First week

We had some good entertainment:

2003_10_18_029.jpg 04/03/20-21 We guess you already saw the pictures from "Hacking Frank" on the page you find on the "Home" button, but even so this - at least - this "normal" day has his own story:
When we left Frankfurt there was a little storm above the UK, NL, France and Germany. So the start of the plane was a bit excited, the rest of the flight was normal, but not the landing. The plane flew a lot of circles above London without getting a slot for landing. Finally dozens of circles later we where going to land and then we know why it took that long: The wind was so heavy, the plane went up and down and shaking a lot. In the end we where landing more or less sideways with a lot of turbulences. After the successful landing the pilot talked about the weather, time and stuff like that but at the beginning he explained "...during landing we had some good entertainment...". At least he came out of the cockpit to see in which condition his passenger are.....

After 4 hours of waiting we continued our trip to Bangkok. We arrived there in the late afternoon and Elke got a little cultur shock. The regular bus took us to the Kao San Road (where the most backpackers end up) and Peter noticed that it had changed a lot during the last 6 years. It has turned into a place less for backpackers than for all-inclusive-tourists. Sad for this - but thatīs the way it happens everywhere... ;-)

For Elke the first time in Bangkok:

04/03/22. We woke up pretty early and visited some of the beautiful temples. The day ended up in a park near Kao Sam Road near the River where we watched the sunset as a lot of thai people went on that place between the park and the river. We didnīt know what will go on, but then they build up a little stage and some loadspeakers and a trainer from a fitnessstudio started to do some exercise - and about 120 people joined him. That was very impressive.

Good entertaimment continues: (Part 2)

04/03/23. The day befor, we boocked a tour to the floating market north of Bangkok. The tour started at 7am and also included a stop in place where they produce - and for sure sell - juice, honey and sugar from the coconut.
The floating market has - as Peter remember - changed a lot. Itīs more or less only for tourists - befor there where a lot of thai people buying their stuff like rice, vegetables and fruits. Now you can see 90% only souvenirs. By the way fruits...
Elke bought a couple of fruits we had never seen befor. They looked all delicious. So we shared them but after the first one Peter felt a little bit of scretching in his throat. So Elke eat it all. On the way back to Bangkok we visited again a big woodcarvery. Very impressive.
After we returned to Bangkok the scretching still did not stop and Peter got problems to swallow, so we checkt what happened in his throat: His uvula was 6 times big a normal. After a one hours of trying to reduce the swelling with ice and lots of water we decided to go to the hospital. The doctor there was very friendly but his first question after we expained and described what Peter ate was: "Did you drink any alcohol like beer, wine or stronger stuff?". We denyed and he said: "Lucky you!" The explanation sounded not very nice: 20% of all people are allergic to the sulphur in this fruit (we donīt remember the name) and if these 20% drink any kind of alcohol in combination with the fruit 50% of them die within the next 4 hours....
So Peter got some medicine and was not allowed to drink alcohol during the next 3 days....
So you see: In Bangkok we had some good entertainment too.

Boat tour 04/03/24. On our way to the emporers palace we met 2 old thai ladies from the south of Thailand on their holiday. Because the e. palace was closed we joined them on a tour with a boat through the western chanels of Bangkok. In the afternoon we went to the airport to catch our flight to Sydney.

Good entertainment continues: (Part 3)

04/03/25. We arrived in Sydney at 6.30am and took a cab to our hostel. We where very exited to start right now with getting our car out of the harbour and checked the mail for the shipping papers. But there was non, so we called Katherine (where we let all the papers send to) and she replied "OK, now you arrived in Sydney - so I can send the papers to your hostel!"- but this would take again 3 days or so. We decided it would be better to pick the papers up at her office - and so we did. Till we got the papers it was fairly too late to do anything for the car. But also Elke did not feel so good, so Peter went to the bank to get some money for that what we had to pay next day for he car. We have a accound at the Deutsche Bank and this allows us to get money via Bankcard from the Australian West Pack Bank with out being charged. But Peters card did not work at the first ATM. So he went into the bank and asked whats wrong, but they couldnīt help. They said it must be something with the account in Germany. We called the Deutsche Bank in Germany but it was 4 am in the morning and the main computersystem to check the problem was shut down. We changed at first all of our Euro into Aus$ and then tried some other ATM and also with Elkes card. Result: The same: no money!! We called the Deutsche Bank in Sydney - but they also couldnīt help us. No money in Australia on the first day... What can we do???? Transfer the money to our creditcard account? But it would cost a lot to get cash money!
We called again later in the evening the Deutsche Bank in Germany and they told us we should try some other ATM then from West Pack and they will refund us the charge. Ok, we tried again at an other bank - and suddenly it works. So back again to the ATM of West Pack and - we couldnīt get money and this time the card didnīt come back out!!! Shock again!! Standing in front of the mashine and being just angry and amused about the situation - not knowing if we should laugh or cry. But after 5 minutes suddenly the card come out - and the money!!! We tought thatīs enough excitement for the day and went to bed.

Trying to get the car:

2003_10_18_029.jpg 04/03/26. First we went to the shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen and found a big help there: David Sansoni.
He told us where to go and what to do at first. If you ever get the idea to ship a car to Sydney, here is what you need to do to get your car though all the bureaucracy:
But be aware: never ever try to get your car a few weeks prior to public holidays and donīt think you get the car during one or two days.
1st: Pay the bill of lading at the shipping company
2nd: Go to the customs and pay your import tax. In our case it was at the airport.
3rd: Go to the quarantine. In our case it was not the one at the airport, you should better contact the one at the wharf where the car is. Because you need to make an appointment for an inspection of your car. This you can do in advance - right when you know at which wharf your car is. Get this appointment and itīs better if you are pressent during the inspection. If itīs neccessary to clean the car again - ask the guys at the wharf.
4th: If you have the customs and the quarantine papers fine - then you can pay for the storrage of your car (if neccessary) and pick up your car. For this case itīs good to have your german no. plate still fixed. Because now you need to drive to:
5th: The "Blue Slip Inspection". This is a road worthy certificate and it checks in our case (car from 1965) just the basic stuff like brake, light and things like this. This can be done by a lot of garages - but not a few weeks prior to easter holidays!!! After about 20 phonecalls we found one in the south of Sydney: Brimac Automotive Service in Kirrawee.
And he does only the slip inspections - so he is not that boocked out!
6th: You need for sure an insurance for the car. If you get the basic insurance you just covered if you hit other people - but not their property!! So you need to find one who will cover both!
7th: You need a residence in Sydney - but your hostel may write something for you.
8th: Go to the RTA and there you finaly get your no.plate and you sticker for the next 2 years.

This all will take a couple of days - we just made it till step 3 on that day - and this one only by half. In the afternoon we went to the Hyde park and relaxed from the stress....
By the way: this was Elkes birthday but because of the time lag and to use the day for getting futher with the car we decided to party on saturday.