfurt where the charge was around euro 120, he opted for a cheaper repair at euro 90 through re:Store in Frankfurt (located in the MyZeil shopping area).  When translated into English, re:Store calls itself “Europe’s Biggest Apple Premium Reseller”.  Here begins a mystery.

After arriving home some days later with the “repaired” iPod, our son began recharging the dead battery.  But there was a problem. The top of the newly replaced screen wasn’t properly attached to the rest of the iPod.  This was a bit irritating, of course, but he also discovered that the sleep button didn’t work any more.  Why?  Aside from the cosmetic flaw on the original screen, the device was in good working order when he had turned it in for repair.

By taking the iPod back to re:Store and filing a customer complaint, one would assume that the screen repair would then be correctly carried out AND that the problem with the sleep button would also be corrected.  Think again.

What follows is a chronicle of notes and correspondence that traces our attempts to resolve the matter.

First, our son’s notes:

Saturday 7. September: went to re:store to have iPod Touch 4th Gen. repaired

  • Screen (glass cover) was cracked, no other damages
  • Gave clerk device, was given receipt to be shown on return
  • Was told by re:Store clerk that device would be fixed within 4 days and that the store would call our house number


Monday 16. September: called re:Store

  • re:Store hadn’t called me as promised, so I took the initiative
  • Person hastily told me that device has “just arrived today”


Wednesday 18. September: went to re:Store to pick up iPod Touch 4th Gen.

  • Took device briefly out of plastic bag + looked at the screen, screen looked slightly loose but otherwise functional
  • Left store + tried to switch on iPod Touch 4th Gen. at train station
  • Wouldn’t switch on, so assumed battery dead
  • Went home + charged device on Klipsch speakers/dock
  • Removed device from speakers/dock + light from switched on display shone through side of device – now obvious that screen was not properly attached + power (same as sleep) button unresponsive


Thursday 19. September: went to Re:store to return iPod Touch 4th Gen. for second repair

  • Return device to clerk, he looks at it and notices that it has indeed not been fixed properly
  • Prints out a refund form + takes it to be sent off for repair again

o     “Grund der Reklamation: Display sitzt in der linken oberen Ecke nicht fest. Powerbutton geht nicht.”


Friday 20. September: received call from company (Herr Vogt, Handyschmiede) that repairs Apple products for re:Store

  • Herr Vogt states that screen can be fixed (?), but sleep button can’t due to broken cables
  • Claims that device contains parts that aren’t officially from Apple – asks when and where device was bought
  • Claims that device had been tampered with previous to them obtaining the device – apparent soldering on port at bottom of device
  • Keeps referring back to photos taken of insides of device before repaired by them – tries to remove blame from both re:Store and his company
  • Advises to trade-in device at Apple store, as Apple has a trade-in policy
  • His company will give a 50% refund on the repair, provided I follow these instructions:

1.             Pick up device at re:Store on Monday

2.             Reply to email sent that includes photo evidence. Include bank or Paypal account so that company can transfer refund.


Correspondence between our son and the outsourced place of repair, Handyschmiede.

Sehr geehrter Herr Shipley,

wie telefonisch besprochen handelt sich es bei dem Gerät um einen „refurbished“ iPod, bzw. einen bereits von einem Fremdanbieter reparierten iPod. Da wir nur die eigentliche Reparatur gewährleisten, also den Displaywechsel, sind andere Defekte, die zuvor entstanden, nicht über uns zu beanstanden. Erneut schicke ich Ihnen die Fotos, die einen Defekt des Standby-Flexes zeigen sowie asiatische Zeichen eines Fremdteils.

Da wir Ihnen dennoch entgegenkommen möchten, biete ich Ihnen – wie telefonisch besprochen – eine Gutschrift von 50 Prozent an den geleisteten 89,- Euro an. Bitte lassen Sie uns dafür Ihre Bankverbindung zukommen.

Ein kurzer Einblick in unsere Memos:
– Auftragsannahme im re:Store Frankfurt am 7.9.2013
– Bearbeitung der Reparatur in der Werkstatt von Handyschmiede Frankfurt

– Analyse: iPod wurde unsachgemäß vom Fremdanbieter bearbeitet, Originalteile gewechselt, Schrauben fehlen und das Standby-Flex-Kabel ist abgerissen. Fotos versendet.
– Defektes Display wurde auftragsgemäß repariert.

