Stephen had done a great job planning everything and we got a cab loaded with all our stuff to head to the car rental office close to our hotel - what could go wrong? When we pulled up to the car rental office, it was closed. It was open for one hour - 9 - 10AM. It was 10:15. Nice. Now, let me say that up until now, at least I had had fairly poor luck with Munich cab drivers. They weren't the nicest cross section of humanity I'd come across...but our wonderful cab driver that day proved me wrong. This kind woman let us use her cell phone to call the different numbers we had for the reservation, and when all else failed she helped us consider a few options...one of which we ultimately followed which was to go to the train station and get our car from the rental office there. It also turns out this was the right option, if we'd done any of the other things WE had thought of, it would have cost us 100's of euro.
So thank you, madame cab driver...you were kind, friendly, funny, helpful, generous with your time and smart about the local community all of which not only eased the pain of the day in general but made what could have been a very crazy situation totally manageable within 15 minutes. I consider this a reminder, that each of us as countries, cities, individuals have our own little set of "cultural rules". You can't just expect people to figure them out...take the time to help someone learn - you never know what a huge impact this may have on someone.