• Tie a yellow ribbon

    by  • 8 March, 2003 • Travel • 0 Comments

    I’m coming home, I’ve done my time…

    After a whole month searching for a company that could bring our gear over from Kleine Spouwen, Belgium to Iraklio, I was driving my upstairs neighbour with her cat to the vet last evening. While I was explaining that the transporters in our country charged over €5000 to handle this job, she simply said “why don’t you go to Kreta Trans”. She was the thirtyeleventh person who suggested that company since I arrived here, but nobody had been able to tell me were it was located or by which means it could be reached. It isn’t in the yellow pages either. “But it’s right next to the Makro” she said. We had been to the Makro in the first week that I settled in the appartment. Finally some concrete and hopefully useful information!

    This morning I drove off to Kreta Trans. It was there exactly where she said it would be. It took me five minutes to find the entrance. While I was walking around the complex a window opened and a womans head popped out.

    This reminds me that it is International Women’s Day today. Congratulations ladies and enjoy it!

    “Where are you going to” she asked in Greek. I explained that I was looking for the entrance. I had been walking past it at least 4 times. When I got in I was met by the same lady. She was very friendly when I explained that my Greek was not so good and if there maybe was somebody I could speak to in English? Yes there was, right in front of me. After I explained what I came for she took me to another office where two persons were working their computer terminals. A lady and a guy. The lady asked if I wanted coffee and the guy inquired what business I wanted. So far for International Women’s Day. Anyway, after I produced my itemized list, he hit a few keys on his terminal, then on his calculator, the lady brought the coffee, and I got a quote for €1250, based on his estimation of how much floor space the stuff would take in the truck. They don’t calculate this by the cubic meters as I had expected. Naturally I was more than pleased with that price.

    He left the rest of the administrative work to his collegue. We settled the date, she checked that it fitted with their schedule and before I had the time to finish my coffee, we were done. So while I finished the excellent coffee we smoked a sigarette and she chatted away on how they had lots of customers from Belgium and Germany and France who moved their stuff through this company. Five minutes later I was back in my car. Who dares to say that the Greek are not efficient?!

    Back home I trew away all the information I had been gathering for plan B: itinerairies for a small truck (not the Gothard tunnel this time!), prices and timetables for the various ferry services from Italy to Greece and domestic to Crete, prices of truck renting companies in Belgium and Holland, prices for second hand trucks (yes, I had thought of buying one and selling it here with a small profit), etc…

    Now we are all set. Yvonne has already done a lot of packing. I will leave here by plane on Friday morning next week, to Düsseldorf where Yvonne will pick me up. We will have a whole week to dismantle and pack everything else. There are a few administrative loose knots to tie, and then I guess that sometime on or after Monday 24th we will catch a plane and be here in time for the truck to pull up on our doorstep.

    There are only 2 minor details to take care of: I should find a job in the remaining 4 days before I leave, and we should have a buyer for the house by the time I get home. Can’t be too hard…

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