– Reklamation am 20.9.2013 in der Werkstatt eingetroffen
– Display stand etwas ab, da WLAN-Antenne verrutscht. Erneute Fehleranalyse der Defekte zuvor.


Here are the photos of the iPod, sent to us by Handyschmiede.

refurbished iPod

refurbished iPod 2


After our son left to go to school in England, we were left to take care of this by phoning Handyschmiede.

Wednesday, 2 October

* I called Mr. Vogt at Handyschmiede, who stated the iPod came in refurbished and there was nothing he could do about it.

* I called re:Store to ask for serial number of the iPod. We had the slight hope that it was not our son’s iPod and there was a mix up. As the iPod’s charge was low, the clerk told me he would charge it, then open it to look at the serial number. I could call back within 30 minutes.

* I called back to find out that the serial number from the Apple store’s original bill and the iPod in question to be the same.  (My husband had bought the iPod directly from the Apple store on the Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse in Frankfurt in 2011.)

* My husband decided to call re:Store instead and told them how the repair was handled. The clerk advised him that he had to call Handyschmiede to get their side of the story.  He was promised a return call on Friday (two days later, as there was a holiday in between).

* That call never came on Friday.

* My husband called re:Store on the following Tuesday to find out that the clerk he had talked to wasn’t available.  The clerk on the phone then promised to research the matter with Handyschmiede and his absent colleague.

* My husband called again on Friday and Saturday of the same week.  How is it that the power button functioned before the screen repair, but not after?  The bottom line:  He should contact Handyschmiede about the problem.

…. back to square one.


 A further update will follow.

May Day and Frankfurt Bicycle Race

Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt

Radrennen – Frankfurt Bike Race on May Day

For those of you new to the Frankfurt area – there is a big bicycle race on Wednesday, 1 May 2013 and it involves road blocks, change of timetables for public transportation, detours, etc.

To view this year’s route, visit Eschborn-Frankfurt Streckenplan to plan your day accordingly.

For traffic updates, you can call this hotline:  069 – 686 070 42 or 0160 – 2561658

28. – 30. April 2013:          16:00 – 20:00
1. May 2013:                       07:00 – 17:00

For more information, visit Eschborn-Frankfurt-Tipps-der-Polizei

This year’s May Day, we are heading to the Frankfurt Airport to pick up a friend, due to arrive at 11:35. Instead of allowing the regular 25 minutes for the drive, we will leave the house two hours earlier. Getting stuck in traffic and road blocks is no fun, but having a leisurely breakfast at the airport surely is.

Winter Coat Drop-off at Frankfurt Airport

Frankfurt Airport has a special service for its winter time passengers flying south. Bugged down with your winter coat? Not anymore. You can leave your heavy coat at the baggage room. This service is available until 7 April 2013 at a daily charge of 50 cents.

There are three baggage room counters:

1) Terminal 1, Halle B, Level 1 (arrivals)

2) Terminal 1, Halle B-C, Level 2

3) Terminal 2, Halle D

Enjoy your trip and don’t forget to claim your coat when you return!

Frankfurt and Sunday Shopping Calendar for 2013

For some readers, who are not familiar with our German shopping laws, this might seem unusual.

Things have eased up a bit over the years, giving individual states the choice of whether to have shops open and running or not. Before this adjustment was made all shops had to close on Sundays (except for open markets and fairs).

Our state of Hesse just announced the dates for the four (limited!) Sundays for Sunday shopping. An unusual concept for many Germans, and the shops are usually full on those days.

The German term is Verkaufsoffene Sonntage (no proper translation is available at this point).

Sunday shopping 2013 calendar:

* 14 April (same Sunday as the Dippemess/Frankfurt Fair)

* 26 May (same Sunday as the Wolkenkratzerfestival /Skyscraper Festival)

* 15 September (same Sunday as the International Auto Ausstellung (IAA)), but restricted to certain parts of town

* 13 October (same Sunday as the world’s biggest Book Fair)

This new trend of keeping shops open on certain Sundays has been labeled a positive move by our economic experts. Long overdue, but all in good German time.

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