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I was spending a god-awful 9-hour layover in the Frankfurt Airport last week when I happened into a duty-free electronics shop and right there under glass was an in-person-real-life Leica M9 body. I let out an embarrassing little shriek that caused some bystanders to look at me funny.

Naturally the shop keeper came right over and said “I see you know what that is.” I had to wipe the drool off my face to respond. He tried hard to sell it to me, and it really was priced exactly in line with what I would pay at home, and he even tried to lure me with saying that I’d get an 800 euro tax refund and if I didn’t declare it at customs in the US I’d get away without paying tax on it at all.

Yeah right. Aside from the ethical issue, who is going to throw away the box of a Leica camera that costs $7,000? You keep that crap as it is required if you ever sell the body.

Anyway, for about an hour, I had an unrealistic fantasy of owning that camera body and it was very nice. I even had a Voightlander Nokton f1.2 35mm in my carry on that I could have used with it right then and there.