I took away many great experiences from Sapphire. Unfortunately, my small and beautiful Sony laptop was not among them; alas, it was stolen while I waited for a tram. I’m usually fanatically careful while traveling, but I suppose the rush, early morning, and lack of sufficient sleep did me in.
The Vienna police were really nice and tried to be helpful, but there was little they could do. Calling the police process slow is not really accurate; in the interest of precision, let’s refer to it as glacial.
Upon arrival, I waited for someone behind the desk to become free. When he finally turned his attention to me, we conferred about what took place. He called central Vienna lost and found, and of course had no luck. Following that, he conferred extensively with his colleagues. They spoke among themselves in German, so I don’t know for sure whether or not they were actually talking about my situation. However, periodically I would hear the term “laptop” being spoken, giving me confidence that my existence was still a part of their consciousness.
After the foregoing conferences, several policeman went into the manager’s office, where there was more conferring. Here is a picture of the police discussing my laptop in the manager’s office:
When they emerged, there was more discussion, and we finally got to the paperwork stage. Of course, during the paperwork process there was more conferring, as the meaning and content for certain fields on the form needed to be discussed. Again, all this talk was in German, so I have no idea what they were discussing. Anyway, after an hour, I got a copy of the police report and was back on my way (I hesitate to say merry way).
(The geek in me did note that the report was completed online in what appeared to be a custom desktop application feeding a central database. At one point, the data was exported via XML and loaded into Word. In Word, the policeman continued to edit the form until we were done. I found it curious they used Word in this way, but I’m sure they have good reasons.)
And the moral of the story: I suppose there is no moral, except being more careful next time.