...to the Frankfurt Fair Forum.
These last few days, I've purchased my share of double-the-money cappuccini, water, and snacks. But, I have not received one single receipt for my efforts in return. With visions of a sort of gestapo asking me to show a receipt upon exiting the store, today, I finally asked for one at the little convenience store down in the subway. You would have thought I'd asked for an original copy of Barack Obama's birth certificate.
He slowly dug around in drawers behind where he keeps his pc, adding machine, video surveillance cameras and other high tech items for a receipt book - last seen used by monks in a 16th century monastery. He walked around to gather up a newspaper to check the date on it. Returning to his counter, he sistemated the date on his stamp thingamajig to then dip in ink. Then he wrote it out. Joking about this ordeal, that was approaching the gestation period of a dog, he told me 'no one gives out receipts here'.
Now. This came as a total surprise. Here we have it, just like the no smoking laws, where the Italians are the ones obeying the rules--and to think that in cash-strapped Germany, they don't even have the threat of random checks! I couldn't believe my ears.
Turns out, the government has decided that if you run a certain enterprise, you pay so much tax. Italy has also adopted this practice. If you think you're being overcharged, you can start issuing receipts. Obviously in Germany, the tax rate seems to be pretty darn accurate...
I had lots to think about in Frankfurt, since I could not be entertained in the subways -- here, there are almost no ads at all -- contributing further to the dreary flourescent glow look. But they do have a semi-genius way of placing the intricate subway maps up on the ceilings of the cars, but you get so dizzy looking at them, you have to sit down before identifying your destination.
After two days here, I may never complain about Italian ads and prices again.