The Quest for an iPad.

At first, I wasn?t all that excited about the iPad, ?it?s just a bit iPod Touch? and all. But ever since I held one and used it for a while, I was totally sold. (I guess a thank you to Filip and Sara is in order :))

And I wasn?t alone, Davy and Manuel were just as excited (maybe Davy a little bit more)

But the thing was (and still kinda is), the iPad isn?t available in Belgium as off today. The release was announced for ?July?. That?s the WiFi-model, the 3G version wasn?t expected until September. And we all very much liked the 3G version :-).

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Apple launched the iPad in Germany. If you know your geography, you?ll realize that Germany and Belgium are right next to each other and that driving to a nearby German town to get one was very plausible.

So we started searching and calling stores to ask if they had them, if we could reserve any and when/if they were expecting them. And so we came across

I called them a couple of times but all they could say was ?we?re expecting a shipment at the end of the week?. And the same the next week. So Manuel called and mailed them to reserve three, they?d call us when they were in and we?d have to pick them up that day or the next.

Another 2 weeks past, no joy. They hadn?t even confirmed our order....

So I gave them another call around noon today, to get things moving and such. The guy on the other end of the line told me that they didn?t have the 16GB model (which both Manuel and Davy wanted), they had been waiting on that shipment for weeks...But they did have a 32GB 3G model (which is the one I had planned on getting) at the store in Aachen. They had reserved it for someone but that person had neglected to come by and pick it up. He could ask the store to put it aside for me, but that meant that I had to go and pick it up either today or tomorrow....

And I went for it. I had already looked up the trains to Aachen a couple of weeks ago so I knew it would take about 2 hours to get there. At that moment, is was 13h30 and the store closed at 19h. I realized that I could even make it today....With no-one around to ask half-a-day off (with the boss and teamleader are on holiday), but with enough people in the office to get the work done, I went for it. (before she left, our teamleader had said we could do that, if everyone agreed and if we used a little common sense, so It?s not like I ran out of there without asking anyone :))

I printed the train schedule, made sure I had the address and the phonenumber of the store and I headed for the train-station. 1 stop and 2 hours later, I arrived in Aachen and quickly found my way to the store (which was/is only a 4-minute walk for the train-station). They knew my name and my reservation-number and a couple of minutes later, there was an iPad on the counter for me. So I take out my Visa-card to day and the guy goes ?Oh, but we don?t take credit cards sir?. I was chocked and almost yelled ?Say whaaaaaat??

Luckily, there was a bank nearby where I could withdraw cash. (all of this kind of in a rush, because I had to catch my train back home). 10 minutes later, I walked back into the store, payed and walked out with my iPad :) (I had hoped to be able to activate it in the store so that I could already use it on the way back but that didn?t happen, not enough time).

As I?m typing this, I?m on a train back home. If all goes well, I should be back in Leuven at 20h34, which means I?ll be home around 21h. (I did already open outer box to have a look at the box itself, but other than that, I haven?t touched it :))

Can?t wait to get home :)

- update -

Got home as planned, sitting on my bed and typing this on the iPad. This is quite an extraordinary device :)