It's well known, and has been discussed at length here over the years, how vital it is not to travel without a validated ticket. Inspections are random, frequent, and unforgiving, and fines are heavy. This is the price we all, tourists and locals, pay for a working honour system.
But today I had the wonderful, atypical experience of being an exception to the rule. I noticed this morning, on my way to Wannsee, that the 5-day Welcome Card, which I validated yesterday, wasn't showing the validation date. I made a mental note to try again at Wannsee, but was in a hurry and forgot.
Then, returning from Park Babelsberg on the bus to Potdam Hbf, guess what? An inspector boarded. My heart sank. I couldn't have explained in my very rudimentary German what had happened, so, thinking "I'm in for it now" I sighed and showed the lady my ticket. She looked at it carefully, and said, "Lieber Frau, you must validate the ticket" (of course in German). Then she took the ticket to the validation machine, put it through, and returned it to me. So not only have I escaped a fine, I have an extra day on my ticket.
I still feel good thinking about it. There are nice people in the world, even ticket inspectors.
But please, don't expect it to happen to you. It was an exception, a wonderful gift, and I am grateful for it.
Always travel with a validated ticket!Edited: 23 May 2014, 20:08