Friday, 16 September 2011

Just how hard can it be?

I really ought to be updating about the happenings in the garden but that will have to wait.  I just must get this off my chest.  It's one of those stories that could only happen in this house.  No one else has things like this happen, I am sure we must live on a ley line or something.  Mind you that would be this house and the last which would be too much of a coincidence really.  Anyway, this is what happened yesterday...

We have been trying to sell our camper van on EBay.  We listed it for 7 days with a start price of 99p and a reserve.  Naturally we got all the usual stupid questions about what is the reserve, do we have a buy it now price, will we take cash today, why has it been raised (it hasn't you moron its a 4x4) where is the cooker (look in the pic) and all sorts of other rubbish that I can't even remember now.  Lots of people were very interested and wanted to buy it now but we decided to leave the auction to run.  True to form all of the people who were so desperate to buy it today didn't even bother to bid.  That's what bugs me about EBay, there are so many tyre kicking time wasters.  So the auction ended and the van hadn't reached reserve so we were pretty cheesed off because as much as we love the van we are not using it and it's going rusty with this salty air here in Norfolk.  We want to use the money to buy a boat which we should get more use out of.

Next day The Hairy Person got a phone call on his mobile.  "Hello, my name is (something unpronounceable) I live in Poland and I want to buy your van".  Erm OK so how are you going to do this?  Turns out he intends to fly into Norwich airport buy the van and then drive it back to Poland!!!  Honestly we thought it was a wind up.  He said he would let us know when he had a flight.  We didn't really expect to hear from him again.  But on Monday he rang saying he was flying in on Thursday and would be with us mid afternoon, could we pick him up from a local rail station.  Erm...yeah OK we can do that.

So Thursday arrives and we are still wondering if this is actually going to happen.  Poland is a very long way to come to buy a camper van!  The phone rang about half three, he was at the station so Hairy set off to pick him up.  He took the camper so Polish man knew who he was.  They arrived back at four o'clock and set about going over the van, explaining how things worked and where things were.  Then Polish man wants a test drive.  The trouble is he has never driven right hand drive before or driven on the left!  Hairy said he had the ride of his life with Polish man almost putting them in the ditch at the side of the road at least twice.  He looked very pale under his usual coating of oil and grease when they finally came indoors to complete the paperwork.

It was then that Polish man dropped his bombshell.  In his broken English he announced that he needed insurance to drive the van.  Erm...wouldn't it have been a good idea to sort that out before you left Poland?  Then he asks if he can use Hairy's insurance for a day.  Erm NOOOO!  The next two hours (yes, TWO) were spent with him on the PC and ringing his wife in Poland trying to sort out insurance for one month.  The cheapest he could find was £800...for a month!  After about half an hour I had to run away, I made an excuse that I needed mushrooms and legged it to the shop, I couldn't stand it any more.  It was still going on when I got back and I was informed that he was going to put the insurance at this address and we would pay for it on our card.  Are you mad, Hairy, I asked!!!

Eventually we convinced him that his Polish insurance should cover him to drive it.  Whether it did or not we didn't actually care because we were starting to lose the will to live at this point.  After another conversation with his wife in Poland he was happy with that so we started filling in log books and the horrible form he had downloaded as a bill of sale which was in both Polish and broken English.  

Finally at about seven o'clock we made it outside for him to drive away with the van.  Then he drops his next bombshell.  He intends to drive to London in it (120 miles) to meet his friend at an unspecified train station so his friend can drive it through London because of all the traffic.  The trouble was he had no map.  Honestly, hells map!!!  A friend of ours had turned up meanwhile and had been waiting about half an hour and he gave Polish man his own atlas just to get rid of him.  You can imagine things were getting pretty desperate by now.  

Eventually just to get rid of him Hairy drove our car with him following as far as the main 'A' road which is about 15 mins away.  Then they guy points to his newly acquired map and tells us he will pull over on the M11 and ring his friend!!!!  EEK oh no you won't matey!  Hairy ended up going into the petrol station with him, helping him fill up and pay and buy some food and drink before setting off to meet his friend at Redbridge

It was quarter past eight by the time Hairy got home.  Four hours to sell a vehicle.  It has to go down as the most traumatic sale we have ever done and we have sold 100's of cars over the years.  I was starting to think I was going to end up having Polish man stay the night.  At one point I was hissing at Hairy 'He is not staying in our spare room OK!'  Hairy said he would have to sleep in the camper van on the drive!  I had a visions of me taking him a fried breakfast on a tray in the morning.

We were paranoid all evening, or what was left of it anyway that we were going to get a phone call to say he was lost, or crashed.  I half expected to have customs and excise on the doorstep...or Interpol or the drug squad!  What a night!